Oprah Denies Presidential Ambitions, As 2020 Speculation Rises

With Donald Trump yet to tweet, one of the bigger political stories in the interim this morning is whether 2020 will see president Donald Trump replaced by president Oprah Winfrey. It all started with a surprising tweet by NBC: "Nothing but respect for OUR future president. #GoldenGlobes"

To be sure, speculation about Oprah may be running is not new per se, and was certainly prompted by the Trump victory.

However, minutes after giving a rousing speech at the Golden Globes Awards that promised “a new day” for women, minorities and the downtrodden...

... Oprah Winfrey said she has no ambitions to run for president. In a brief interview backstage at the event, Winfrey was told that “Oprah 2020” was circulating on Twitter, and asked whether she planned to run. “I don’t -- I don’t,” the 63-year-old billionaire told Bloomberg.

By then, however, the drumbeat was well underway according to Bloomberg.

“She. Is. Running,” said John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary magazine. “Oprah. 2020,” said Shaun King, the Black Lives Matter activist. The host of the Golden Globes, late-night comedian Seth Meyers, jokingly urged Winfrey to run in his opening monologue, noting that President Donald Trump had reportedly decided to make his bid for the office after he was the butt of Meyers’s jokes at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2011.

In her speech, Winfrey, worth ~$3.6Bn, made references to the sexual harassment scandal in Hollywood and marked the recent death of Recy Taylor, whose sexual assault in 1944 became a focal point for civil rights activists, in her speech to accept the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement.

“I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon!” Winfrey said. “And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say, ‘Me too’ again.”

Still, even with Winfrey’s denial to Bloomberg, the speculation is likely to continue.

"It’s up to the people," Winfrey’s longtime partner, Stedman Graham, told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday when asked about a presidential run. “She would absolutely do it.”