Oprah For President? Celebrity vs. Ideology 7

Oprah and Barack flickr photo by whoohoo120 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

The big news recently is that Oprah could run for president in 2020. It’s definitely preferable to the mess in the White House that we have now. Some caveats though.

While I don’t think she would run on a platform of destruction like the current POTUS, it’s unclear whether or not her unique governing style would be effective, either domestically or when it comes to foreign policy.

Another word of caution is that falling for the illusion of competence due to perceiving celebrity status could lead to its own set of problems. Oprah’s method would be emphasizing (I assume) sympathy and compassion, but would she be able to sway Congress in her favor? Would the legislation that she pushes for be well-thought out? I only say this because it’s my understanding that she lacks previous government experience.

However, lacking experience or cynicism with government isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Having knowledge of the process, of how to enfold policies that do not benefit a president’s voter base in such a way so as to appease them has created a lot of problems–which have accumulated and helped to foster “white grievance politics.” In other words, Oprah’s intentions might rest on a firm foundation of benevolence relative to her predecessors. So that’s good.

Looking back to 2016 though, it seemed clear to me that many Trump voters didn’t have a clear ideology in mind–they simply wanted a change, or were opposed to Hillary Clinton. Even if we were to apply that same framework to Oprah, this doesn’t automatically mean that she would be a poor choice for candidate. Sometimes, poor reasons for voting don’t equate to an incompetent president.

While Trump has dug the US into a deep ditch, is Oprah the best choice? She might end up continuing the narrative of a candidate that succeeds because of being perceived as “the lesser of two evils.”

Obama represented change. Trump succeeded and continued the theme. Will Oprah? If nothing else, she might be the only person able to galvanize enough liberal voters to oust Donald Trump. Biden doesn’t have the charisma.

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7 thoughts on “Oprah For President? Celebrity vs. Ideology

  • rezinate

    Somebody just shoot me.
    I personally haven’t a single thing against Oprah Winfrey and believe a woman president is past due – the caveat
    being one who has a an understanding of the political process and at least a modicum of experience to serve as
    a starting point if nothing else – a speech at an awards ceremony isn’t a qualification for elected office in my opinion,
    nor are race and gender in and of themselves.
    In the field of potential women candidates for the presidency there are several imminently more qualified than Oprah
    Winfrey – a common sense one in my opinion would be Elizabeth Sanders who has fought for people from day one.
    I don’t believe the country needs yet another billionaire television celebrity with zero experience at the helm.

  • Ilona Elliott

    Oprah is definitely charismatic and a masterful motivator and story teller. I don’t know if that equates into a great political leader. Biden isn’t particularly charismatic but from the interviews I’ve seen him give, he is a very genuine person and I think we are going to be looking for one after this Reality TV “personality” is done with us. Biden also has tons of political experience, is well liked by people in both parties, in and out of the DC sphere, and is very popular with military families. I love him. I just hate to see him run and be crushed by the Bannon types out there because of his deeply loyal relationship with Barak Obama. He’s been through so much already. Luckily, or not, perhaps, we have a while to hash it out. UGH!

    • dsprague85 Post author

      Right, Oprah doesn’t have much experience. As we’ve seen, that doesn’t equate to necessarily less cynicism when you’re wearing the mantle of POTUS. But then, “lack of experience” doesn’t always manifest in the same way across individuals either.

      I haven’t heard much about Biden honestly, except that he’s made a couple of awkward comments.

      He could have a chance to win, I think it would depend on how he (or anyone that advises him) spins his “personality.” Just my view.