While rumours have been swirling that Democrats have been trying to enlist Oprah Winfrey to mount a presidential bid, are they true?
The wheels got rolling in a column in the New York Post that described the beloved former talk show queen as “the Democrats’ best hope for 2020,” commenting on her performance while handling a heated political debate between Michigan voters during the season premiere of “60 Minutes”.
“Listening, asking, speaking without judgment, trying to find common ground — it was a superb performance by Oprah, and I use the word ‘performance’ advisedly,” wrote columnist John Podhoretz. “She was dazzling in exactly the way that Oprah could always be dazzling, finding a tone appropriate for the moment without being heavy-handed.”
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Oprah seemingly confirmed she was ready to throw her hat in the ring when she sent Podhoretz a shout-out on Twitter, linking to his column while writing, “Thanks for your VOTE of confidence!”
However, a rep for Winfrey insists the tweet was simply a note of thanks and not a declaration of her presidential ambitions.
“She was just thanking the reporter, she is not running for office,” a publicist for Winfrey told The Wrap on Friday.
However, The Wrap also listed some poll numbers indicating that, in an Oprah-vs.-Donald face-off, Winfrey would likely win, with 47 per cent of respondents saying they’d cast a vote for Winfrey while only 40 per cent said they would vote for Trump.
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The Wrap also spoke with Jack Pitney, professor of government at California’s Claremont McKenna College, who admitted the notion of Winfrey being elected is not that far-fetched. “Two years ago I would have laughed and said this is ridiculous,” he said. “But now we have a reality show celebrity in the White House, why not? Oprah Winfrey is a billionaire, too. As I understand the difference, she actually earned it.”