What You Need To Know About Oprah's Rumored Run For President

After the 2018 Golden Globes, everyone began speculating about whether or not Oprah Winfrey will run for president in 2020. It all started with a joke told by host Seth Meyers in his opening monologue, reported CNN. "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," Meyers said. "And some have said that night convinced him to run. And if that's true, I would just like to say Oprah you will never be President. You don't have what it takes."

He may have been joking, but many are convinced that Oprah would make the perfect candidate in 2020's presidential election. Could a political future be in the cards for the media personality?

Ivanka Trump might be on board

If Seth Meyers' jokes weren't enough to convince voters, Oprah's speech upon accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes helped to win over more people. Even President Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, didn't let the fact that Oprah could very well end up running against her father stop her from showing support for the speech, which she called "empowering" and "inspiring," in a tweet.

Donald Trump said he would consider Oprah as a running mate back in 1999

This isn't the first time that Oprah's name has come up as a potential political hopeful. When Donald Trump discussed the possibility of running for president in 1999, he named Oprah as an ideal running mate. 

When asked on Hardball with Chris Matthews if he would consider a woman as his running mate, Trump said, "Well I would consider... I threw out the name of a friend of mine who I think the world of she's great... Oprah Winfrey who is really great. And I think we would be a very formidable team."

She once thought she didn't have the right experience

In a 2017 interview with David Rubenstein of Bloomberg TV, Oprah talked about her thoughts on running for office. Rubenstein asked, "Have you ever thought that, given the popularity you have — we haven't broken the glass ceiling yet for women — that you could actually run for president and actually be elected?"

Oprah said that she had "never considered the question even a possibility." Rubenstein quipped that "it's clear you don't need government experience to be elected president of the United States."

"That's what I thought," answered Oprah. "I thought, 'Oh gee, I don't have the experience, I don't know enough.' And now I'm thinking, 'Oh.'"

She has influenced elections before

While she may have never run for office before, Oprah has had a significant impact on previous presidential elections. In 2008, she supported then-candidate Barack Obama, and her endorsement helped him get the nomination. Craig Garthwaite, a professor who co-wrote a study celebrity endorsements in the election, told OpenSecrets Blog that "Winfrey's endorsement of President Barack Obama was responsible for 1 million of his votes in the Democratic primary during the 2008 election cycle, giving him an edge over Hillary Clinton in the popular vote count."

Oprah's popularity helped win the nomination for Obama in what Garthwaite called "the Oprah effect." "If you look at the commercial landscape of Oprah, her influence exceeds that of any other celebrity — perhaps in history," he said.

Oprah also endorsed Obama's former rival, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 election, stating "I'm with her," in an interview with Good Morning America. "I would also say, that regardless of your politics, you cannot be a woman in the world and not see that this is a monumental time for women breaking the ceiling." she added.

She has said that she will never run for office

Oprah has said before that she will never seek public office. Politico quoted a June 2017 podcast from The Hollywood Reporter, in which Oprah said, "I will never run for public office. That's a pretty definitive thing." When asked if she thought she could defeat Trump, she said, "I don't know. I don't know the answer to that. But I'll never have to know the answer to that, because I will never run for public office."

A few months later, in October 2017, Oprah was again asked about the possibility of running in 2020 on CBS This Morning. "There will be no running of office of any kind, for me," she answered.

She dropped a hint on Twitter that she might run

In spite of Oprah's insistence that running for public office isn't in her future, she dropped a hint on Twitter in September 2017 that she might be changing her mind. In the tweet, she shared a piece from the New York Post, "Democrats' best hope for 2020: Oprah."

Oprah tagged the author of the piece, John Podhoretz, writing "Thanks for your VOTE of confidence!"

She's "uniquely positioned"

John Podhoretz wrote in the New York Post that Oprah's qualifications make her an ideal candidate. "If any figure in the United States bears watching over the next couple of years as our political culture continues the radical transformation that led to the election of Donald Trump, it's Oprah," he said. "I believe she's uniquely positioned, should she wish to commit herself, to seek the Democratic nomination for president and challenge Trump in 2020."

He compared Oprah to a "mirror image of Trump," with a few key differences. "It goes beyond that," wrote Podhoretz. "He's rich and she's rich, but she made her $3 billion herself and with no controversy. She is, in herself, the embodiment of the American Dream. He got famous from TV, and so did she, but she became vastly more famous and vastly more successful at it."

According to Podhoretz, it's not a question of whether or not Oprah can take on Trump, but of whether she will choose to.

NBC backed her candidacy in a tweet

After Seth Meyers' Golden Globes suggestion that Oprah would make a good president, NBC wrote in a now-deleted tweet, "Nothing but respect for OUR future president," reported Yahoo. The tweet elicited outrage from many, including Donald Trump Jr. who tweeted, "In case anyone had any doubts about where the media stands this should take care of it. The bias against @realDonaldTrump is now so obvious they have simply given up hiding it. Can you trust anything they say at this point? Americans see the truth in job #s & in their wallets!"

In a follow-up tweet the next morning, NBC wrote that the deleted tweet "was sent by a third party agency for NBC Entertainment in real time during the broadcast" and was "in reference to a joke made during the monologue and not meant to be a political statement."

She is all about empowering women

Oprah has long been outspoken about empowering women, making her a role model to countless people who would love to see her in the White House. "I have a strong interest — and now background experience — in helping girls become who they were meant to be," she told People in 2016. Oprah's commitment to shattering gender barriers could be what pushes her to run for office.

Anonymous sources say Oprah is considering the possibility

Despite Oprah's prior assertions to the contrary, CNN reported that two sources who are close to Oprah say that she is seriously contemplating a presidential run. While they declined to be named, they revealed that Oprah's confidants have been urging her to run for several months, although she has not yet made up her mind.

Her partner says "it's up to the people"

The people closest to Oprah are confident that she would make a great president. "I thought that speech was incredible," Oprah's best friend, Gayle King, told the Los Angeles Times. "I got goosebumps." 

Oprah's longtime partner, Stedman Graham, didn't deny that a presidential run could be in Oprah's future. "It's up to the people," he said. "She would absolutely do it."