Oprah Winfrey went out of her way to make a case for gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Abrams in Georgia on Thursday, November 1, and in hand with speaking the Democrat up as an ideal candidate for the state’s top office, she let it be known that her reasons are as historical as they are political.
Newsweek quotes Winfrey as having made it known that her high-profile endorsement is in no way driven by intentions to build momentum towards a presidential run in 2020. Rather, the move is an obligatory one that she told Marietta voters she finds herself making in the spirit of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice along the evolution of American democracy.
“I’m here today because of the men and because of the women who were lynched, who were humiliated, who were discriminated against, who were suppressed, who were repressed and oppressed, for the right for the equality at the polls,” Winfrey said at one point during her speech before a packed house at the Cobb Civic Center. “And I want you to know that their blood has seeped into my DNA, and I refuse to let their sacrifices be in vain. I refuse,” she continued on to say.
Winfrey and Abrams had spent the early part of the day stumping throughout Marietta and Decatur in an effort to steer some of the more traditionally Republican districts in the former Georgia House of Representatives minority leader’s direction.
During the 2:00 p.m. address, Winfrey shook off assumptions that she is tied to Abrams by way of political affiliation, declaring that she is a registered independent. The influential media titan also insisted that members of the press can save all speculation that her sudden emergence as a key contributor to Abrams’ campaign might infer that she’s got a future in politics, stating plainly, “I don’t want to run, OK? I’m not trying to test any waters – don’t want to go in those waters.”
As was reported by the Associated Press, Winfrey’s presence was rivaled by an appearance that Vice President Mike Pence was making on behalf of Georgia Secretary of State, and opponent to Abrams, Brian Kemp. Pence’s outlook on Winfrey had much less to do about politics than it did celebrity, as he wrote her endorsement off as typical of an Abrams campaign that he claimed to be “bankrolled by Hollywood liberals.”
“I’d like to remind Stacey and Oprah and Will Ferrell, I’m kind of a big deal, too,” Pence told a crowd of supporters in Dalton. “A message for all Stacey Abrams’ liberal friends: This ain’t Hollywood. This is Georgia,” he’d add.
By all indications, it appears that Abrams has indeed been favored by outspoken celebrities of late. Prior to Oprah tipping the scale, Ferrell, producer Will Packer, and rapper Common were just a few figures from the entertainment business who’ve joined a surge of support for Abrams from party leaders ranging from U.S. Senators Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris, to former President Barack Obama.