Tongues are wagging about the possibility of Oprah Winfrey as president.
A piece in the Los Angeles Times — following an inspirational speech at Sunday’s Golden Globes and nod from host Seth Meyers in his monologue egging her on — by Michael Finnegan summed up the situation, beginning: If Donald Trump can win the presidency, why couldn’t Oprah?
Winfrey, 63, is younger than some Democrats who might run in 2020, William Kristol of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine, said on Twitter, adding that she’s “sounder on economics than Bernie Sanders, understands Middle America better than Elizabeth Warren, less touchy-feely than Joe Biden, more pleasant than Andrew Cuomo, more charismatic than John Hickenlooper.”
Ezra Klein, editor of the Vox online news site, said Americans were already “tired of having a celebrity with no political experience fumbling around as president.” “Not sure Oprah (or Tom Hanks, or Mark Cuban, etc) will be a compelling answer to that,” he tweeted.
Still, much of the Oprah 2020 chat ignores the realities of running for president, even for one of the nation’s most popular TV and movie personalities.
But candidates face a vetting far more invasive than anything Winfrey ever has endured.
“My experience with celebrities is they’re enamored with the talk and with the thought of being president … but when they step up to the line and they understand the scrutiny they have to go through…they back away,” said John Weaver, a strategist in presidential campaigns of Republicans Sen. John McCain and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Weaver also questioned if voters would see a “campaign run out of Bel-Air” as an appropriate antidote to Trump’s disruptive presidency.
Winfrey, who supported Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for president, previously has said she wouldn’t run, most particularly, to her pal Gayle King in October on “CBS This Morning.”
But after Oprah’s Golden Globes speech about the upheaval over sexual harassment, her longtime partner Stedman Graham told the Los Angeles Times: “It’s up to the people. She would absolutely do it.”
Rose McGowan and Asia Argento, the most vocal of the multitude of women accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual improprieties, said they weren’t invited to Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards, nor were Rosanna Arquette, Annabella Sciorra, Daryl Hannah or Mira Sorvino. However, Salma Hayek and Ashley Judd, also victimized by the mogul, did attend — together.
Duchess Kate Middleton is 36. … Singer A.J. McLean of the Backstreet Boys is 40. … Singer Dave Matthews is 51. … Actress Imelda Staunton is 62. … Actor J.K. Simmons is 63. … Singer Crystal Gayle is 67. … Guitarist Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin is 74. … Singer Joan Baez is 77.