Oprah Winfrey Dismissed 2020 Run Weeks Before Golden Globes Speech: ‘Don’t Have the DNA for It’

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 12: Oprah Winfrey on stage during her An Evening With Oprah tour on December 12, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey pointedly dismissed the idea of a potential run for the presidency in 2020 weeks before her headline-grabbing acceptance speech at the Golden Globe Awards sparked frenzied speculation about a possible campaign.

In an interview with InStyle magazine Editor-in-Chief Laura Brown three weeks before the Globes, but published Thursday, the billionaire media mogul said she had been approached by someone who offered to help launch a presidential campaign, but she had turned the person down.

“I’ve always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not,” Winfrey told the magazine. “And so it’s not something that interests me. I don’t have the DNA for it.”

Oprah Winfrey accepts the 2018 Cecil B. DeMille Award and speaks onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

“Gayle [King]—who knows me as well as I know myself practically—has been calling me regularly and texting me things, like a woman in the airport saying, ‘When’s Oprah going to run?'” Winfrey added. “So Gayle sends me these things, and then she’ll go, ‘I know, I know, I know! It wouldn’t be good for you—it would be good for everyone else.’ I met with someone the other day who said that they would help me with a campaign. That’s not for me.”

Winfrey kicked off a storm of speculation about a potential run for the presidency in 2020 as she accepted the honorary Cecil B. DeMille award at the Golden Globes this month.

“I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon!” Winfrey said in a fiery acceptance speech about the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. “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.”

Nearly immediately after the speech, “Oprah 2020” began to trend on Twitter as celebrities and media personalities urged her to challenge President Donald Trump. The speculation was fueled by a CNN report that claimed Winfrey was “actively thinking” about a run, as well as a comment to the Los Angeles Times from her longtime partner Stedman Graham, who told the paper she would “absolutely do it.”

Still, a Morning Consult poll of 2,000 registered voters this month found just 24 percent of the American public wants Winfrey to run for president, including just 38 percent of registered Democrats.

Elsewhere in the InStyle interview, Winfrey commented further on what’s next for the #MeToo movement, which exploded into the culture following allegations of sexual misconduct against film producer Harvey Weinstein and dozens of other prominent men in entertainment and media.

“t has seared into the consciousness a level of awareness that was not there before. That’s the most important thing to me,” she said. “You can see you’re not alone.”

See Winfrey’s full interview with InStyle here.


Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum