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One of the most influential women in the world, Oprah Winfrey’s presidential ambitions have long been a subject of celebrity-watching chatter.
Winfrey’s 2018 acceptance speech at the Golden Globes — she was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement — set off speculation about her possibility to run for president. The speech, which opened with a personal anecdote of her growing up as a Black girl in Milwaukee, pivoted to politics and social issues, such as the #MeToo movement.
“I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon,” she said. “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 when nobody ever has to say ‘Me Too’ again.”
Stedman Graham, Winfrey’s longtime partner, told the Los Angeles Times, that Winfrey running for president is “it’s up to the people,” and “she would absolutely do it.”
But three weeks before her speech, the media magnate herself told Laura Brown, then the editor-in-chief of InStyle, that she has no interest in occupying the presidency. Winfrey said she had met with someone who offered to help with a political campaign, but she declined.
“I’ve always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not,” Winfrey told Brown. “And so it’s not something that interests me. I don’t have the DNA for it. … That’s not for me.”
But it may be too early to completely rule out her name appearing on the ballot. In an interview with David Rubenstein, Winfrey said at first she felt as if she didn’t have the experience to run for president, but is thinking otherwise after Donald Trump’s election.
“I thought, oh gee, I don’t have the experience, I don’t know enough, and now I’m thinking, ‘Oh, oh?'” she said.
And even if she doesn’t run, her endorsement — if one is forthcoming — could certainly help the recipient.