Days after Oprah Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globe Awards 2018 triggered speculations of her candidacy for the 2020 US Presidential Elections, President Donald Trump said he could beat the media mogul, but added that he did not think she would contest the polls. Winfrey, a long-time Democrat, delivered a rousing speech on Sunday, in which she raised gender inequalities and sexual harassment in the Hollywood industry.
“Yeah I’ll beat Oprah. Oprah would be a lot of fun,” the Republican President was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters. “I know her very well… I like Oprah. I don’t think she’s going to run,” Trump added.
What did Oprah say in her speech?
As she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award on Sunday, Oprah, 63, hoped for “a brighter morning, even in our darkest nights.” In light of the #MeToo campaign, she chose the occasion to call out sexual harassers and hoped for a day when “nobody has to say ‘me too’ again.”
Oprah expressed gratitude to the women who have faced abuse and assault. “For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up,” she said. She added that gender equality transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace.
In a veiled attack on Trump, she raised the issue of press freedom, saying the press is under “siege” these days. “I value the press more than ever before as we try to navigate these complicated times, which brings me to this: what I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.”
Oprah is the first black woman to receive the award.
Express Editorial | In her speech, Oprah presents a welcome contrast to the incumbent US president
Why do people think Oprah will run for president?
A string of statements since Oprah’s speech has fuelled rumours. Stedman Grahan, Oprah’s long-time partner, on Monday said “(her presidency) is up to the people,” adding that “she would absolutely do it,” reported The Associated Press. His comments were followed by Oprah’s best friend Gayle King saying the media mogul was intrigued by the idea of running.
Has Oprah reacted to rumours?
No, she hasn’t. In fact, as recently as September and October 2017, Oprah dismissed similar speculations while saying Trump’s win made her rethink the requirements of the office, reported The Associated Press.
How are people reacting?
Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr, has reacted and has called the idea of Oprah as president “strange,” reported The Associated Press.
While supporting the idea of Oprah’s candidacy, Brad Anderson, former US president Barack Obama’s 2020 Iowa campaign director, said, “Look, it’s ridiculous — and I get that. At the same time, politics is ridiculous right now.”
Jimmy Kimmel, host of the Late Night Show, reacted saying, “Given the choice between Oprah and our current president, I’m on the bus with Oprah travelling the country encouraging people to sign up and vote.”
“She would be a serious candidate,” Jennifer Palmieri, former White House communications director under Obama and the communications director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, said.
(With inputs from The Associated Press)