Report: Oprah Winfrey ‘Actively Thinking’ About Running for President

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

A new report claims sources close to Oprah Winfrey have confirmed the entertainment mogul and actress is considering a run for the presidency in 2020.

Two sources close to Winfrey say the 63-year-old media mogul is “actively thinking” about seeking the presidency and has engaged in several conversations about the matter saying back months, according to a report Monday from CNN’s Brian Stelter.

The sources reportedly stressed that Winfrey has not yet decided whether to launch a campaign for the presidency.

Winfrey set off calls for a possible run while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille honorary award at the Golden Globes Sunday night, during which she delivered a rousing speech that emphasized women’s rights amid the current #MeToo movement.

“I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon!” Winfrey said during her speech. “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.”

In the wake of the speech, numerous celebrities and other media figures took to Twitter to encourage Winfrey to run.

“She launched a rocket tonight. I want her to run for president,” actress Meryl Streep said at Sunday night’s ceremony, according to the Washington Post. “I don’t think she had any intention [of declaring]. But now she doesn’t have a choice.”

The evening’s host, Seth Meyers, actually joked about a possible Oprah presidency during his opening monologue.

“Oprah, in 2011, I told some jokes about our current president at the White House Correspondents Dinner, jokes about how he was unqualified to be president, and some have said that night convinced him to run,” Meyers said. “So if that’s true, I just want to say: ‘Oprah, you will never be president! You do not have what it takes!'”

Winfrey has variously toyed with the possibility of running for president and dismissing the idea outright.

“There will be no running for office of any kind for me,” she said during an appearance on CBS This Morning in October.

Some Democrats believe Winfrey’s wealth and name recognition could make her a formidable candidate to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020, despite her lack of political experience.

But as discussion intensified about the subject following Sunday night’s Golden Globes, numerous social media users took to Twitter to suggest that Winfrey would be forced to answer some potentially uncomfortable questions in any political run, including her relationship with disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual assault by dozens of women. Twitter users shared photos of Winfrey and Weinstein and captioned them with the hashtag #OprahKnew.

The billionaire mogul has also faced scrutiny for her opening of a girl’s school in South Africa in 2007, where one of the matrons was accused of several instances of sexual molestation.

Still, when asked at the Globes whether she might run, Winfrey’s longtime partner Stedman Graham suggested she could do so.

“It’s up to the people. She would absolutely do it,” Graham told the Los Angeles Times.


Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum


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