Oprah 2020? Think Again

Mimicking Trump's 'hallucinatory circus act' is a bad idea, columnist says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2018 12:00 AM CST
Why Oprah Shouldn't Run
This image released by NBC shows Oprah Winfrey accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018.   (Paul Drinkwater/NBC via AP)

After Oprah Winfrey's rousing speech at the Golden Globes, some people are talking at least semi-seriously about an Oprah White House bid—while others are calling it a terrible idea. Paul Waldman at the Washington Post says Oprah 2020 supporters should "take a breath" and realize that to take on President Trump, the Democrats should choose somebody who has both charisma and the experience to be president. He warns that an Oprah bid could suck up all the media's attention the way Trump's campaign did in 2016. It's not impossible that she could be a worthy candidate, but "we should all be extremely skeptical unless and until she shows us why, beyond just being rich and famous, she'd actually make a good president," he writes.

Thomas Chatterton Williams at the New York Times argues that if the last year has shown us anything, it is "that experience, knowledge, education, and political wisdom matter tremendously"—and that celebrities do not make good heads of state. "The ideal post-Trump politician will, at the very least, be a deeply serious figure with a strong record of public service behind her," he writes. "It would be a devastating, self-inflicted wound for the Democrats to settle for even benevolent mimicry of Mr. Trump's hallucinatory circus act." Ben Smith at BuzzFeed agrees that "celebrity politics" should not triumph. To reverse Trump, he writes, Democrats should look to "governors and senators with deep experience, proven political chops, and an unglamorous sense of normalcy." (More Oprah Winfrey stories.)

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