Editorials

Oprah for president?

Oprah Winfrey attends the 2016 ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood awards luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 25, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.
Oprah Winfrey attends the 2016 ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood awards luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 25, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.

From her impoverished childhood to her risks as a talk show host and publisher, Oprah Winfrey has never been a “safe bet.” But her apparent flirtation with a White House run in 2020 should not be viewed as some kind of stunt or joke. Winfrey is a very serious person with a $3 billion fortune built literally from scratch and a broad base of popularity, because her story is in many ways reflective of many American stories.

She was poor; she was a victim of abuse. Her career in show business was an uphill climb through which she managed to blaze many trails. She “evolved” a talk show from a sensational format to a serious discussion of important issues, and she had fun along the way, giving away cars and trips and doing much for charities around the world, and answering the call at home in the wake of natural disasters. She became one of the most respect African-American voices in the world, inside and outside of politics.

President? Improbable, but little about her life has been probable, and her popularity runs across racial, ethnic and financial lines. Yes, she has six (or more) homes, but average folks identify with her and like her, which explains her success on television. And she is a person of substance and gravitas.

Improbable. Not impossible.

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer

  Comments