WASHINGTON — Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech has revived notions that she is considering a 2020 presidential bid, a prospect that she has previously dismissed.
CNN reported on Monday that two close friends of hers say that she is “actively considering” a bid, while her longtime partner, Stedman Graham, added fuel to the speculation when he told the Los Angeles Times after the ceremony that she “absolutely” would do it.
Winfrey was asked last year about the possibility of a presidential bid and, while indicating that the idea is not so far fetched, seemed to dismiss it. But her speech at the Globes, in which she evoked themes of unity, hope, and inclusion, could be a counterweight to the politics of Washington and, even though she did not invoke him by name, President Donald Trump.
Winfrey campaigned for Barack Obama in Iowa and other states in 2007 and 2008, and her endorsement was thought to have greatly improved his chances to break through and overcome the opposition of Hillary Clinton. She campaigned for Obama again in 2012, but largely stayed out of the 2016 contest.
While Winfrey has gotten political, she rarely goes on the attack, something that could be a challenge in a rough-and-tumble Democratic primary and general election. If she were to run, though, she could emerge as a frontrunner by her name recognition alone.
Her speech — while written for her acceptance of a Golden Globe special award — was also the type of rhetoric meant to inspire large crowds on the campaign trail or a political convention.
“I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who’ve withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights,” she said.