WaPo: Oprah not good presidential timber

The lead story on the NBC Evening News last night—the lead story—was the widespread call for Oprah to run for President in 2020. I was appalled: that’s the news I usually watch, and why should that be the most important story of the day.

Indeed, the network issued this tweet, and then deleted it after pushback, saying that it was posted by a “third party”:

And there’s this:

Clearly the readers of this site don’t agree (yes, I know this isn’t a random sample of people, much less of readers). As of 6:30 this morning, these are the results of yesterday’s poll:

80% are on the “unenthusiastic” side, compared to only 9% “enthusiastic”. Frankly, I can’t understand those who are at all excited about Oprah’s running on the basis of a speech that, in retrospect, was not very original, getting approbation because it preached to the choir, and even called up the specter of Rosa Parks. (Can we let that poor woman rest instead of becoming a symbol for every form of social justice?)  I hasten to add that, if the election were today and these were the candidates, I’d vote to Oprah over Trump and nearly all Republicans. But we can do better. For example, we could run someone who has political experience.

Further, I’ve become a lot less enthusiastic about Oprah’s candidacy (I never was enthusiastic and voted “very unenthusiastic”) after several readers reminded us of Oprah’s history of endorsing dubious science, like that pushed by Dr. Oz, her promotion of the unctuous Dr. Phil, her hosting of anti-vaxer Jenny McCarthy, her pushing of the numinous “The Secret” (see below), and other antiscience or odious stunts she’s pulled. She has a weakness for woo, and that doesn’t bode well for a President.

And the WaPo has weighed in on our side in a new article by Paul Waldman called “Get a grip, people, Oprah should not run for President.” A few quotes:

 If you watched her Golden Globes speech and said “She should run,” then the 2016 election and the first year of the Trump presidency have addled your brain.

That’s not to say Oprah didn’t give a great speech, because she did, and speech-making is indeed part of running for and serving as president. Oprah has spent a career talking on television and connecting with audiences, and she’s very good at it. On the other hand, I could argue that she should be disqualified simply on the basis of her promotion of “The Secret,” a multimedia juggernaut that claimed that the entire universe and every moment of human experience are governed by “the law of attraction.” This is the idea that if you wish really hard for something — say, washboard abs or a new Birkin bag — it will, through the magical power created by your thoughts, find its way to you. With Oprah’s help, and because America produces an endless supply of gullible nincompoops, “The Secret” was a gigantic hit.

Politics has never been immune to other brands of magical thinking, and there are few more powerful ideas among voters than the notion that there’s really nothing to being an officeholder, whether it’s a member of Congress or the president. An election never goes by without a healthy number of candidates claiming that they’re the best person for the job because they have no relevant experience and know nothing about it. “I’m a businessman, not a politician,” they declare, to the nods of their future constituents. If you needed a new roof put on your house and somebody came to you saying, “I’m a computer programmer, not a roofer,” going on to explain that the roofing business is a mess and all you need is some outside-the-box thinking to make your roof better than ever, you’d be a fool to hire him. Yet somehow the same logic doesn’t seem to apply when people think about whom they should elect.

. . . It’s true that Democrats have underappreciated the importance of charisma in presidential politics. But the answer to those electoral failures isn’t to stop caring about substance. It’s to find candidates who are both charismatic and serious, who would be able both to win and to do the job once they took office.

Guess what: Democrats have done this before! Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were fantastically compelling candidates who could also talk your ear off about policy. They knew how to work the political system, and they also knew how to sell. And it isn’t as though Democrats are going to have any shortage of choices in 2020. There will likely be at least a dozen people running, and if you’re a Democrat you’re probably going to like at least some of them.

I hope so! I’m curious to see who will come to the fore among the Democrats.

As I’m writing this listening to the morning local news, there was just a big segment on the local CBS affiliate talking about Oprah’s potential bid, and not mentioning anybody’s reservations. Waldman finishes this way:

It’s a free country, and Oprah can run if she wants. If she does, she’ll have the chance to make her best argument for why she should be president. But if she runs, the idea of a Trump-Oprah throwdown will make the news media positively vibrate with glee. There’s a strong possibility that, just as Trump did in the 2016 primaries, she could suck up every ounce of media attention, limiting the ability of the more experienced and serious candidates to make their case to primary voters.

Obama’s route to the presidency started with a great speech, too. But over the ensuing years, he proved he was worthy of the outsize expectations that had been placed upon him. It’s possible Oprah could prove herself worthy of the attention being put on the idea of her running for president. But she certainly hasn’t done it yet, and we should all be extremely skeptical unless and until she shows us why, beyond just being rich and famous, she’d actually make a good president.

This movement is embarrassing to all progressives. It shows how desperate we are to seize on anybody with a public presence, regardless of whether they’d be a good person to lead our country.

h/t: Grania

157 Comments

  1. Davide Spinello
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    This movement is embarrassing to all progressives. It shows how desperate we are to seize on anybody with a public presence, regardless of whether they’d be a good person to lead our country.

    And it confirms one more time that science denial and wo(o)rshipping is not exclusive of a specific political side.

    • Curt Nelson
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      This is false equivalency. The existence of woo on both sides is not the same as both sides having the same bad attitude about science. Republicans practically brag about their disrespect for science. They’re much worse than Democrats.

      • Posted January 9, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        I’ll add that some Republicans don’t merely brag about their anti-science attitudes, they run on them.

      • Davide Spinello
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Really? Can you explain to me the difference between climate change denial and anti vaccination? Or the difference between denial of evolution and denial of evolved brain differences between genders?

        • Davide Spinello
          Posted January 9, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

          By the way: differences to be understood at the population level with overlapping between distributions, just to avoid conflating statistical regularities with their means.

        • Posted January 9, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          A couple of comments.

          There is no difference in the percentage of Republican who are anti-vaxxers and the percentage of Democrats who are (12% vs 11%)*.

          There is a large difference in the percentage of Republicans who deny AGW vs Democrats who deny it (78% vs 36%)*

          Therefore, both in percentage and impact (90% of each party are pro-vaccine, for example) there is a difference between between the parties from their respective anti-science nonsense. At least for these two issues.

          *citations available upon request.

        • Curt Nelson
          Posted January 9, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

          The difference is that the anti-science causes are actually taken up and trumpeted by Republican leaders who say that not only is science just one way of knowing things but that it should be viewed especially skeptically because scientists tend to be liberal. Of course unscientific ideas are everywhere but they’re institutionalized in the Republican party.

          • Davide Spinello
            Posted January 9, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

            The difference is that the anti-science causes are actually taken up and trumpeted by Republican leaders who say that not only is science just one way of knowing things but that it should be viewed especially skeptically because scientists tend to be liberal.

            Few replacements and you get the following equally true statement:

            The difference is that the anti-science causes are actually taken up and trumpeted by academic leaders who say that not only is science just one way of knowing things but that it should be viewed especially skeptically because scientists use science to oppress minorities and enforce white supremacy and patriarchy.

            • Davide Spinello
              Posted January 9, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

              P.S.: I am in academia, I am not trying to attack academia as republicans often do.

  2. mikeyc
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    “Progressive” has become a pejorative for many of the same reasons “liberal” did. We who are need to take it back before it’s too late.

    • Historian
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      It is my impression (I can’t prove this) that liberals are now not so reluctant to call themselves such. For the last 20 years or so the right has played the left like a fiddle. Proving themselves incompetent politicians, the left offered almost no resistance when the right demonized them. They all magically morphed into centrists. Bill Clinton played his role in this development by practicing the politics of “triangulation.” Bernie Sanders has led the charge for a reinvigorated liberalism. Whether this approach will electorally succeed for liberals and Democrats remains to be seen. But, could the left do any worse than what they have done recently? I doubt it.

      • mikeyc
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        I agree. “Liberal” isn’t as much of an insult as it was in, say, the early 1990s. I’m not so sure the word has been rehabilitated solely by the machinations* of the likes of the Clintons as it is by exhaustion of a label. Liberals never really deserved to be the butt of those insults; it was craziness of the kind we are seeing with today’s Regressives that drove much of the stereotype. Over time many people could see that we weren’t all that bad and the insult became tired. I don’t discount the re-reclamation work done by the centrists, though. That was necessary in some ways, though ugly to behold.

        Saner progressives need to take back control of the optics before it’s too late though I also agree that guys like Sanders help to mitigate the damage.

        *remember “triangulating”? – one of the reasons I despised Clinton, but voted for him anyway.

      • Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        Bernie Sanders has also gone a long way to resurrect “socialism” as worthy of debate.

        • Posted January 9, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

          In what ways, exactly? I don’t see that at all.

          • Davide Spinello
            Posted January 9, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

            By endorsing Linda Sarsour.

      • Posted January 10, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Especially in American terms, I would be labeled “liberal”. However, I don’t use the term because it is very vague as to what it actually involves. I am certainly not a Liberal in the Canadian political party sense.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    It is nothing more than knee-jerk reaction. Personally, I don’t think Trump will be around for 3 more years to run against and as was stated many times, there will be many other possible candidates for the democrats.

    If for some chance, Oprah was to attempt a run, I do not think she would get far. All of the many crazy ideas she has had in the past would be front and center. Trump was a terrible idea and is doing great damage on a daily basis, but this is not the answer.

  4. moleatthecounter
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I too dislike her for her love and constant promotion of the mystical, mythical and mysterious.

    As an aside… There are several photos of Oprah at (what I assume to be) previous Awards events, where she is clearly cosying up with Harvey Weinstein. That said, she is very powerful isn’t she.. perhaps she is one of the few that felt she could stand up to him. (Whilst kissing him on the cheek…)

    • Simon
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      That ‘aside’ is at the core of what makes me vomit about that speech. She knew about Weinstein when cosying up to him. As for her praise for the press; sickening. She knows damned well how little regard for truth the press has.

      This #metoo movement is as cynical as hell. There is a concerted effort to limit it to being a gendered issue, an issue of women being persecuted by men. There are people trying very hard to keep Corey Feldman out of the picture because he can open up a can of worms that people don’t want opened.

  5. John Yarzagaray
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    An op ed contributor at the NYT by the name of Thomas Chatterton Williams agrees with you and WaPo (and me!). Hopefully this idea won’t pick up any more steam than it already has.

  6. harrync
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    If the poll question had been “How do you feel about having a President Oprah?” I would have voted “very unenthusiastic”. But the question was about her running for office. I think an Oprah campaign has the potential of bringing along a lot of down-ticket Democrats. If she could bring along a filibuster-proof Senate, it might be worth the cost of having a President Oprah. Not sure about this, so I voted “neutral”.

    • Posted January 9, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      I think you are right. An Oprah campaign would be positive, even if scientifically uninformed. Pragmatically, her feelings would overwhelm the direction of her decisions. I fear too that she is so emotionally driven, logic and ethics, too, would be shamefully compromised.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      I agree, and voted neutral for the same reason.

      Of all the things Oprah has done, it was her support of Deepak Chopra that put me off her. She launched him onto the world stage and was the reason he’s so successful at parting people from their money.

      She’s also had some ignorant stuff to say about atheists.

      I’m heartily sick of the attitude towards atheism in the US electorate. There’s a certain dot.com billionaire who’s suddenly reclaiming his Jewish roots and denying his atheism now he looks to be running for political office too.

  7. Joseph McClain
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Americans seem determined to establish a permanent ruling class based entirely on celebrity.

    • Posted January 10, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      I’ve seen the “Hollywood is America’s royal family” thing done a few times …

  8. Posted January 9, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    There were periods of months for both Obama and Bush that went by and I did not hear their respective names spoken. I did not know what they were doing and they never told me they were geniuses. I want that back.

    Oprah and her ilk are the antithesis of that.

  9. Posted January 9, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. – Douglas Adams

    • darrelle
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Arthur C. Clarke expressed that same point once or twice also. For example in his novelization of Songs of Distant Earth.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      There was also something in the book about the more someone wants to be president, the less suitable they are for the job. I always wonder that Zaohod Beeblebrox isn’t brought up when discussing Trump, but then I’ve never written about the comparison myself either.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        There is this article that many have been discussing as of late.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted January 9, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          Good article. I had a boss I would love to have sent this to!

      • Posted January 9, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        OMG. Zaphod Beeblebrox. It never occurred to me. Perfect.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

          Or Prefect. 😀

        • John Frum
          Posted January 9, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

          Adams could certainly come up with the best names that could sound as if they should be rude such as Slartibartfast.
          He had said that for Slartibartfast he wrote down all the rude words he knew and then jumbled them up.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted January 9, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

            HAha. I didn’t know that but I’m not surprised.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted January 9, 2018 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

            T. Pynchon’s no slouch in the denominating department either.

          • Kevin
            Posted January 9, 2018 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

            Farcelot Peniksfanker for the next president!

  10. Posted January 9, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    So far, I’ve heard Kid Rock (some musician/rapper)saying he would run, people hoping that Dwayne Johnson “The Rock” would run, and now hoping for Oprah to save us all.

    All America wants is a rich- or perceived rich(DJT)- celebrity to be president. And don’t expect that to carry over to voting for senators and congress in those off years.

    • XCellKen
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Kid Rock is supposed to run for Senator from Michigan…as a REPUBLICAN

      • Posted January 9, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Hey, don’t count him out as a *Presidential* prospect. We have gone from the reverential tones of “Now, anyone can become President,” referring to President Obama to the incredulous “Now, ANYONE can become President!” with our current one.

        • chris moffatt
          Posted January 9, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

          “Now, anyone can become President”. Said many times of Ronald Reagan, the epitome of the american “dream” – “in America anybody can grow up to be president”.

          It’s a national tragedy of epic proportions that the last “good” president the USA had was Jimmy Carter. Maybe he was the last not completely a prisoner of the MIC.

  11. YF
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Charisma + Liberal Values + Vision + Intelligence + Experience + Public Service = Barack Obama.

    Certainly not a perfect president, but perhaps one of the best.

    Surely we can find someone out there (other than Oprah) with a similar combination of traits to get this country back on the rails?

  12. Diana MacPherson
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Not surprising that in this celebrity obsessed age where meaty, thoughtful, contemplation is so eagerly passed over in favour of sugary, snacky distraction that Oprah and Trump could be the best a political system can offer. What started as reality TV and gossipy web sites has become main stream news and politics. Scary. Sad. Disappointing. Just imagine the debates. Good grief.

    • Craw
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      At least they wouldn’t squabble over who has the bigger schlong.

      • XCellKen
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        Rosie O’Donnell would

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

          FFS. No she wouldn’t. Or does a woman have to fit your particular stereotype for her to get any respect from you?

          I apologize if that was just a weak attempt at a joke and I’ve got you wrong. However, just making the joke in a forum like this says a lot. At least learn to pick your audience.

          • XCellKen
            Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

            I guess you didn’t hear what Rosie O’Donnell said to Ben Shapiro a few days ago ???

          • XCellKen
            Posted January 9, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

            Speaking of stereotypes, sorry if my comment about something Rosie ODonnell ACTUALLY SAID offends you. After all, I’m a White Cishet Male from Texas. You know how we all are …

    • chris moffatt
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Oprah and Trump aren’t the best the system has to offer. If the DNC hadn’t rigged the game Bernie Sanders would have been the democrat candidate and most likely would have won. Look up the report “the democratic party in crisis” a post mortem on the 2016 elections and see how much the democratic party elite have not learned.

      As for good candidates? Tulsi Gabbard for one if she doesn’t quit in disillusion.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        No doubt there are better candidates but they didn’t get put out there. The political system chose these duds instead.

  13. Posted January 9, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I understand the concerns, and while I really don’t want her as president, if she has the best chance of breaking the Republicans down, I am sorely tempted.

    • Posted January 9, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Give me someone who reads books over someone who won’t even look at a one page summary.

  14. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    “Obama’s route to the presidency started with a great speech, too.”

    Yeah, Barry’s keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention was quite a speech, as speechifying goes. But all that stuff about “purple states” and there not being “a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America”? Pretty to think so, but, at bottom, bullshit.

    We are a deeply divided nation with a two-party system that (unlike parliamentary systems) does not lend itself to coalition governing. Rights of all individuals must be held inviolate, but the key to governing this nation is for the less-dangerous Party to get to 50%-plus-1-vote and to set national policy.

    The decent Republicans have been in the “never Trump” camp from the get-go. There’s a chance to make common cause with them, and with the 10% or so of the American electorate that voted for Trump out of pure frustration. But the rest of the GOP is made up of hard-right wingnuts — Trump’s original, hardcore, bigoted, xenophobic, dead-end base — and the establishment tools who folded up like the cheap empty suits that they are in the face of the dead-enders’ early pro-Trump fervor. The rest of us must take pains to see that they never prevail electorally again.

    Give me a competent technocrat to lead the way in that fight over a celebrity any day of the week.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      When we have a good percentage of the red party, in and out of congress and a national television station who do not give a damn about Soviet interference with what little is left of our democracy, I do not see or hear of any one person who can fix this. Also, half the people or more do not even vote regardless of how critical the condition is and what and who they vote for seems not to matter. Good luck with that technocrat, whoever it is.

    • Historian
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      You are quite right about Obama’s 2004 speech – very inspiring, but pure crap. However, I think he may very well have believed his rhetoric about “one America.” In my estimation, the greatest failure of his presidency was his delusion that he could actually work with Republicans. Not until late in his presidency did he finally wake up. I blame him in part for the disastrous mid-term elections of 2010. It just wasn’t in his nature to attack the Republicans with the vigor they deserved

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        I agree. He kept trying to work with Republicans for far too long, even after McConnell’s speech that their primary goal was to make him a one-term president. So much for governing the country.

        • Mark R.
          Posted January 9, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, one image I kept hearing was “it’s like watching a boxing match where one opponent just blocks and never throws a punch”. Or something to that effect. It was great when he finally started carrying a big stick, but it was too little too late.

        • Mark R.
          Posted January 9, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

          If Oprah really wants to help she should move to Texas or some other powerful red state and run for a Senate seat. I think she would be a horrible POTUS, but she might make a great seat-flipping Senator.

          • Mark R.
            Posted January 9, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

            Oops…this was supposed to be a stand-alone post.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted January 9, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

            I think she should run for senate too. And then if she turns out to be good at that, she can then think about the presidency. It’s a good idea to be an, ahem, Apprentice, before you go for the top job. You’d think someone else might have learnt that too over the years.

    • chris moffatt
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      “We are a deeply divided nation with a two-party system”

      And that folks is exactly the problem. There is nothing in the constitution that mandates a two party system. It is obvious that a third centrist party is needed and there are probably enough discontented people to form one. But nobody bothers to get involved. As Ariana Huffington pointed out long ago politics is not a spectator sport. And don’t bother with fringe groups like the greens and the libertarians which will never amount to much of anything.

      But as long as all most people will do is sit around idle, voting every few years when they feel like it (if they haven’t been illegally disenfranchised by one party or the other)and complaining about the outcome, nothing wil change. The entrenched beneficiaries are not going to destroy the ssystem

      • Posted January 9, 2018 at 8:31 pm | Permalink
        • Posted January 9, 2018 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

          “deep sigh” was the comment…

      • Kevin
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        The comedian Peter Cook said in the sixties “The Americans have a two party system very like our own British system. They have the Republican Party on one side which is very like our Conservative Party and on the other they have the Democratic Party which is very like our Conservative Party”

        I lived in Italy for 25 years and they have a REALLY multiparty system with proportional representation. Coalitions are the norm and I think the average life of a coalition (before Berlusconi) was about eleven months.
        They don’t have a new election at this point: they just shuffle alliances around and form a different coalition.
        They often talk of changing to “first past the post” which might favour a polarised big party system.

        I suppose, the two party system tends to be more stable (given the state of the US and UK governments, I had to bite my tongue to say that!)

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

          “I suppose, the two party system tends to be more stable”

          But if the stable situation you have is persistent, dysfunctional and toxic, that is NOT an advantage.

          cr

          • Kevin
            Posted January 10, 2018 at 1:58 am | Permalink

            “But if the stable situation you have is persistent, dysfunctional and toxic, that is NOT an advantage.”

            That’s why I had to bite my tongue: a stable, long term system, if it has solid majority support COULD be a good thing. I suppose that is the basic hope of democracy. That it can actually be decisive and get things done.
            Decisive is actually a critical word: the US system with an executive president places decisive power in one individual (more than the UK or Italian systems). It can be quick acting and decisive.
            As we are learning this can also be a mixed blessing: a poisoned chalice or a shot in the foot.
            However, the current US system seems to have lobotomised itself.
            The EU has a bunch of countries each with its own political system and language and it’s HOPELESS at making collective decisions (not that I don’t love it just the same!).

            Any system can be “persistent, dysfunctional and toxic”, there’s the rub.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

        The ‘first past the post’ voting system, which elects just one candidate from each constituency, strongly favours the establishment and perpetuation of a two-party system. Since few people want to ‘waste’ their vote on a candidate from a minor party who doesn’t stand a chance of getting elected.

        Some kind of proportional representation is the only fix for that, I think.

        cr

        • Kevin
          Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

          That’s the Italian system: the President is not really executive either. The PM is more significant (like the UK system). You can’t have the PM from one party and the parliament from another (like the US system). Maybe that would be a good solution for the US: elect the two houses and the President is the head of the winning party. More effective, since the senate can’t stymie the president that way.

          The Italians don’t seem very happy with their system, in general. The other man’s grass…..

          The Berlusconi period was a bit like Trump except it went on for about 15 years. Permanent legal prosecutions. They said that he spent over a hundred million euros in legal costs over the years. Claimed the judiciary had a communist agenda (against him naturally).

          Some of his personal lawyers were also elected into parliament.

          • Adam M.
            Posted January 10, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

            If you think not having to deal with coalitions is a plus, then you should be able to get the best of both worlds with a voting system like choice voting or score voting. In the end, only one person is chosen, but you can vote for as many people as you like. Then people could vote for third parties without “wasting” their vote.

            I swear, a small change to our voting system (“pick some” instead of “pick one”) would have huge benefits for this country. Probably never happen, though…

    • BJ
      Posted January 10, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      “But all that stuff about “purple states” and there not being ‘a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America’? Pretty to think so, but, at bottom, bullshit.”

      And yet, it worked. He ran his campaign on the same sentiment. I noted in the last Oprah post that, while policy will always be divisive, politics does not have to be. Obama ran a campaign convincing many Americans that it was possible to work as a country toward something better. Bill Clinton didn’t run divisive campaigns, nor did GWB. In fact, most campaigns for President weren’t built on candidates trying to portray the other side as evil until recently.

      Just as much of the GOP base is made up of wingnuts, a good portion of the Dems’ base is made up of people who consider anyone who doesn’t agree with them part of the “basket of deplorables.” But it doesn’t have to be this way. After four years of Trump, there’s a good chance that all but the 30% of die-hard Trump supporters who vote Republican will be sick of divisiveness, like most other people. It’s time to start running again on the idea of building a better country together, rather than sticking it to the other side.

  15. Richard Bond
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    After the way in which she stood up to Trump, and after her polite but expert demolition of Ted Cruz, I would like to see Sally Yates as a candidate. (Of course I do not count, as I am from the UK, but I will stop commenting on USA elections when USAians stop referring to the POTUS as “the leader of the free world”.)

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      What happens in the US effects all of us. Though we can’t vote in the US elections in the rest of the world, we have a right to express an opinion and I for one am not going to stop!

      • Posted January 9, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        Carry on Heather! 🙂

      • Posted January 9, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Please *don’t* stop expressing your opinion! I, for one, take comfort in the fact that the rest of world thinks we have gone quite mad. As I agree with them.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        You go, girl. Nobody puts Heather in a corner. 🙂

        We Yanks give the rest of the world so much free entertainment with our politics, the least you can do is continue to share your insights with us.

  16. Harrison
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    I like the knocks on people who actually think “I have no experience in politics and I’m proud of it” makes them good political material.

    But I think I can do one better. I’ve long held that the official slogan of the Republicans ought to be “Government sucks, and if you don’t believe me, put me in charge of government and I’ll prove it!”

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      It always amazes me that people think a party that thinks government is such a bad thing would be any good at running it. The way the GOP presents itself as so anti-government is not the way similar parties do in the rest of the democratic world.

      • chris moffatt
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        Well they’re not are they? Look at their record since 1981. A litany of disaster.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

        “The way the GOP presents itself as so anti-government is not the way similar parties do in the rest of the democratic world.”

        In fact it is, on occasion. I can recall election campaigns based on ‘cutting Government down to size’.

        cr

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

          Yes, though to me that;s not the same thing.

  17. Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I truly respect Oprah. (Not her deplorable lack of appreciation for science rather than wishful thinking, but no one’s perfect.) I admire her success in a business that uses women a lot, but in which women rarely succeed as she did. But success in one field does not equal success in all fields.

    • Craw
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      I’m less impressed

      http://www.nationalreview.com/article/455255/oprah-winfrey-pseudoscience-and-new-age

      She’s woo, feels, and snake-oil. She’s a better huckster than Trump, and a politer one, but still a hornswoggler.

    • BJ
      Posted January 10, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      As I’ve noted before, she doesn’t lack an appreciation of science. She’s smart enough to know that the woo she’s sold to make herself billions of dollars is BS. She has promoted dangerous misinformation and quack “medicine” to line her pockets and with no care for the consequences on public health and knowledge, preying on and increasing the ignorance of the public.

      If, in the future, there is an outbreak of disease that was previously prevented by vaccinations, she’ll have played a part in it.

      • Posted January 30, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        I think that you are overestimating her intelligence.

  18. Davide Spinello
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I hope she runs and wins so that she can pair with Justin “shirtless” Trudeau and finally give the world the hope that it deserves. Their dreamy message of hope along with the universally accepted “your truth” paradigm will get North Corea and China on board.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Chick Corea has a brother? He plays keyboards, too? 🙂

      • Davide Spinello
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        ))

    • chris moffatt
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      If boy-King “shirtless” Trudeau the second gives you hope, you haven’t been paying attention.

      • Posted January 9, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        I suspect Mr Spinello posted that with his tongue firmly in cheek.

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

          I concur.

  19. Damien McLeod
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Hey,If I had to vote for her or the Orange Sociopath, I’d vote for her, but very, very un-enthusiastically.

  20. Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Nominating Oprah Winfrey for president by the Democratic Party will simply repeat their error in nominating Hillary Clinton because it will assume that a woman of color can win the presidency with support only from blacks and women. Hillary’s loss proves that this is a fatal misconception. Winfrey will never get the white middle America votes that went to Trump. Let’s be realistic and stop thinking that voting based on morality never won elections. Beating Trump requires someone who can regain the support and votes of the workers and others who disliked or distrusted Clinton and might well have supported Sanders. Politically Correct voting based on race or gender is not only dumb but fatal. Let’s hope the Democrats regain their mental faculties before the next presidential campaign.

    • XCellKen
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      I disagree. Most Whites do NOT see Oprah as Black. Kinda like Michael Jordan in that regard Prolly cause neither talks much/at all about Racial topics

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        You mean the way Pino told Mookie in Do the Right Thing that black celebrities aren’t “really black. I mean, they’re black, but they’re more than black”?:

    • Historian
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      You make several questionable assertions.

      1) Democrats need white middle class votes to win the presidency. Of course, candidates try to win over as many constituencies as they can. But, regarding the 2020 election, the Democratic candidate (whomever it may be) does not require a greater percentage of white votes that Clinton received in 2016. This is because the states that Trump narrowly won and gave him the presidency (the rust belt states) will demographically see a rise in minorities. This in combination with a more attractive candidate than Clinton as well as greater voter turnout among minorities could easily tip these states into the Democratic camp. If Trump should be the Republican candidate in 2020, this will also help.

      2) As I have stated previously, identity politics is the American way and is as old as the Republic. The Republicans have been masters in duping the public to believe that when blacks and other minorities vote in their perceived interests, this is bad identity politics, but when whites vote for racially motivated reasons, they are actually voting for some greater good and regarding them, the words “identity politics” must never be mentioned. I suppose the good white citizens of Alabama have never let the word “race” be a factor in who they vote for.

      I am not endorsing Oprah. This story will be quickly forgotten in a week. I just hope that people on the left do not fall into the trap of swallowing the right wing crap about the evils of identity politics.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        +1

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted January 9, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

          That’s “horde” and the link should close after “report.” Criminy!

        • Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

          This all sounds so convincing and you make good arguments. But I’ve heard it all before – how the Republican’s hold on power is crumbling and it will become a permanent minority party. I heard it during the Clinton years. I heard during the Obama years. I heard it early in the 2016 election year when no one thought Trump could actually win.

          This is the party that in much of the nation has a huge majority of seats in every political office from dog-catcher up to congress.

          I hope fervently that you and Historian are right, Ken. But I’m not placing any bets.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted January 9, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

            Donald Trump won the presidency with just 46% of the popular vote, and despite 11 million more Americans voting for other candidates. This is a feat never pulled off before since the rise of our modern two-party system — an outlier unlikely to be duplicated anytime soon.

            Democrats often win more total votes for the Senate and House of Representatives yet end up the minority party in one or both houses, due to the nonproportional nature of Senate representation and to the ruthless Republican gerrymandering of House districts. There’s not much that can be done about the Senate (which the Democrats are within two seats of controlling anyway), but the Supreme Court will, let us hope, soon put an end to the House gerrymandering and to Republican voter-suppression strategies.

            The entire current Republican congressional agenda comes down to clinging fiercely to political power despite an ever-shrinking demographic base of support. This cannot succeed over the long-haul, particularly with the damage Donald Trump is doing to the Republican brand.

          • Posted January 9, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

            The Republican party is expert at disenfranchising voters and getting them kicked off the lists. Also expert at screaming “Voter Fraud!” where none exists. All they have to do is “win.” How does not matter to them.

      • Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        I disagree with your definition of “identity politics”. What you describe is simply groups (who have some identity, of course) voting their interests. The kind of identity politics represented by Democrats, that Trump voters railed against, was the idea that our priority should be to help certain disadvantaged groups. Trump voters’ response was “What about us? Shouldn’t we be the priority?”

        • Historian
          Posted January 9, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          “The kind of identity politics represented by Democrats, that Trump voters railed against, was the idea that our priority should be to help certain disadvantaged groups.”

          You may have a point here. Democrats want to help disadvantaged groups. Republicans want to help advantaged groups. Much of American history has revolved around these competing visions. Is my statement simplistic? Yes, but its essence is true.

          • Davide Spinello
            Posted January 9, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

            You may have a point here. Democrats want to help disadvantaged groups. Republicans want to help advantaged groups. Much of American history has revolved around these competing visions. Is my statement simplistic? Yes, but its essence is true.

            Statements like this awake my little inner devil that for a few minutes is happy that Trump won.

          • Posted January 30, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

            I do not think that the flyover-land white working class, with their disappearing jobs and rising mortality, ara advantaged. To their concerns, Democrats replied with advice to check their white privilege (by the admission of some Democrats after the elections).

      • Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        Seems to me that identity politics centers on the idea that you are to considered (rewarded, punished, listened to, promoted, celebrated, etc.) based on the group you belong to, rather than on your personal merits, experience, talents, attitudes, morality, creativity, drive, sense of aesthetics, grit, persistence, and achievements.

        That idea will never appeal to me.

        And it cuts both ways, of course.

        • Historian
          Posted January 9, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

          I respect your attitude. But, in the real world rewards are often handed out by group membership. For example, a person of mediocre ability belonging to an upper middle class or upper class white family (think Donald Trump) will have all the advantages over a minority person raised in a deprived environment who is inherently talented.

          • Davide Spinello
            Posted January 9, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

            Indeed, but this is not what the game played by the current incarnation of the Democratic party is about.

          • Kevin Lawson
            Posted January 9, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            Not always. Trump would not have won against Obama in 2008.

          • Posted January 10, 2018 at 7:19 am | Permalink

            DT had his advantages by accident of history: His Dad had money. (He chose his parents well.)

            Now, he certainly had advantages in the attitudes of others towards him as a white male USian (as did I).

            I am fully in favor of offering equal opportunity to all and non-discrimination.

            But identity politics, as currently promoted and practiced by the Left, seems the opposite of this. It seems to specifically, explicitly, publicly (even promote as proposed public policy) honor or denigrate people based on membership of a group. (Jerry has posted on many examples of this.)

            The Left seems to have thrown away the ideas in King’s dream speech and have instead embraced the tools of their opponents — just with the tools pointed in the opposite direction.

            The idea that a “person of color” cannot be racist towards white people is a crystalline example of this.

  21. bonetired
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I suppose that it could be seen as an advantage of the Westminster system is that it is almost impossible for an outsider to become head of government without some form of political background since to become PM you must be an MP first which gives you grounding in the political system. Indeed most PM’s, Blair is an exception, have been cabinet ministers first.

    To come from outside to the top job, like Trump or, potentially, Oprah, could just not happen. You might dislike a party’s politics (as I do the both Tories and Labour) but the people in charge actually know how government works….

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

      “most PM’s, Blair is an exception, have been cabinet ministers first.”

      And it showed… 😦

      cr

  22. FloM
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    As the NYT editorial put it: “If liberals no longer pride themselves on being the adults in the room, the bulwark against the whims of the mob, our national descent into chaos will be complete. The Oprah bandwagon betrays the extent to which social causes and identities — and the tribal feelings they inspire — have come to eclipse anything resembling philosophical worldviews. American politics has become just another team sport, and if suiting up a heavy hitter like Ms. Winfrey is what it takes to get the championship ring, so be it.”

  23. Hempenstein
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Just noting that Waldman uses “nincompoop” in his piece. A wonderful word, and one that always seemed to be somewhat of a term of endearment to me, I also assumed it originated in the ’20s/30s, probably from hearing it used in Depression-era comedies.

    But wait! Etymology: a contraction of the Latin, non compos mentis, that dates to 1680!

    • Posted January 9, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      non compos mentis
      I was looking for a something to describe American politics… something to put me at ease with the Bach i’m listening to and help digest my breakfast.
      That will do it ably, thanks.

      • Kevin
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Thinking of the esteemed leader, ‘dis compos mentis’ comes to mind.

        That would make it ‘discompoop’.It would make a great verb:

        “The Potus has discompooped on Twitter again”

        There is an italian verb, ‘compostare’, which means ‘to mulch down to make garden manure’.

        Seems curiously apt in some way when applied to a person whose mental processes seem ever more entropic.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      I wonder if the relatively recent word, “numpty” is related. I like that name too but didn’t know nincompoop came from non compos mentis & I can imagine the educated, Latin speaking people using it with glee on the ignorant. These well educated 17th century people are wearing big wigs & thigh high, pointed boots in my mind as well. Also, some have monocles.

      • Kevin
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Are monocles anything like barnacles? I would hate to wake up one morning covered in monocles!

      • Kevin
        Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        “Latin speaking people using it with glee on the ignorant.”

        We have one of these as Foreign Secretary: Boris Johnson. Prone to calculated nincompoopery himself (oftimes in Latin or Greek): gives populist appeal with the hoipoloi to an Eton educated twit, don’t you know!
        Tipped for the next PM. Wizard wheeze.
        Tally ho for North Korea.

        He also has funny hair.

    • Kevin
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Thinking of the esteemed leader, ‘dis compos mentis’ comes to mind.

      That would make it ‘discompoop’.It would make a great verb:

      “The Potus has discompooped on Twitter again”

      There is an italian verb, ‘compostare’, which means ‘to mulch down to make garden manure’.

      Seems curiously apt in some way when applied to a person whose mental processes seem ever more entropic.

  24. Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I have seen many positive initial reactions on social media to “Oprah for President” meme. I and many others have taken on the task of reminding people what Oprah really stands for. For example, take a look at Oprah.com. She really would be a sort of left-wing Trump. She would hug us rather than stab us but we would still end up hating it.

  25. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Oprah is a good interpreter of literature, actress, and film/stage producer.

    But a president needs to be scientifically literate, as well as humanities-literate, and here I don’t think OW makes the cut.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Rosa Parks gets mentioned a lot because she is both black and female and fairly early figure in the civil rights movement predating Martin Luther King, and catalyst of the Montgomery bus boycott.

  26. Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I had (HAD) high hopes for Eliot Spitzer. But then he imploded.

    • james george
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Spitzer is the face of most politicians.

  27. Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, any presidential candidate belonging to a minority group will have a hard time avoiding the “identity politics” label and stigma. (Women are included here as we haven’t had a female president.)

    Obama did his best to avoid running as “the first black president”. Of course his voters and the press made that case for him. Obama was all about the job itself and his ability to do it well.

    Clinton did a much worse job in this respect, running too much under the “first woman president” banner. Clearly, slogans like “I’m with her” say nothing but to point out her gender.

    Oprah would fail in this regard. Her Golden Globes speech and much of what she’s done have been riddled with identity politics. Her lack of political experience make it impossible to run on anything else.

  28. grasshopper
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I think that Oprah has great presidential timbre.

    On another Oprah issue, I am not so sure that encouraging people to “speak your truth”, as she said at the Golden Globes, would in any way establish the veracity of a proposition. In the context of sexual bullying, and rape, the “truth” of an accusation would be simply countered by a statement of “truth” from the accused denying the offense.

    Language. It changes, I know.
    “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

    • Kevin Lawson
      Posted January 9, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      In fact, yes, the veracity of a proposition is established by speaking truth. “He said, she said,” and she loses, but “She said, she said, she said, she said, she said….” is kicking ass now.

      Speak your truth. It’s true…it works.

  29. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Nina Turner checks all the boxes: Black, Female, progressive, lots of government experience. She would be a great candidate for the DEMs but probably won’t be chosen because the plutocrats buying up both parties these days would see her as a threat to their continued plundering of the wealth of the world.

  30. Kevin Lawson
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Oprah would win. She would generate some enthusiasm and most importantly, few people hate her. Until a more experienced Dem comes along who could also win, Oprah should be the front-runner.

    Obviously Hillary would have made a way better president than Oprah could ever be, but Hillary was the most misogyny-soaked woman in America. 2020 is going to be all about finding someone with an enthusiastic base who is not hated. Even racists like Oprah because she made it possible for them to say, “I can’t be a racist–I watch Oprah!”

    • BJ
      Posted January 10, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      “Oprah would win”

      This statement can’t be the result of any careful analysis. You have no idea how she would even campaign or whether she’s cut out for it, not to mention what people will think once talk of her various business ventures (Dr. Oz medical quackery, Deepak Chopra and The Secret BS spirituality, Dr. Phil crap pop-psych, Jenny McCarthy anti-vaccination loony tunes) and other things begins if she decides to throw her hate in the ring.

      Moreover, her cult of personality may reach even extend to ten million people, but it’s probably not as widespread as you think, and I imagine it’s almost exclusively among Democrats (I’m sure some people not in the Dem base like her, but not to the worshipful extent I’m talking about). She has no policy positions and you have no idea what will happen if and when she trots some out. Nobody knows if she’ll be any good at debating or having rallies or answering tough interviews.

      We basically know nothing about her and how she would actually fare as a candidate, nor whether she has significant dirty laundry waiting to come out.

    • BJ
      Posted January 10, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Oh, and it seems many liberals here (including me) are very unenthusiastic about her and, while they don’t hate her, hate the idea of her becoming President.

  31. Posted January 9, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    It is unconscionable that after the mess we are in any part of the collective thinks a “famous” person can fix it.

    Anyone looking to lead and manage a complex situation ought become an outlier in that realm.

    If people really want to take her seriously, a city council would be a good place to start.

    “Because if it’s really just the fault of these politicians then where are all the other bright people of conscience?

    Where are all the bright, honest, inteligent americans ready to step in and save the Nation and lead the way?”

    – George Carlin

  32. Dale Franzwa
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know. At this point I’m so sick of incompetent celebrity candidates, I’m ready to vote for any old “just plain Joe.”

    • Posted January 10, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      I would vote for Grumpy Cat. (She already has a competent staff working with her.)

    • Posted January 10, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Maybe plain old John, as in Hickenlooper.

  33. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Are there things worse than Trump or Oprah? Sarah Palin comes to mind. Remember her?

    Oprah vs Sarah Palin. One cunning and full of woo, the other demonstrably full of – well, not a lot, actually.

    I don’t know why I thought of that except, back then, everyone heaved a sigh of relief and figured they’d dodged a bullet…

    cr

    • Posted January 10, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Sarah Palin? The young ambitious know-nothing picked as VP by the very old guy… what could have gone wrong had they won.

      In America, we seem to be lowering the bar (and expectations) each time.

  34. Posted January 10, 2018 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Both the D and the R parties are dying off. Both are authoritarian nightmares. They are the real plunderers of our nations wealth, with out of control spending and corporatism. Oprah would be the next natural evolution. A progressive anti-science fool with no experience, who would govern with big ‘ol hugs.

    • Posted January 10, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      “A progressive anti-science fool with no experience, who would govern with big ‘ol hugs.”

      I would prefer being hugged to being strangled.

      And Oprah can learn.

      • Posted January 30, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        And the entire world will “pay the tuition” of Oprah learning new tricks. Please, dear Americans, do not cause this to us!

        • Posted January 30, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

          By 2020, there may be so little left working, not even celebrities will want the job.

  35. Andrea Kenner
    Posted January 10, 2018 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    On the poll, I went with Mildly Enthusiastic. I would want to take a wait-and-see approach to any policy ideas that Oprah might want to float before making a decision.

    At this point, I can’t come down strongly against Oprah as a presidential candidate for one reason… Some of the comments I’ve seen about her bring to mind the extreme bashing Hillary received. I think a lot of that was purely gender-based. I would hope that, if Oprah chooses to run, we would try to listen to what she actually has to say, versus bashing her right out of the gate.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 10, 2018 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      I’m well disposed to the general idea of a woman President. Michelle Obama would be great (and in saying that, I don’t claim to know a vast amount about Michelle, that’s just my general impression).

      Oprah, on the other hand, unfortunately has a history of promoting woo, as many commenters have noted. That’s not a gender thing, it would apply just as strongly to Deepak for example…

      cr

      • Posted January 10, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

        +1.

        I voted mildly unenthusiastic.

        The only reason I didn’t say “Hell no!” is that I’d take ANY Dem instead of der Drumpfenführer.

    • BJ
      Posted January 10, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      At least on this site, I haven’t seen a single comment regarding why Oprah shouldn’t be a serious candidate that took her gender into account. I hope you’re not suggesting that the extreme distrust of an ignorance-promoting celebrity we’re seeing is somehow the result of her being a woman. It’s an easy and convenient way to dismiss criticism, but it isn’t right.

      • Andrea Kenner
        Posted January 10, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        I wasn’t referring specifically to comments on this site; I was referring to comments I’ve seen on Twitter and elsewhere. There’s just something about the strident tone of some of the comments I’ve seen that reminded me of the way people talked about Hillary. As others here have said, no one knows what Oprah’s policies are. I’m just saying that I’m willing to wait to hear them before dismissing them (and her) out of hand. I share your distrust of the “woo” things Oprah has promoted; that’s why I gave her only a “Mildly Enthusiastic” rating.

    • Posted January 30, 2018 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      I think that Clinton deserved much of the bashing, and would receive it even if she were male. Other things aside, after Bush Jr., Americans seem to have learned their lesson not to elect a president with the same family name as a previous president. Jeb Bush was discarded early in the campaign. I do not understand why Michelle Obama is mentioned time and again as a suitable candidate. Unless you want more Republican presidency, she should stay out.

  36. Jonathan Wallace
    Posted January 10, 2018 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    “She has a weakness for woo, and that doesn’t bode well for a President.”

    That’s true but unfortunately it seems not to be an impediment to becoming president.

  37. Bill
    Posted January 10, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Oprah gets the “at least she’s not crazy” vote.

  38. Posted January 10, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I hope she doesn’t run. She should continue her charitable works, unimpeded. Also, reports say that she’s been fairly chummy with Harvey the predator. How could she, given her stature and connections in the entertainment industry, not have known that there was something awfully fishy about the man?
    http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/awards/golden-globes/oprahs-relationship-with-weinstein-highlighted-amid-presidential-rumours/news-story/3e03b57ff6bcb7caf2415655deaa34b6

    • Posted January 10, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Surely the US needs a president who’s well-versed in the law, has experience in politics, and is above reproach.

  39. gluonspring
    Posted January 10, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    God, I hope Democrats reject this idea. We need at least one party vaguely committed to competence.

  40. Posted January 10, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    All this speculation- but who are you seeing as Oprah’s opposition in 2020?

    Oprah v Donald Trump? Or, a stronger race:
    Oprah v Ivanka Trump.

    Don’t think it couldn’t happen.

  41. Posted January 14, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    If you need someone charismatic like Oprah, then why not Neil degrasse Tyson?


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