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12 January 2018, 08:51 | Israel Caldwell
OpinionOprah2020 And why fame and politics does not mix Jack Peat
The dieting company's shares jumped 12.2% in trading Monday to close at $52.62, up $5.71. Boasting a Forbes-estimated net worth of $US2.8 billion ($3.57 billion), she is a media mogul, investor, presenter and cultural icon who has carved spaces for herself as both a performer and businesswoman.
But some would argue the similarities end there.
On board Air Force One, Trump's spokesman Hogan Gidley was grilled about the speculation by reporters travelling with the president to Nashville, answering that his boss would "welcome the challenge, whether it be Oprah Winfrey or anybody else". That can be the only explanation for why she thought that she of all people could come out in support of Time's Up, an organization set up by women in the entertainment industry to fight against sexual misconduct in various fields.
Might that foster a better relationship with the press than the Trump or Obama administrations?
Speaking to a college graduating class a year ago, Winfrey reflected that across her career, every successful move has come down to "intentional living" and betting on herself and her own capabilities, rather than listening to others.
However, he said, that "hands down Donald Trump [would win] - but Oprah would give him a run for his money", without explaining why.
"All this stuff about what people usually do is out the window", he said. Meanwhile, listening to her powerful speech, her fans were convinced of her eligibility. "Oprah Winfrey just fired a warning flare in the sky for anyone who still doesn't get that the parties no longer control their own nominations".
Actor Rose McGowan, one of the first women in Hollywood to accuse Hollywood magnate Harvey Weinstein of rape wrote on Twitter, "Alright Oprah".
So far, Rep. John Delaney of Maryland is the only Democratic politician to have declared his candidacy for president in 2020, and it's unclear what other big-name politicians may enter the race. She's somebody that's very special.
First, I'll make a confession, which is only fitting when discussing Oprah. There's a strong possibility that, just as Trump did in the 2016 primaries, she'd suck up every ounce of media attention, limiting the ability of the more experienced and serious candidates to make their case to primary voters.
Winfrey has much to contribute to social dialogues.
Nominating Oprah would be, in effect, to say Democrats will respond to a uniquely unqualified and dangerous-to-the-country billionaire celebrity president (now, according to the Wall Street Journal, apparently considering a targeted strike at North Korea that would deliver a "bloody nose" but not a bloody response) by nominating a vastly better, almost-certainly-not-dangerous billionaire celebrity candidate who speaks in well-formed sentences and tends not to say, like, like. She also said on "CBS This Morning" there will be no running for office of any kind for her.
And that's all I'm getting at. We live in a time in which a gossipy, tell-all book has become the central framework in judging the Trumpian presidency and White House team.
Trump himself has lavished praise on Winfrey over the years, including in 2015, when he said that he would consider her as a running mate on his Republican ticket.
"It was the right person giving the right speech at the right time", she said. I got a lot of things going, she's got a lot of things going.
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