Oprah for President - What's Your Point?
HOUSTON (FOX 26) - This week's panel: Bob Price - associate Editor of Breitbart Texas,, Nyanza Moore - progressive commentator and Houston attorney, Tony Diaz- Chicano educator and activist, Marcus Davis - host of "Sunday Morning Live", Bill King - businessman, columnist and former Kemah Mayor, and Jessica Colon - Republican strategist., join Greg Groogan in discussing the possibility of Oprah running for President.
President Donald Trump says he would beat Oprah Winfrey in a presidential contest but doesn't think she will run.
Trump spoke Tuesday at the White House as he met with lawmakers on immigration. He says, "Oprah would be a lot of fun." But he says, "I don't think she's going to run."
The president added that he appeared on one of the media mogul's final shows and knows her "very well."
Winfrey gave an impassioned speech Sunday night at the Golden Globes that has sparked talk about whether she might run for president.
Oprah Winfrey's best friend, Gayle King, is downplaying any suggestion that Winfrey might run for president.
King, a CBS host, says that Winfrey is "intrigued by the idea" of a presidential bid in 2020, but that after a long conversation with her friend the night before, she doesn't see it happening.
King said: "She loves this country and would like to be of service in some way. But I don't think she's actively considering it at this time."
She added, "You always have the right to change her mind."
President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka is endorsing Oprah Winfrey's message, if not a political future, in a recent tweet.
She wrote: "Just saw @Oprah's empowering and inspiring speech at last night's #GoldenGlobes. Let's all come together, women & men, & say #TIMESUP! #UNITED."
Actress Alyssa Milano and others quickly chimed in, pointing out that Ivanka Trump's tweet doesn't mention that her father faces accusations of sexual misconduct by several women.
Milano responded to Ivanka's tweet: "Great! You can make a lofty donation to the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund that is available to support your father's accusers."
The idea of bumper stickers reading "Oprah 2020" may be a liberal fantasy, but some Democratic Party activists are chattering about a Winfrey for president campaign anyway.
Winfrey's impassioned speech Sunday night at the Golden Globes sparked talk about whether she might follow in the footsteps of another wildly wealthy media star who jumped into politics by campaigning for the highest office in the land, Donald Trump.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - As Democrats nationwide encourage Oprah Winfrey to seek the presidency in 2020, those closest to the media mogul are sending mixed messages about her political intentions.
Her best friend, CBS News host Gayle King, said Tuesday that Winfrey is "intrigued" by the idea of a White House bid.
"She loves this country and would like to be of service in some way, but I don't think she's actively considering it at this time," King said, noting that she spoke to Winfrey at length the night before. "I also know that after years of watching the Oprah show, you always have the right to change your mind."
On Monday, Winfrey's longtime partner, Stedman Graham, told the Los Angeles Times that "it's up to the people" whether she will be president, adding, "She would absolutely do it."
The presidential buzz follows Winfrey's impassioned call for "a brighter morning even in our darkest nights" at the Golden Globes on Sunday night in a speech that left some viewers contemplating the idea of the Democratic Party embracing a celebrity candidate of its own to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020. Trump, of course, was little more than a businessman-turned-reality-television-star before his extraordinary political rise.
Trump, who has lauded Winfrey as worthy of the vice presidency, dismissed her Tuesday as a threat, albeit cordially.
"I'll beat Oprah. Oprah would be a lot of fun. I know her very well," Trump said at the White House as he met with lawmakers to discuss immigration. "I like Oprah. I don't think she's going to run."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., noted that Winfrey, like Trump, lacks any kind of governing experience.
"I think one of the arguments for Oprah is 45," Pelosi said, referring to Trump in shorthand for the 45th president. "I think one of the arguments against Oprah is 45."
Even so, for Democrats in early voting states, and perhaps for a public that largely disapproves of Trump's job performance, the notion of a popular media figure as a presidential candidate is not as strange as it once seemed.
"Look, it's ridiculous - and I get that," said Brad Anderson, Barack Obama's 2012 Iowa campaign director, who supports the idea of Winfrey running. "At the same time, politics is ridiculous right now."
Winfrey's speech as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award touched on her humble upbringing and childhood wonder in civil rights heroes.
But it was her exhortation of the legions of women who have called out sexual harassers - and her dream of a day "when nobody has to say 'me too' again" - that got some influential political operatives thinking Winfrey might be just what the Democrats need. Her appeal extended well beyond her celebrity, some said, citing her compassion, kindness and devotion to helping others as a badly needed change after Trump.
"People need to have hope," said Ray Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, who encouraged the idea of an Oprah run. "If it means looking at one of these celebrities that have a moral core, that are compassion and intelligent, I think that people should look to where they can during these very, very difficult times."
Even Trump's daughter Ivanka endorsed Oprah's message, if not a political future, in a tweet Monday. "Just saw @Oprah's empowering and inspiring speech at last night's #GoldenGlobes. Let's all come together, women & men, & say #TIMESUP! #UNITED."
Trump's job approval rating sat at just 32 percent in December, according to an Associated Press-NORC poll. And though polls show his approval up slightly since, Trump is the least popular first-year president on record. He has also been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, though he has vehemently denied the allegations.
Winfrey, in September and October, publicly dismissed the notion of seeking the nation's highest office, though she noted that Trump's victory made her rethink the requirements of the office.
The 64-year-old media mogul has become a cultural phenomenon over the past 30-plus years, born into a poor home in Mississippi but breaking through as a television news and talk show personality in the 1980s. Over 30 years, she became the face of television talk shows, starred and produced feature films, and began her own network.
Trump himself has lavished praise on Winfrey over the years, including in 2015, when he said that he would consider her as a running mate on his Republican ticket. "I'd love to have Oprah. I think we'd win easily, actually," Trump told ABC News at the time.
Late-night show host Jimmy Kimmel said Monday that he preferred Winfrey to Trump.
"Given the choice between Oprah and our current president, I'm on the bus with Oprah traveling the country encouraging people to sign up and vote," he said.
Some political operatives think she has what it takes to be a viable presidential contender.
"She would be a serious candidate," said Jennifer Palmieri, former White House communications director under President Barack Obama and the communications director for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.
Beyond her rise from poverty, Winfrey's success as a multidimensional media figure has come from promoting ways for women to assert themselves, typically outside the political arena. That could soften what Palmieri describes as an enduring resistance among some voters to women with political ambition.
"I think lessons we all learned from watching Hillary's run, and how her ambition was unfavorably and unfairly viewed, coupled with Oprah's existing popularity, could give Oprah a strong start," Palmieri said.
Peoples reported from New York. Associated Press writers Andrew Taylor and Catherine Lucey in Washington and Dave Bauder in New York contributed to this report.