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Should Oprah Run for President?

Golden Globes Speech Considered the First in Her Campaign

Donald Trump is probably seething right now. Republican leaders are scrambling this morning. Why? Because last night Oprah Winfrey gave, what many are considering, her first Presidential stump speech. Will the beloved icon run for the nation's highest office? The better question is, should she run for President?

When Trump announced his decision to run for President, nobody took him seriously. Let me rephrase that, very few thought he had a chance of winning the nomination. Fewer still thought that he could win against Hillary Clinton, yet here we are. The fact that Oprah has already carried the favor of a broad swath of people with her speech last night let's just say I'm surprised that we haven't had a Tweetstorm about what a loser Oprah is yet.

Perhaps Republican leaders are huddled with Trump in strategy meetings for the 2020 election. Remember Trump has already signed up to run for re-election, something he did before he even took office. An Oprah nomination from the Democrats would be their worst nightmare, and Christmas present all rolled into one.

That contradiction can be best explained this way: Oprah is beloved by almost everyone across the political spectrum. Her brand of selflessness and improving yourself, combined with being one of the smartest people in the world, make her a formidable opponent for Trump. Take a close look at Trump, he has supporters but not across both sides of the spectrum and only a few people in his party support him. Partly because his ideology consists of terrifying people and his over-the-top belief that he is the greatest and most loved, is part of the reason for that.

The part where Oprah running for President is a dream come true for the Republicans is very simple: She has no political experience. Yes, it could be seen as quite hypocritical, seeing as the leader of the party had no political experience when he ascended to the Oval Office. That won't matter though; they will throw dirt on that fact and focus on the last four years. If anyone can overcome this obstacle, it is Oprah. The other thing that they will decry is the fact that she is unmarried. Sure, Trump has three marriages under his belt, but at least he has good American values. Never mind the cheating, and alleged sexual assaults, he has a spouse, and that's all that matters. Even Hillary could not overcome this and Trump seized on Bill's cheating every chance he got. Again ignoring the fact that he also committed adultery several times.

Will Oprah overcome that hypocrisy? Maybe, she has done things that very few other media moguls have accomplished, in a much shorter amount of time. There is no doubt that an Oprah administration would be a fantastic assortment of experts, who would immediately transform the government into something that resembled what we had seen and known before January 20, 2017. There is the small matter of Oprah needing to get the nomination.

That is where it could get a little tricky. As I told a friend this morning, when we discussed this possibility, it cannot be treated as a coronation for Oprah. As much as I love Hillary, the primaries in 2016 were treated as her coronation, her birthright, and that was one of the biggest mistakes made. Oprah will need to go through the process and earn the people's votes with her stances on the important topics. She cannot go the "At least I'm not Trump" route, as that would only fuel the feeling that Democrats were so desperate for a candidate that would be their version of Trump. The Right Wing pundits would rightfully jump on that and doom her campaign and ensure that Trump keeps the White House for another four years (assuming he doesn't get impeached).

Should Oprah run for President? A reasonable question that has only one answer: Only if she wants to put in the work to win over the base. While she is certainly no Trump, Republicans watched as he survived scandal after scandal to not only win the nomination but enough electoral votes to beat out Hillary Clinton. She will need to show the same acumen and genius strategizing. One great speech at a Hollywood Award show is a good start, but it does not mean that she can or should do it. 

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