In case you missed the Golden Globe awards ceremony recently, like I did, you also missed Oprah Winfrey’s splendid speech to the friendly audience. As my esteemed editor and friend James Clark aptly stated, she “made a heart-warming speech Sunday night … and woke up Monday morning to calls for her to run for president.”
Constitutionally, Oprah meets all the qualifications for President of the United States. She’s a natural-born citizen, on the far side of 35 years of age, and a United States resident for well over the required 14 years.
That said, should Oprah run for POTUS, as in President of the United States? Who knows?
The answer depends on who you ask. According to some of the billionaire TV star’s friends, "she is actively considering running for president in 2020.”
Meanwhile, Oprah’s best friend, "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King reportedly said,”Oprah was intrigued by the idea.”
The so-called progressive wing of the Democratic Party is giddy with glee over the prospect of having Oprah run for the White House in 2020.
Oprah’s life narrative is certainly extraordinary. She is a self-made billionaire who rose from the depths of abject poverty to the pinnacles of power and influence in the media and American pop culture. She also has a storied history of helping and mentoring others along her own road to stunning success.
Oprah is also immensely popular, especially among working-class women, who believe she understands them and cares about them. In many ways, she is the anti-Hillary Clinton and anti-Nancy Pelosi. And most of all to some, she is the absolute anti-Donald Trump.
In my view, Oprah could probably win the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, if she decides to run. After all, she has the power of popularity, prestige, instant name recognition, and plenty of money, including her own.
However, winning the presidency is a far greater challenge for Oprah. Just ask Hillary Clinton about that. She went from “In like Flynn” to “Out like Gout” in the 2016 presidential elections. Despite her self-serving “memoir” of “What Happened,” I doubt if she really gets what actually happened, even now.
Only Oprah knows for sure if she will run for president in 2020. Being “Intrigued by the idea” is a far cry from being committed to running the gauntlet of primaries and caucuses, just to get the party’s nomination. Then comes the much more daunting challenge of winning the magic number of 270 electoral votes in the general elections for president.
For now, one thing is for sure. Oprah’s “actively considering” a run for the White House has captured the media and public attention it so richly deserves. Stay tuned for my own take on the pros and cons of Oprah for POTUS in 2020.
Retired Army Col. Thomas B. Vaughn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.