Now Oprah is thinking of running for President

Last night at the Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey got the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime contributions to the field of entertainment. She was the first black woman to achieve this, though three black men had won it previously (Sidney Poitier in 1982, Morgan Freeman in 2012 and Denzel Washington in 2016). This was well deserved given not only her contributions to television, but her skills as an actor and producer. Further, her nine-minute speech after accepting the award was pretty good (see it here), concentrating on women’s rights and their pushback against sexual harassment and assault not just in Hollywood, but everywhere. (My one beef: she brought up Rosa Parks, an overused leitmotif for anyone who experiences oppression.)

Now it’s been bruited about for a while, not by Winfrey but others, that Oprah might be a good Presidential candidate in the next election, or in 2024. (She’d surely be a Democrat!). Now, however, perhaps heartened by the approbation she got for her speech, she herself is thinking about running for President. As CNN reports:

Oprah Winfrey is “actively thinking” about running for president, two of her close friends told CNN Monday.

The two friends, who requested anonymity in order to speak freely, talked in the wake of Winfrey’s extraordinary speech at the Golden Globes Sunday night, which spurred chatter about a 2020 run.

Some of Winfrey’s confidants have been privately urging her to run, the sources said.

One of the sources said these conversations date back several months. The person emphasized that Winfrey has not made up her mind about running.

A representative for Winfrey did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

. . . After the speech, Winfrey’s longtime partner Stedman Graham was quoted saying a run is certainly a possibility.

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

But here’s the problem:

Winfrey has deep pockets, an even deeper well of charisma, and instant name recognition, thanks to decades on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Reese Witherspoon alluded to her friend’s superstar status while introducing her at the Globes: “There’s only one person whose name is a verb, an adjective, and a feeling. And that is Oprah.”

What she lacks is political experience.

In an interview with Winfrey on Bloomberg last March, interviewer David Rubenstein broached the possibility, saying “It’s clear you don’t need government experience to be elected president of the United States.”

She indicated that the same thought had crossed her mind after Trump’s election: “I thought, ‘Oh gee, I don’t have the experience, I don’t know enough.’ And now I’m thinking, ‘Oh. Oh!'”

Yes, it’s clear that you don’t need government experience to be elected President of the United States—as we just learned to our sorrow. Celebrity on television is sufficient. But look what we got!

Now I’m not comparing Oprah to The Donald. I’d much prefer her to be President than Trump. She may be inexperienced, but her heart is in the right place, and we wouldn’t see the insanity we see now in the Presidency. Were she the Democratic candidate, I’d vote for her over every Republican candidate that’s possible in the next eight years.

But surely we who are Democrats can find a candidate who’s good and also has experience. One woman I can think of is Elizabeth Warren, who would likely suffer in an election from the “New England Liberal” stigma. Another, which I’m adding here because I forgot, is Joe Biden. But I can’t think of any Presidents in our time who have leapfrogged from celebrity directly to the Presidency without any political experience—save Trump. (Dwight Eisenhower may be an exception, as his experience before the Presidency consisted of being a military leader and President of Columbia University, but even military leadership helps one as President.) Politics is an acquired skill, and while Oprah is a polymath, adept in acting, producing, and entrepreneurship, how would she fare with Congress?

We Democrats have a problem: we don’t have many viable candidates, although I’d vote for someone like Kerry (with his flaws) or Warren over any Republican. The solution, though, is not to put up someone like Oprah because she’s charismatic and gave a good speech. I’m not even sure that Democrats would want her as a candidate over someone who’s been in politics for a while. I don’t have the answer—or a candidate—but the answer isn’t Oprah, at least not till she gets some political experience and shows herself capable of governing.

Oprah hysteria:

I asked Grania her opinion about this, and she responded (besides sending the tw**t above) this way:

Oprah is a better human being than Donald Trump by several orders of magnitude. She’s also a better businesswoman than DT by several orders of magnitude – her billions are self-made, after all.

But this just shows that the Dem-leaning Left has no thinking skills to set them above GOP supporters. It’s basically: let’s replace one zero-experience celebrity with another zero-experience celebrity because they make me feel good when they give rousing speeches.

Ah well, she can get Dr Oz and Dr Phil to reform healthcare… Free raspberry ketones for everyone, with a side-order of psychics. What could possibly go wrong?

I just had the horrible vision of Dr. Oz as the Surgeon General.

Well, let’s have a vote:

163 Comments

  1. Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    For the love of Caesar! Oprah Winfrey now? 😂

    • Lurker111
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      Indeed. It is so critical that the next president be a Democrat that playing around with ethnicities and gender issues should be avoided for 2020. The Dems should nominate an old white guy and win. We can deal with ethnic issues again once we’ve backed off from the brink of disaster. More specifically, you DO NOT want a nominee that will galvanize the racist/sexist factions of the Republican Party.

  2. Tom
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    American politics is becoming the laughing stock of the world.
    What next, perhaps a latter day Didius Julianus?

    • TJR
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Haven’t you got that already?

      On second thoughts, maybe he’s more like Nero.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        More like Caligula. Except instead of naming a horse to his cabinet, he’s stocked it with horses’ asses.

        • XCellKen
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          Mr Ed, the ORIGINAL “Stable Genius”, takes exception to your comment

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted January 8, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

            That was excellent!

          • Posted January 8, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

            Brilliant! Snort.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          Does he hate it if anyone says the word “goat” in his presence? Is he hairy like a goat?

  3. BobTerrace
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I would like to see Joe Biden with Elizabeth Warren as

    • Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      I forgot about Biden! Yes! I’ll add him to the post. Good old Joe!

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        With all the rumors about Trump’s deteriorating mental condition, I don’t think we’ll put another alter kocker in the White House anytime soon. Old Handsome Joe will turn 78 in 2020.

        Elizabeth Warren’s a coeval of yours, born in ’49, meaning she still got enough good years in her to make the run. 🙂

    • Historian
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      I have been aware for quite some time that Democrats lack a “bench.” That is, they lack well-qualified candidates for the presidency with name recognition and relatively young. I would vote for Joe Biden in a minute if he were 10 years younger. He will be almost 78 by the time of the 2020 election. We cannot assume that his health will hold if he should be elected. If he were to be nominated and win, his vice-presidential pick would be extremely important. I hope that the 2018 elections will result in younger, attractive candidates emerging. Most of the current Democratic hopefuls are ready for the geriatric ward, as I am.

    • John Conoboy
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      In a sane world, Biden would be a good candidate as he is intelligent, knows how government works, thoughtful, reasonably liberal, and a really decent guy. But the right will attack him relentlessly with examples of the times he mis-spoke. And, as others point out here, he is getting pretty old.

      • bundorgarden
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Does ‘mis-spoke’ mean ‘lie’?

        • eric
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          I’m sure he’s lied, but I’m guessing John was referring to Biden’s reputation for blurting out inappropriate things.

        • Posted January 8, 2018 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

          Yes. Let’s worry about Biden lying. Let’s definitely not worry about Trump lying.

  4. Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Someone who endorsed and helped launch Dr Oz, and Jenny Pennington, and Dr Phil?

    • Davide Spinello
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      And Jenny McCarthy could be appointed as FDA commissioner given her contribution in the public understanding and awareness of the link between vaccines and autism, that she could spread thanks to Oprah.

    • Juan
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Yeah,
      I have the same concern.
      Not exactly a beacon of rationality

    • dabertini
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      And what would become of Oprah’s spiritual adviser, once she got elected? She is pure woo.

      • Davide Spinello
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        The spiritual adviser could inform policies, offering unique insights into hope and the healing power of crystals. By teaming up with Gwyneth Paltrow they may carry the nation through the challenges that currently afflict real people.

        • Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

          Jade eggs for everyone?

          • Davide Spinello
            Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

            Of course, take care of fundamentals first.

            • Merilee
              Posted January 8, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

              Fundamentals…I see what you did there😬

        • Merilee
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          Like healing with jade vaginal eggs😬

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        He could have Nancy Reagan’s old astrologist’s office in the East Wing, right next to Steadman’s.

    • BJ
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      She has spread misinformation that has dire consequences for public health and knowledge for decades, and made billions doing it. She’s smart enough to know exactly what she’s been doing this whole time. I don’t think Oprah is someone whose public image of a good person should be trusted, but billions of dollars and keen business sense provides great PR!

  5. GBJames
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Sweet baby Jesus, no more entertainers please!

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Everyone who runs for this office today is an entertainer, don’t kid yourself.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      I know! I hoped that would have ended with Reagan and you know Arnold would have run for President if he could, though I think that would be not too bad.

      • dabertini
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

        Oh, please, no more birther episodes.

  6. Roger
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Don’t forget about “The Secret”. An obvious scam.

  7. Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Let her run for and work in lower public office first, please! This crazy train has got to stop.

    There are several other candidates that would be far better right now.
    Joe Biden & Bernie Sanders have name recognition. There are several others who are possible candidates with real experience as well.

    • Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Of course Eliz. Warren (no short term memory , I guess).

  8. Davide Spinello
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Oprah would surely be appealing to the “kale eating liberal types” (cit. Bill Maher), but I think that for the Democratic party to win the elections it is necessary to advance candidates that can talk about key issues without making lunatics like The Donald sound reasonable, and this requires as a premise to abandon the idiotic identity politics game.

  9. YF
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, I expected that you’d write on the Oprah bit, and I’m glad that you did. I share your sentiments. For all the goodness and liberalism that Oprah might represent, surely political experience has got to count for something when it comes to leading the most powerful nation in the world?

    On the other hand, I do believe that motivated, intelligent people can learn as they go. It would be a very steep learning curve indeed, but I would be willing to give her a shot at it, especially if she would be assisted in her decision making by highly qualified advisers and staff.

  10. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    First I must say that the next election in 2018 is very important. If the democrats can get both houses then whoever gets elected next time around will have a chance to do something. A great deal of time will be needed just fixing and rebuilding the damage that Trump and the republicans have done. If the democrats do take over all three branches it would then be possible to get the money out and start representing the people for the first time in years.

    • John Conoboy
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Gerrymandering has all but made it impossible for the Dems to take the House. Better chance they can take the Senate. Ultimately, the long term problem is that the right may well control the Supreme Court for the next 30 to 40 years. If either Kennedy or Ginsberg leaves the court in the next 3 years, which is quite possible, then Drumpf or Pence will get to nominate a replacement and it will be a younger hard right justice like Gorsuch. The extreme right wing legal group, the Federalist Society, is the source for all republican Supreme Court nominations under W. and from Drumpf. There was an article about this a while back in the New Yorker.

      • Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        I love the word “Gerrymandering”. It rolls off the tongue and sounds so 19th century.

        I like the word so much, can I make a suggestion; when our host goes meandering around India (or some such bucket list place) discovering great new eats, meeting interesting people and of course the cats, can we say he is “Jerrymeandering”?

        • rickflick
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

          The word combines Jerry and meander. Sounds right to me. 😎

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          Got the makings of a new “coyneage.”

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        I think you spend too much time worrying about the small stuff. Look at the last election they just had in Virginia. The democrats killed them, gerrymandering and all. You also worry a lot about the supreme count. Why not worry about something you can vote for or do something about? All the concentration on the presidency and the supreme court is what is wrong with democrats. Win at the local level and get the democrats to vote and the rest will take care of itself.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        The Dems have a better than even-money shot at the House in the early odds-making. They’ve got a shot at the Senate, too, but it’s a tough map for them, with only nine GOP seats up for grabs, while needing to defend 24 (10 of them in states Trump carried in 2016).

        Of the nine GOP seats, the Dems have a real shot at winning in Nevada and Arizona (where Jeff Flake is resigning), especially if the elephants put up a wacko like “Chemtrail” Kelli Ward for that seat. (Arizona might end up with another open senate seat, depending on how things go with John McCain’s brain cancer.)

        I suspect we’re in for some major (maybe even even cataclysmic) events in the next 10 months that will rock the 2018 midterms.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          If his attorneys allow him to be questioned by Mueller as they are talking about now, that rock may be a big one.

        • Harrison
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          “(10 of them in states Trump carried in 2016)”

          I don’t think this is particularly relevant. Trump’s popularity is in the toilet and we’ve already seen his endorsement amounts to squat.

        • BJ
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

          One thing that concerns me is, if (when) the Dems experience big(ly) gains this year, they’ll sit back and think all is well and carry on as they have the last few years. The party and its leadership will likely fail to understand what led to their 2016 results, not recognizing that most of their success in 2018 was the result of the other side (and the President, in particular) being so unpalatable that it made them look good in comparison. Long-term, this is not a good thing for the Dems, as they desperately need to take stock of their positions, leaders, and public face, and figure out why they haven’t had greater success recently.

          • rickflick
            Posted January 8, 2018 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

            I think a big problem for dems and any party really is that it’s hard to govern a country so divided. There is the south and the conservative wing and the coasts which are liberal. Make some folks happy and you infuriate the others. There is no sense of united effort or national purpose and direction.

            • BJ
              Posted January 8, 2018 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

              In any political system, making some people happy will inevitably make others unhappy, but that doesn’t mean being divisive or fostering a divisive environment. Both parties in the US now actively engage in very divisive politics — usually as red meat for their base — and it doesn’t have to be that way. Bernie Sanders is a good example of someone who, while many people didn’t like his policies, was not someone who constantly made divisive speeches or remarks, nor let his campaign surrogates do so. He never belittled people who disagreed with him and he didn’t treat anyone like they were stupid. Contrast this with Hillary Clinton, who not only made divisive remarks (e.g. “basket of deplorables”) but happily let all of her surrogates sling mud at anyone who wasn’t likely to vote for her.

              Bill Clinton was excellent at avoiding divisiveness, even if most conservatives didn’t like many of his policies. Obama was pretty good at not being divisive during his first term, although his party wasn’t helping him by that point. The Democrativ party of Bill Clinton’s presidency, however, was not nearly as divisive, and it wasn’t a matter of policy, but of how they presented themselves and spoke to the people.

            • BJ
              Posted January 8, 2018 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

              To put it succinctly: almost all policy is divisive, but politics is not unless one wishes it to be.

              • rickflick
                Posted January 8, 2018 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

                It may take a new charismatic individual who can bridge the chasm between voting blocks. She would have to work against the current state of politics and bring back a sense of national purpose. The moon shot was a help to JFK and wars can cause a patriotic cohesion. But, there’s a long way to go and a lot of unnecessary division to overcome. Right now the dems don’t seem to have a program that can unite US. Heath care, taxes, global warming, poverty, are areas that should be addressed but in the next campaigns, I doubt that they will. Dems will try to be not-Trump.

            • Harrison
              Posted January 9, 2018 at 5:12 am | Permalink

              I don’t think it’s actually that hard. At least some of Trump’s success was built around him campaigning as an economic populist. It was a giant load of baloney and many on the left knew it, but for some reason nobody attempted to offer genuine populism as an alternative.

              Dems choose not to fight very hard for policies that actually poll very well. This is why a lot of people who are sympathetic to Dems feel dispirited. It’s also why the Dems’ failures are their own, and not the fault of Republicans.

  11. Saikat Biswas
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I hope that someday Americans, and especially Democrats, are able to prefer policies to personalities.

    • Davide Spinello
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      The Democratic party is doubling down on what made them loose in 2016. You think they would learn (for example the recent Alabama case) but then they go back to Oprah.

      • Saikat Biswas
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        Whatever makes them feel good about themselves. Maybe President Winfrey would award all of her supporters a shiny new Tesla after she’s elected.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          There’s a better shot at that than there is of Mexico paying for Trump’s tortilla wall.

      • Historian
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        You’re jumping the gun. Just because there is some talk that Oprah is considering running hardly means that she will or that she would be nominated. I find it amusing that some people make the quantum leap from Oprah musing about running to condemning the Democratic Party for nominating her.

      • Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        It does appear that the Democratic party’s strategy is to lose at every opportunity but I am not sure what you’re referring to in the “recent Alabama case”.

        Defeating Roy Moore is an example of not learning the lessons of 2016?

        Walk me through it, please.

        • Davide Spinello
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

          I meant that in that case they got it right: instead of playing identity politics they defeated the horrid Moore with a good candidate that mainly talked about policy rather than the patriarchy. So I would hope that the party would learn from what works rather than going back to Oprah (by going back to Oprah I mean going back to feel good platitudes about hope and afterlife and how everybody else is a racist bigot for not embracing it).

          • Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

            Oh! Sorry I misread you! You are quite right, in my estimation.

            Carry on…

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted January 8, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

            Not to get all identity politics about it, but Doug Jones rode a record wave of 95% of the black vote to victory. Seventy-two percent of white Alabamian male voters, the vast majority of them Republicans, were willing to send a bible-thumping, kiddie-diddling wacko to the US Senate.

        • Simon Hayward
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

          My reading of what Davide said is that Alabama was an example of learning the lesson of 2016 (“but THEN they go back..”). That lesson would seem to be that if you nominate a recognized and accomplished candidate, which Jones is and was, that they can win.

          • Simon Hayward
            Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

            never mind!

        • Paul S
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

          I took the comment as victory over Roy Moore is a lesson we should learn from. But instead of qualified candidates like Doug Jones, we get Oprah.

          • Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, I derped on the reading comprehension there.

  12. Taz
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Is Jed Bartlett available?

    • Merilee
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Jed Bartlett…+1

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Nah, Oprah for Secretary of State. She strikes me as having topnotch diplomatic skills, and she has at least as much experience as current SecState Rexxon.

    I expect in the next presidential election for the American electorate to opt for a candidate with experience and a political track record, rather than another neophyte cultural celebrity. We Yanks tend to vacillate between archetypes — from the criminal Nixon to the choirboy Carter, to Ronnie Raygun, to the triangulating Clinton, to the cowboy Bush, to the cerebral Obama, to the oafish, unthinking Trump. The pendulum will swing back to a safe, experienced bet.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      I think you just described the cast of Star Trek.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

        Or the “cantina scene” from Star Wars.

  14. rickflick
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    One of Oprah’s TV show tricks is to give away cars and TV’s and jewelry to her adoring female fans in the audience. They jump up and down, scream. Orgasmic quantities of tears of gratitude gush everywhere. The purpose of this exercise is to provide fans at home with a sense of burning envy and to immerse them a worship service to materialism and greed(so much like the Pentecostals). How this would translate into her political management of our government is beyond my ken. I want another boring professional bureaucrat like Obama or Clinton.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      I agree wholeheartedly. Her political inexperience aside, there’s a dangerous cargo cult mentality to her giveaways. She has the aura of a messiah about her and some consider it an act of treachery to criticize her in any way because of what she does for minorities and women — dazzle and razzle them. In my estimation, she’s a consummate huckster, albeit a liberal one, and for all her preaching about spirituality and spiritual values, she’s phenomenally self-aggrandizing and materialistic. From what I’ve read, she can be and frequently is imperious and demands special treatment of the kind that would give the press a field day. People give Kitty Kelly short shrift, call her a sensationalist who makes things up whole cloth. But Kitty Kelley’s book about Oprah is well documented and certainly rings true to all but her most diehard devotees.

      Trump has turned the office of the president into a trophy position for celebrities and moguls, not for those with any kind of political acumen and true commitment to democratic principles Pretty soon we’ll have Kanye West and Kim Kardashian running for the presidency, Caitlin Jenner, Jay Z and Beyonce, Katy Perry…the list goes on.

      • Posted January 8, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        “She has the aura of a messiah about her and some consider it an act of treachery to criticize her in any way because of what she does for minorities and women — dazzle and razzle them. In my estimation, she’s a consummate huckster, albeit a liberal one, and for all her preaching about spirituality and spiritual values, she’s phenomenally self-aggrandizing and materialistic.”

        So you’re saying she’s a shoe-in for the Democratic nomination.

        I’m kidding. But, sadly, only a little.

      • BJ
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        Such perfection is not for mortal posts!

      • somer
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • darrelle
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        I agree with your assessment of Oprah. Well stated.

  15. nicky
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Yes, that is a problem, There is no well-known Democrat that is obvious POTUS material. (Well I thought that of Obama too, how wrong I was!)
    I think Gary Hart did quite well as governor in CA, but he will be closing in on 80 in 2020.
    Elizabeth Warren -which you mentioned- might indeed be a good candidate, but will she ‘galvanise’ enough support? I suppose there are several others that I don’t know about.

    “Were she [Oprah] the Democratic candidate, I’d vote for her over every Republican candidate that’s possible in the next eight years.” Well, despite my disagreements, I’d probably rather vote for Condoleezza over Oprah, precisely because the former has more political experience (but then I guess Condoleezza is not a possible Rep candidate).

    • Historian
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Gary Hart was a senator from Colorado. The current governor of California is Jerry Brown and is now 79.

      • nicky
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        OOps!

      • nicky
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        How did I conflate those 2? And it is not something new, I realise now that thought they were the same person for years. Can’t believe it!

  16. TJR
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    How about we lend you Boris Johnson? He’s half American.

    • Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Only the nasty half. You keep him.

    • docbill1351
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Boris Johnson’s tweets would be delightful and educational!

      I think that anyone who referred to his opponents as “supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies” would be a welcome change to hashtag SAD.

    • Tom
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Please please take Boris Johnson he is as intelligent as Mr Trump, has the same hair colour, is a total waste of space here in Britain and will give non stop entertainment for years to come

    • Andy
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      I have heard it said that he is eligible to be both prime minister in England AND president in the US. I’m not sure that’s true or not, but it’s a useful reminder that however bad things are, they could always be worse.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Simultaneously? 😉

        cr

  17. Mike Anderson
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t have a problem with Oprah for president. One thing Trump has shown us is how resilient our system it – one of the most incompetent people on the planet hasn’t been able to break the system. Certainly it’s degraded (and immigrants and refugees are truly, truly suffering because of Trump’s incompetence) but as a system it will recover very quickly once the tumor is removed.

    Oprah will have access to a lot of the Obama team, and I suspect she’d take advantage of that. Liberalism/activism + business might be a potent combination, and I don’t see much risk in that direction. As long as she surrounds herself with professional experienced government people it will be good (the risk is she’d bring along too many entertainment/media types, but I don’t think she’d do that).

    One of the things Obama made me realize is how important communication skills are, and Oprah is expert in that area.

    • Davide Spinello
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Great, she could start by fixing the Title IX mess.

      • Davide Spinello
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        P.S.: I was sarcastic.

        Anyway, the title IX mess is mainly attributable to Joe Biden, which starting from the good intent of fixing a problem created a disaster that now he is too stubborn to acknowledge (indeed doubling down on defending his bad policy). Policy making advised by Social Justice Warriors (with no balance from other perspectives) is a recipe for disaster.

        I would expect better from Biden.

        • tomh
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          The “other perspective” being the Injustice Warriors, I assume.”

          • Davide Spinello
            Posted January 8, 2018 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

            Right, either SJW or Nazi.

            #Trunp2020

            • Davide Spinello
              Posted January 8, 2018 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

              Misspelled The Donald

          • BJ
            Posted January 9, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

            All of us who don’t agree with the social justice crowd simply love injustice. We are just terrible people who want to watch the world burn. Injustice is what we strive for.

            Can’t believe you figured it out.

            But hey, such a reductive black and white/good and evil view of things, where anyone who disagrees with you on any policy is an nefarious Nazi who wants to bring injustice to everyone, is a trademark of the very people to which David was referring.

            • tomh
              Posted January 9, 2018 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

              Good thing he (or you) wasn’t generalizing.

    • Historian
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Trump has been in office for less than a year. He has plenty of time to break the system. Whether or not the system will recover when he is gone is something I am not sure about. If nothing else, the damage he is doing to the environment may be irreparable. In addition, the damage he has done to the institutions of government (particularly the presidency) may take a long time, if ever, to be repaired.

      • Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        “If nothing else, the damage he is doing to the environment may be irreparable.”

        I would add that the US’s standing in the world in almost all international theaters is already significantly degraded and probably also irreparable because of the Cheeto in Chief. The loss of this standing will be seen by many as a welcome relief from American hegemony, as they see it, but it will have far-reaching consequences for us and the rest of the world. Few of them good, IMO.

        • nicky
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

          “Few of them good”, indeed. I love understatement.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          That is, indeed, a good point.

          The US does indeed have a huge influence on what happens in the rest of the world. The one thing that moderates the dreadful effects of Trump, worldwide, is the fact that he is so patently batshit insane, unstable and repulsive that nobody else in the world wants to appear to be associated with him.

          So in a paradoxical sort of way, his worst attributes are mitigating the damage he could do.

          cr

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      … one of the most incompetent people on the planet hasn’t been able to break the system.

      Still a bit early to count those chicks yet. Trump’s gonna stress our institutions and system of checks-and-balances in a way the nation hasn’t seen since the Civil War. I suspect the system will hold, but there’s damage being done.

      And there’s always the matter of NoKo. It’s all fun and games till the first nuke launches.

      • Mike Anderson
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Still a bit early to count those chicks yet.

        True.

        Trump’s gonna stress our institutions and system of checks-and-balances in a way the nation hasn’t seen since the Civil War. I suspect the system will hold, but there’s damage being done.

        Also true, but another way to frame it is that he’s exposing existing weaknesses in the system. I think the permanent damage, other than that to immigrants and refugees, will be relatively minor (assuming no more Supreme appointments and no war with NK).

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        If, by the end of Trump’s presidency, I am not digging for cans of beans in the snow of a nuclear winter, I will grant the system has held.

  18. Mark Reaume
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    The only democrat that hasn’t been mentioned already that I can think of and is credible is Gavin Newsom. The right would hate him since he’s from San Francisco but he seems to have all of the liberal checkboxes checked.

    • Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      What about Corrie Booker?

      • Mark Reaume
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Like I said, the only two democrats that haven’t been mentioned…

        🙂

        To be fair, I’m not an American so I don’t follow these things too closely.

        • Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

          I am an American and try not to follow American politics too closely too. Easier on the stomach.

    • Mark Reaume
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      He’d probably be a better choice for Governor of California (which I believe he’s expressed interest in) for 2018 or VP in 2020 timeframe however.

  19. Craw
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    The Conspiracy to Re-Elect Donald J Trump

    • Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Yep. Pretty much.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      The odds are long on a second Trump inaugural. He backed into the White House after 11 million Americans voted for someone else, and he’s been a disaster since taking office, with an approval rating mired in the 30-something percentile. It would be unprecedented for US voters not to make him the un-president.

      • Doug
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        I was sure Trump would not get the Republican nomination. I was wrong.

        I was sure he would not win the election. I was wrong.

        I’m not going to say he can’t get reelected. In a sane world, yes, I’d say it. But that ain’t the case.

  20. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Hate to be that guy but I said no no opinion because I’m confused by the question, or rather, what the responses mean.

    Example: I am enthused she is _trying_ to run, but per PCC(E)’s reasons, not a good idea for her to actually BE the prez

    … these polls are fun, so perhaps a rewrite?

  21. ladyatheist
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    She would energize both black & female voters, so there’s that. It would be sad for our country to have not red & blue but black & white parties.

    • Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      We’re already there.

  22. darrelle
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I was having trouble deciding between Very and Mildly unenthusiastic. After reading through the comments I was reminded of the things I don’t like about Oprah. Dr. Oz, Jenny McCarthy, and so on.

    If the choice came down to Trump or Oprah, no contest. I’d vote Oprah. And Trump would get a second term. I really hope Oprah doesn’t become the next Democratic nominee for POTUS. Despite the following she has I think she would motivate the anti-liberal crowd even more than Hillary Clinton. But hey, maybe I’d be surprised.

  23. Merilee
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Oz as Surgeon General🤢

  24. Charles Sawicki
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Please! No mo more billionaire TV personalities for president!

  25. eric
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Please no!

    First, even if she won, we don’t need another inexperienced political leader in the highest office in the land.

    Second, I believe she’d lose…even to Trump. Oprah is sure to get all the votes that any Democrat could count on, but because of her inexperience and yes race and sex, probably few of the swing or normally GOP votes. So that would put Trump in the WH for another 4 years. Or possibly Pence, if Trump decides not to run again.

    I think she can do a lot of good work in this world. But her running would be a disaster win or lose.

  26. revelator60
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Doubt Oprah will get near the nomination, but who knows what will happen?
    Biden is too old and is just as “neoliberal” as the much-maligned Clinton, so I’m not sure why some people regard him as a Leftist savior.
    Warren doesn’t seem to want the Presidency and lacks the common touch, though she’s certainly otherwise qualified.
    My money is NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who’s been the subject of much speculation. A female candidate without Clinton’s past baggage and a skilled politician and reader of public opinion.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, and I think Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar is another woman Democratic senator to keep an eye on for a presidential run.

  27. Nilou Ataie
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Oprah Winfrey is an amazing human being and I think she comes from a place of good intentions. However, I am incredibly concerned about the touting of ideas like The Secret (where you wish for things to happen instead of effecting change). I feel like that mentality may have contributed a little to the financial crisis. I hope she can leave these sorts of ideas alone.

    • bbenzon
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Oh, yes. She does have a weakness for New Age nonsense.

  28. bbenzon
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    No doubt Oprah is a nice person. And certainly, as a person, much better than Trump. But I’d really like a president who is steeped in politics and who has a long-standing intuitive knowledge of the ins and outs on a wide range issues. Oprah is not that person.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      And whoever comes next is going to have a big mess to clean up. You will need a tough, seasoned person to do that. I think Elizabeth Warren is your candidate.

  29. Craw
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    My guess: the Dem nominee will be someone few of us have heard of yet.

    • Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      John Hickenlooper, businessman, former mayor of Denver, current Governor of Colorado, Democrat, 65 y.o.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Tough to go from obscurity to the top of a major-party presidential ticket in under three years. Barack made the climb about as fast as any, but he’d already been elected a US senator by 2004 and was a rising party star even earlier.

  30. Veroxitatis
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    As an outsider I do wonder whether it matters all that much who the President is (Trump excepted, of course, for the simple reason that he is an embarrassment to America on the World stage.) It seems to me that US political systems are geared to producing gridlock or two steps forward and three back. During the last quarter century polarisation in the country appears to have become wholly replicated at government level. Neither side appears able to learn from and adapt the policies of the other side.
    It is indeed questionable whether the US political system is fit for the 21st century.

  31. Posted January 8, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I certainly didn’t vote for Trump, but I probably will if Oprah is the Democratic nominee.

    • Craw
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      +1 (except I don’t vote)

      But this foolishness will pass. Oprah has no ego-stroking need to run for president.

  32. Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    CNN: “In a 1999 interview with Larry King, Donald Trump said that his first choice for running mate would be Oprah Winfrey.” http://cnn.it/2CVxtrW

    I agree with you. Time for a real leader with a stand on the issues that makes sense. My #1 issue is addressing income inequality. It’s time for government to start working for us again.

  33. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    … she can get Dr Oz and Dr Phil to reform healthcare …

    Trump’s pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services had to resign over a scandal caused by his tooling around in private jets. How’s that workin’ out for ya?

  34. jaxkayaker
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I think Grania has it exactly right. However, I’m of the opinion that if the only way to get Trump out of office is to put Oprah in office, then that’s acceptable to me, but I’d really rather have a qualified person, like Warren or Biden.

    Dr. Oz would obviously be in charge of the FDA, not surgeon general. That way he could approve all of his suspicious health supplements as medical treatments and get them paid for by Medicare/Medicaid.

    Also, Oprah’s opinions on atheism are deeply irrational, the last time I saw her opining on it.

  35. Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Are there any viable Democratic candidates that would be under 70 by the time the next inauguration happens? Warren is 68 already, Biden is late 70’s now. Isn’t there someone who isn’t eligible for social security already?

  36. BJ
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know why you think it’s clear Oprah’s “heart is in the right place.” Everything we know about her is a carefully crafted narrative with billions of dollars behind it. The fact that she has helped spread false information and products in the fields of medicine, science, psychology, and others for decades now, all for the sake of making absurd amounts of money off of the stupidity of others, does not make me thing she does anything because of her good heart.

    Regardless of her role in hurting public health and intellect in pursuit of cash, she is, as you have noted, yet another celebrity with zero political knowledge or experience. I’d like to think the Democrats are better than the Republicans when it comes to this crap, but clearly that’s not the case.

    • Posted January 8, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for reminding us. I developed my opinion of Oprah when she first hit the big time but that was so long ago I had forgotten what I disliked about her. While she probably lacks Trump’s mean-spiritedness, she is really just a glorified sales person. After all, making tons of money off the little guy and gal is somewhat in opposition to being in their corner.

      • BJ
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        I don’t have any problem with people making tons of money (although, yes, presenting herself as being on the side of the downtrodden is ridiculous), but it depends how they do it. Oprah has made money by doing damage to public knowledge and putting unquantifiable numbers of people in danger — for example, by promoting and endorsing anti-vaccine lunatic Jenny McCarthy and her views, not only on vaccines but on bullshit like treating autism with vegetable juice or whateverthefuck. She’s promoted pop psych via Dr. Phil. She’s promoted medical quackery through Dr. Oz. She’s promoted sham spirituality through The Secret and other New Age BS.

        Warren Buffet is someone I respect. He’s made billions of dollars, but he hasn’t hurt anyone and he’s done a ton of good. We have many commenters above saying they know that Oprah is a good/nice person, but I don’t understand why they think they know this. We don’t know anything about Oprah beyond the carefully chiseled PR marble statue she has presented of herself, and it’s a very nice statue, but I have no idea what’s behind it. All I can go on is how she’s made her dosh, and she’s done it by preying on and increasing the ignorance of the public, creating a cult of personality around herself in the process and ensuring people listen to her when she tells them harmful things.

        • Craw
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          Well said. That she is treated as anything but a joke candidate shows just how broken American politics are.

        • darrelle
          Posted January 9, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

          +1

  37. Posted January 8, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I would vote for Condoleezza Rice over Oprah Winfrey.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 8, 2018 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      I actually like her. I don’t agree with her politics but I think she is very smart.

      • Posted January 9, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Yes, same here on that. And for all those people who keep saying “Trump won, get over it”, I think the conversation is totally different if she or Jeb Bush, or Rubio, or even Ted Cruz had become president. We’d still be arguing over policies but there would be nobody wanting Rice to have a mental health exam and she wouldn’t be calling other world leaders schoolyard bully names like Rocket Man.

        Arguably, I think, we are better off with Trump president (assuming he doesn’t start WWIII) than the others because he has no idea how to implement policy. The rest do and would probably cause more damage than he does.

  38. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Couldn’t be worse than the one you’ve got.

    Wait, does she Tweet….?

    😦

    cr

  39. Kosmos
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    When looking at the U.S. where it seems you either have to attend the very best universities or be rich and famous in order to be president, I feel somewhat proud that the prime minister of my Scandinavian country was an orphan and is a welder by profession.

    This can of course be explained by the differences in the political systems. That the political parties in the U.S. are little more than election machineries put a huge focus on the individual candidate. Party oriented systems, where a parliamentary system helps, put the party programmes relatively more in the spotlight.

    • Posted January 8, 2018 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Your comment on presidents attending college prompted me to look into it. Twelve U.S. presidents did not graduate from any college. Of course college attendance wasn’t common for anyone in the early years of the republic; the most recent president who did not matriculate at any school was Harry Truman. Coincidentally, twelve presidents graduated from Ivy league schools, including the current Idiot in Chief.

      It’s difficult to parse what exactly are “the very best universities” but some of the schools, though very good in their own way, are not normally considered “the very best”, including Eureka College (Ronald Reagan), Texas State University (Lyndon Johnson), Miami (Ohio) University (Benjamin Harrison), Georgia Institute of technology (Jimmy Carter) and Kenyon College (Rutherford B Hayes).

      FYI

      • Posted January 8, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Oops, I’m wrong. Truman DID matriculate at one school; Spalding’s Commercial College, but he withdrew and did not graduate.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted January 8, 2018 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

          Also, Jimmy Carter was an Annapolis grad.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 8, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        You could add to your list that Nixon went to Whittier College (although he later attended law school at Duke).

  40. Blue
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Ms Anita Hill ? 61 years old.
    — has lived through several portions
    of the country
    — toughest part: getting her to run

    ” … … in the book Women and leadership:
    the state of play and strategies for
    change…. … she wrote about women judges
    and why, in her opinion, they play such a
    large role in balancing the judicial system.
    She argues that since women and men have
    different life experiences, ways of thinking,
    and histories, both are needed for a balanced
    court system. She writes that in order for
    the best law system to be created in the
    United States, all people need the ability to
    be represented.” from
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anita_Hill

    Blue

  41. KiwiInOz
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    My understanding is that Lisa Simpson will be the next President. It has been foretold.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 12:11 am | Permalink

      Yep! I’d vote for her!

      cr

  42. Lee
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    This is one of the noxious fruits of Trumpism- believing that *anyone* can be President, with a bias toward the rich and famous. I don’t dislike Oprah (although I find her frequent embrace of woo discomforting), but I recognize that the Trump era is leaving the U.S. in shambles, and it will take someone with the skill and integrity of a Lincoln, or an Obama, to fix it. If Oprah wants to help the U.S. heal she can use her wealth and celebrity to support honest, courageous, qualified candidates; not by running for president herself.

  43. Mike Anderson
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    In betting markets, Oprah is now (Monday night, Jan 8 2018) in 2nd place!

    https://electionbettingodds.com/

    For POTUS 2020 Trump is in first place, Oprah 2nd place, Kamala Harris 3rd, Mike Pence 4th.

  44. Bob
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    In my esteemed opinion, the perfect candidate for president must have advanced degrees in political science, medicine, government administration, business, economics, psychology, one or more areas of science, and world history. The perfect candidate must also have experience in the military, as well as in local, state and federal government and be under the age of sixty. All others need not apply.

    • nicky
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Well, nowadays ‘under the age of sixty’ is hardly relevant, one could say if they have to qualify for all the other conditions, they hardly can be younger than sixty. (Yes, I know, but you didn’t slash an s)

  45. Merilee
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    And now Joe “pink undies” Arpaio is planning to run for the Senate!

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      I forgot who he was & thought he had blurted out his unorthodox underwear choices, but on googling remembered the whole sad state of affairs with him. I would have much preferred that he had shared too much information about his underwear.

  46. Posted January 12, 2018 at 2:13 am | Permalink

    Highly academic figures rarely rise to the very top in either US or UK politics.


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