- Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
- CNN on Monday quoted two of Oprah Winfrey’s close confidants as saying she is “actively” considering a 2020 presidential bid.
- Winfrey gave a high-profile speech at Sunday’s Golden Globes.
Two of the billionaire businesswoman Oprah Winfrey’s closest friends told CNN on Monday that she was “actively thinking” about running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020.
One source told the network that conversations about a possible presidential bid dated back months, but they emphasized that Winfrey had not yet made up her mind about it.
Accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes on Sunday, Winfrey gave a rousing nine-minute speech that garnered lavish praise and a standing ovation from the audience.
“I want to say that I value the press more than ever before as we try to navigate these complicated times, which brings me to this,” she said. “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. And I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to share their personal stories.”
Referencing the #MeToo movement, a part of which encourages women to share their stories of sexual misconduct in the workplace and elsewhere, Winfrey capped her speech with a call to action.
“I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon, and when that new day finally dawns it will be because of a lot of magnificent women – many of whom are right here in this room tonight – and some pretty phenomenal men fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time where nobody ever has to say ‘me too’ again,” she said.
Earlier in the evening, the award show’s host, Seth Meyers, joked about a possible White House bid for Winfrey.
“Oprah, in 2011, I told some jokes about our current president at the White House correspondents’ dinner – jokes about how he was unqualified to be president – and some have said that night convinced him to run,” he said. “So if that’s true, I just want to say: Oprah, you will never be president! You do not have what it takes!”
Winfrey recently shot down the idea of a possible presidential bid, telling Gayle King on “CBS This Morning” in October that there would be “no running for office of any kind for me.”
But that has done little to squash rumors of a possible bid that – like those about President Donald Trump before he announced his 2016 run – have been around for years.
‘Anyway, who cares, I adore Oprah’
During a March conversation on Bloomberg TV with David Rubenstein, the CEO of the private-equity giant Carlyle Group, Winfrey said Trump’s election had caused her to consider the idea of a bid.
“I actually never thought that that was – I never considered the question even a possibility,” Winfrey said. “I just thought, ‘Oh. Oh.'”
She added: “I thought, ‘Oh gee, I don’t have the experience – I don’t know enough.’ And now I’m thinking, ‘Oh! Oh!'”
That month, the left-leaning polling firm Public Policy Polling surveyed voters and found that Winfrey would lead Trump in a hypothetical 2020 matchup 47% to 40%.
Trump has appeared on Winfrey’s long-running daytime talk show on multiple occasions, even discussing his possible future presidency during an appearance in 1988.
Trump has also often expressed his admiration for Winfrey in tweets.
“By the way, where is @Oprah?” Trump tweeted before the 2012 presidential election. “Good question. 4 years ago she strongly supported Obama – now she is silent. Anyway, who cares, I adore Oprah.”