Oprah Winfrey made headlines on Wednesday after an interview with Bloomberg Television went viral. In the past, Oprah had brushed off any inclination to make a run in politics, but recent developments may have had her re-think that approach. Oprah famously supported Barack Obama’s run for the White House in 2008 and backed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election that eventually went to Donald Trump.
There were many that suggested at the time that it was Oprah’s endorsement that helped push Obama over Hillary in the primaries more than eight years ago. But it was Trump’s resume that made Oprah pause for a moment during her interview with financier David Rubenstein.
Rubenstein suggested that “it’s clear you don’t need government experience to be elected president of the United States.” Oprah agreed and revealed that if the thought had ever crossed her mind before, she figured she never had enough experience. Now that Trump has been elected, her opinion may have changed, but it ultimately won’t lead to a campaign, according to Oprah’s best friend, Gayle King.
According to the AV Club, King insists that Oprah was just joking during the interview when she said, “I never considered the question even a possibility. I just thought, ‘Oh… oh? I thought, ‘Oh, gee, I don’t have the experience, I don’t know enough.’ And now I’m thinking, ‘Oh.'” The election results changed the perception of the position for a large majority of Americans, not the least of which appears to be Oprah Winfrey. But Gayle said (on her CBS morning show) not to expect it in 2020 or any year for that matter.
“I was in the audience that day and it was clearly a joke when she was playing with David because they have such a great rapport. I would bet my first, second born, and any unborn children to come that ain’t never happening.”
King has long been Oprah’s best friend, most trusted confidant, and someone the American people have come to rely on for any news regarding Oprah herself. It should also be noted that the interview was originally conducted in December, so a lot of time has passed since she made those comments public.
What’s interesting about the whole matter is that Trump has long been in the corner of Oprah. He first suggested she appear on his ticket when he first considered running for President in 1999 and reiterated that sentiment at the onset of his campaign last year. But the comments to Rubenstein and Bloomberg Television are somewhat of a contrast to what she told late-night hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert last year. Oprah was asked about a Presidential run on both shows, and she said it was not her thing on both occasions.
In light of the Trump election, Oprah is not the only celebrity whose name has come up as a potential future Commander-in-Chief. Disney top executive Bob Iger, musician and entertainer, Kanye West and Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg have all surfaced as names who have either been mentioned in important circles or tossed their own hats into the ring for consideration.
The 63-year old Oprah is primed to join CBS beginning this fall as a special contributor to 60 Minutes, the network’s premiere news magazine program that airs Sunday nights. The move was rumored to have been a retaliatory ploy in the wake of NBC’s decision to hire Megyn Kelly. Kelly will do triple-duty for NBC, which will include an in-depth news program on Sunday evenings in direct competition with 60 Minutes. Kelly’s status skyrocketed in 2016 for her role in the campaign covering Trump and the back-and-forth that ensued.
[Featured Image by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for 2016 Essence Festival]