by Bill Scher, Politico:
Eleven years ago, the animated TV show “The Boondocks” envisioned the election of Oprah Winfrey to the presidency in 2020. Now there’s a chance fiction could hit reality on the nose.
Asked on Bloomberg Television’s “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations” whether she might run, Winfrey teased that the election of Trump stirred her interest: “I [had] thought, ‘Oh, gee, I don’t have the experience. I don’t know enough. Now, I’m thinking, ‘
Before we all get the vapors, note that her next words were left off of the clip zooming through the Internet: “That won’t be happening.” The flat denial is in line with her past responses, like when she told Stephen Colbert in January, “NEVER!”
But past denials can be rendered inoperative, and cracked doors can be flung wide open with enough public pressure. So her tease, deliberate or not, does raise a legitimate question for Democrats: Is Oprah the celebrity kryptonite they need to best Donald Trump at his own game?
Trump’s victory already makes any wild speculation of an outsider presidential bid impossible to dismiss out of hand, especially those from celebrity business figures like Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Disney CEO Bob Iger.
But Oprah is in a class by herself. Cuban and Zuckerberg, like many famously sharp-elbowed corporate executives, are both loved and hated, while Iger lacks a household name. But Winfrey, the rags-to-riches media mogul, is one of the most famous, successful and influential people in the world, and has reached those heights while attracting relatively few harsh critics along the way. Even after she dipped her toe into politics by endorsing Barack Obama in 2008, she retained high favorability among people of all partisan stripes, even though her numbers with Republicans dipped.