- - Tuesday, January 9, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Oprah in 2020? Bring her on, says the Trump White House.

The Hollywood elite gathered Sunday to celebrate itself with the Golden Globes, and it was everything you’d expect from the self-serving awards show: Political, pedantic and pathetic as ever.

But this one was different. Not because Tinseltown’s glitterati donned black to show support for the #MeToo movement, but because President Trump was hardly mentioned at all. This time, all the talk was about another president: Oprah Winfrey.

Yes, Oprah Winfrey, on stage to collect the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement, announced that she is running for president in 2020. Fake news! That didn’t happen. But it might as well have, judging from all the talk the exploded across the internet and “news” organizations after her nine-minute speech.

NBC News was blunt with a tweet as the ceremony was still going on: “Nothing but respect for OUR future president.” The network later deleted the tweet, saying it was merely “in reference to a joke made during the monologue and not meant to be a political statement.” Yeah, sure.

Others, like The New York Times and The Washington Post, took the lazy journalist’s route and put it in the form of a question. Said the Times: “President Oprah? After the Golden Globes, Some Have a 2020 Vision.”

One wag even etched it into the world’s reference tool, Wikipedia, editing in an entry that read, “Oprah Winfrey basically announced her run for the presidency on Jan. 8, 2018, at the 75th Golden Globe Awards.” (As usual, the “fact” was wrong: It was Jan. 7.)

But something did happen in the ballroom of the Hollywood Hills Hotel on Sunday. Oprah, as she does, gave a stirring speech, this one weaving her own life experiences with those of pioneers like Sidney Poitier, Rosa Parks and Recy Taylor, while touching on the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal and the empowerment of women. And there was one moment that made any savvy viewer sit up a little straighter on their couch and say, “Oh yeah, she’s running.”

“So I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day — is — on — the — horizon,” she said, slowing down her delivery for the last four words, her voice rising, her fist punching the air just the way politicians always do.

Hollywood — and the hard core Left — would love nothing more than for Oprah to run in 2020. And Oprah — worth a whopping $3 billion — is just 63: She’d be younger moving into the White House than Mr. Trump was. Plus, what other world does she have to conquer? Everything she touches turns to gold, so why not give politics a spin?

Forget that she doesn’t know a thing about foreign policy. Mr. Trump didn’t (and it’s certainly arguable that neither did former Presidents Barack Obama or George W. Bush, given their performances in that realm). Still, she has “It” — that ability to connect with people, to sound earnest, as if she’s telling the truth (all the great politicians have it, especially when they’re not telling the truth). Her speech was amazing not only for its power, but for the fact that she delivered it extemporaneously (unless the text was scrolling on an unseen TelePrompter).

The lapdogs in the liberal media couldn’t wait to jump on the bandwagon.

NBC News penned a piece headlined: “Oprah inspires in a way that Hillary never could.” (Just a joke? Nope, this time they left the piece up.) Celebrities came out of the woodwork to say they’d support her in 2020 (well, duh).

By now you’re certainly asking, “What does Jimmy Kimmel think?” We’re ahead of you. “Given the choice between Oprah and our current president, I’m on the bus with Oprah,” said the late-night show host.

And Oprah is “actively thinking” about running for president, two of her close friends told CNN on Monday. “It’s up to the people,” Ms. Winfrey’s longtime partner Stedman Graham told a Los Angeles Times reporter. “She would absolutely do it.”

So, there you go.

After her compelling speech, #Oprah2020 started trending on Twitter, with several people pointing out she could just adopt Obama’s campaign logo, a big red, white and blue O.

The White House said — Bring her on.

“We welcome the challenge, whether it be Oprah Winfrey or anybody else,” Hogan Gidley, a deputy White House press secretary, said on Air Force One.

So, there you have it: It’s Trump vs. Oprah in 2020.

And you thought things couldn’t get any weirder.

Joseph Curl has covered politics for 25 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent at The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @josephcurl.


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