- The Washington Times - Monday, January 8, 2018


Oprah Winfrey gave a good speech at the Golden Globes — a rousing, pertinent, timely and even touching speech.

But that’s not the same as saying it was presidential. And it’s certainly not the same as accepting Winfrey herself would made a good presidential candidate.

Yet many on the left have taken this moment to say just that.

Desperate? Or missing the mark, once again, on what makes the American people tick?

Probably — a little of both.

Democrats don’t really have a solid pick for 2020. Sen. Kamala Harris? Progressive to the extreme. Ex-Obama frontman, Eric Holder? Gag. Friend of Black Lives Matter, enemy of police. Good luck with that. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe? Too much Clinton baggage — too much of a seedy salesman appearance. Joe Biden? Bring it — he’d be the Republican Party’s biggest gift in years.

Winfrey, however, brings the star power of Donald Trump, the skin color of the widely leftist-loved Barack Obama and the ever-elusive commander-in-chief gender of a Hillary Clinton — minus all the Hillary Clinton political scandals. So it’s only natural the Dems, who like to paint themselves as the civil rights savior of the minority and the true equalizing representative of the woman, might want to seize upon her as the next leader of the party.

But Winfrey’s not exactly tuned in to the America that raised up Trump — the one that’s still very much alive and kicking, by the way. And her own Hollywood speech shows why.

Winfrey, speaking before a bubble community that’s just been popped for massive sexual harassment and abuse of women, rightly touched on that very issue and brought it to the forefront.

She did it with a poignant recollection of her 1964 little girl experience of watching Sidney Poitier winning an Oscar for Best Actor, and then of his 1982 receipt of the Cecil B. DeMille award — the same one she was accepting — as well as a segue into a sad recounting of the plight of Recy Taylor, a black Alabama woman raped in 1944 by six armed white males.

Taylor just died, at the age of 98. The men who raped her were never prosecuted.

“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men,” Winfrey said. “But their time is up. Their time is up. Their time is up. And I just hope — I just hope that Recy Taylor died knowing that her truth, like the truth of so many other women who were tormented in those years, and even now tormented, goes marching on. It was somewhere in Rosa Park’s heart almost 11 years later, when she made the decision to stay seated on that bus in Montgomery, and it’s here with every woman who chooses to say, ‘Me too.’ And every man — every man who chooses to listen.”

From that, the left lifted Winfrey to presidential status.

Oprah’s Golden Globes speech sounds like the start of a presidential campaign,” wrote CNNMoney.

And this, from Vox: “Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech spurs presidential speculation.”

And this, from the Los Angeles Times: “Oprah at the Golden Globes: Is she running for president? She should, they say.”

And this, from CBS: Oprah’s Golden Globe Awards speech stirs presidential run rumors online.”

There are more. But fact is: Winfrey made a speech. She made a speech that was aimed at a certain audience that’s come under a big cloud for its mistreatment of women of late. And her speech spoke of this dark cloud, with an inspirational twist.

But the rhetoric would die a quick death on the national political stage. Hillary Clinton tried to run as a victim of her female sex. Hillary Clinton spent much of her campaign — heck, much of her political career, pre-White House campaign — tossing the gender card as far and wide as possible. And when she lost her presidential race, Hillary Clinton spent much of her media platform trying to sell the idea that it was her femaleness that brought the loss. She wrote a book that touched on it; her minions to this day talk about it.

And the country, to Clinton, went: Sigghhh. Shut up about the gender.

The main takeaway?

If Winfrey’s the Democrat Party’s next presidential candidate, simply because of a speech she gave about the coming time of women in roles of societal leadership, well then, it’s looking pretty good for Republicans in 2020. Small pockets of America may appreciate feminist-type speeches that point to the problems plaguing women and girls in the country. But making a whole presidential campaign out of that message will fall flat. Americans, by and large, want something more from a president than a gender card and gender warfare.

Cheryl Chumley may be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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