Oprah Winfrey insists she will not run for president in 2020, but after a sensational speech at the Golden Globes Sunday night, no one believes her — including her longtime partner.
“It's up to the people,” Stedman Graham told the LA Times after the ceremony. “She would absolutely do it.”
Graham’s comment came after Winfrey denied thinking about an Oval Office run in two years. “I don’t — I don’t,” the 63-year-old billionaire told Bloomberg.
Accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement, Winfrey’s nine-minute speech prompted several standing ovations, notably for calling out male abusers and telling them "their time is up." That theme pervaded the Hollywood event, with actresses wearing black and many repeating the "time's up" mantra in their speeches.
However, it was Winfrey's comments on leadership that spurred febrile speculation about a tilt at the White House.
“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.”
A presidential ticket with Winfrey at the top was referenced in the opening monologue of host Seth Meyers, who noted it was his jokes about Donald Trump at a White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011 that led to the current presidential predicament.
Media mogul Winfrey has often been urged to run for public office, but she has consistently denied the possibility.
“There will be no running for office of any kind for me,” she told CBS as recently as October. In June, she told the Hollywood Reporter: “I will never run for public office. That’s a pretty definitive thing.”
Despite the denials, many people want Oprah to become the first woman president.
On social media the #Oprah2020 hashtag was trending from the minute she took the stage.
Trump has yet to comment on his potential 2020 rival, but in a 2016 interview he did tout Winfrey as a potential running mate. That honor eventually went Mike Pence.