On Sunday, in her best presidentially coiffed hair and geek-chic specs, Oprah Winfrey delivered the speech at the Golden Globes as she took home the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.
While her speech touched on historical racism and sexism, which are woven into the fabric of Hollywood’s ethos, her speech transcended the moment, much like in 2004 when a little-known Illinois state senator stole the show at the Democratic National Convention. In fact, it was Oprah at peak Oprah; she was considerate, measured and gracious, and promised that America was headed toward a new day.
She did all of this in a stunning, all-black gown (a show of solidarity with the #MeToo movement against sexual assault), and dare I say it, she looked and sounded real presidential. If the Golden Globes were giving out awards for best transcendent, presidential-esque speech, Oprah would have won. Hands down.
I’m not the only one who thought this; rumors began sprouting up all over social media. People were tweeting “Oprah 2020!” everywhere. Internet sleuths were digging through Oprah’s internet garbage to see if there were any signs that she was, in fact, gearing up to put a ring on America’s naked finger (we don’t fuck with the man in office), to make it official.
And the message still isn’t clear as to whether or not one of America’s richest woman will consider a run for office. Shortly after her Golden Globe speech, Oprah told Bloomberg backstage that she didn’t plan to run, but Stedman Graham (Oprah’s longtime partner) told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday: “It’s up to the people. She would absolutely do it.”
On Monday, CNN, citing two unnamed friends, reported that Winfrey is “actively thinking” about a presidential run, but unless both of those friends’ names rhyme with “Bayle Bing,” I don’t believe said “friends” of Oprah.
I can’t lie; I, too, floated the idea of Oprah as president, and hoped that it would mean, “You get a tax break, and you get a tax break!” A longer look, however, forces me to one concrete thought: Oprah is not America’s mammy, so please don’t ask her to come clean up this white man’s mess.
In one year the president has put his muddy-ass boots all over President Barack Obama’s legacy. He’s torn the heart out of Obamacare, without a sensible, effective, health care replacement; he’s given “reparations” to the top 1 percent in this lame “tax reform” bill; and he’s emboldened white supremacy, all while getting the entire United States involved in a nuclear Twitter beef with the supreme leader of North Korea. Not to mention, his nasty ass eats KFC in the White House and doesn’t even use coasters in the Oval Office.
Look, I know that the idea of Oprah for president is a compelling and exciting idea. Could she be president? Of course she could! She’s a black woman, and black women are all the faces on Mount Rushmore for fixing perpetually broken American shit.
But please don’t hype this idea up. Oprah coming in after Obama would’ve been ideal, and I think that she may have been considering it, but she was trying to give Hillary Clinton her shine, and I get that. But Oprah deserves more than inheriting a busted America with a broken economy, or the threat of a nuclear war, with an emboldened white supremacist army dressed in khakis and wielding tiki torches.
She or Gayle King (who would surely be her chief of staff) would have to have a sit-down with Kim Jong Un and Iyanla Vanzant to repair the damage this president has done. You know that she’d have to get a corporate sponsor to donate tons of free swag to make shit right with the United Nations. I also know that Freestyle Taco Tuesday night at the White House would be lit, and so would the Easter Egg Roll, but it isn’t worth losing one of America’s treasures to try to undo the damage that this flagrantly white, white man has done.
Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer doesn’t believe that Oprah has the political infrastructure for a successful presidential run. Not only is he wrong, but this is coming from a man who became so disheveled trying to cover for all of the current president’s bullshit that he once left the White House wearing mismatched shoes. Besides, what political infrastructure did Trump have when he decided to run for office? Tweets about politics don’t count, and currently there is an actual debate as to whether or not the current president of the United States is even literate.
Oprah could win, easily. Because Oprah could pull the 53 percent of secretly racist white woman who voted for Trump. When those white women claim that they have a black friend, they are talking about Oprah. Those are the women who betrayed their own interests and black America, and those women love them some Oprah.
I know that the idea of an Oprah-and-Sen. Kamala Harris or Oprah-and-Rep. Maxine Waters ticket is fun, but think about the heavy lifting that Oprah would have to take on and ask yourself: In addition to trying to get us to eat better, love ourselves more and inspire us to live our best lives, should she really be responsible for balancing the budget, pulling us out of our national debt and playing nice with old white, racist senators? Seems like too much to ask, even of Oprah.
She could handle it, but should she have to?