Oprah Winfrey for president: More and more celebrities back superstar

Oprah Winfrey holds the 2018 Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in the press room during the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, USA, 07 Jan. 2018. EPA/MIKE NELSON

Oprah Winfrey’s impassioned call for “a brighter morning even in our darkest nights” at the Golden Globes had many people buzzing about the media superstar and the 2020 presidential race.

“For too long, women have not been heard, or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men, but their time is up,” she said at the awards ceremony.

“I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon. 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,” she said.

READ MORE: Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech calls for a ‘new day’

Award show host Seth Meyers joked about using reverse psychology to get Winfrey to run for president during his opening monologue.

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“In 2011, I told some jokes about our current president at the White House correspondents’ dinner, jokes about how he was unqualified to be president,” Meyers said. “And some have said that night convinced him to run. And if that’s true, I would just like to say, Oprah you will never be president.”

Although Winfrey has denied any plans for a presidential campaign, her longtime partner Stedman Graham told the Los Angeles Times that it’s truly the public’s decision.

“It’s up to the people,” he said when asked about a presidential run. “She would absolutely do it.”

READ MORE: Gayle King: Oprah running for U.S. president is ‘never happening’

But according to Winfrey’s close friend Gayle King, Graham’s comments were in response to a different question he had heard.

“Stedman says that he thought the reporter said to him, ‘Would she make a good president?’ and he said, ‘Absolutely, she would.’ That’s how he interpreted the question,” King said on CBS This Morning. “Because this is the thing — Stedman would never so cavalierly say, ‘Absolutely she would do it’ or ‘It’s up to the people’ — he would never do that. I got emails from people being like, ‘Is he being strategic or is he being supportive?’ He is nothing but supportive. He would never just throw it out there like that.”

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King also said earlier last Tuesday that there was no change in Winfrey’s past position – that she is not interested in running for president.

“I do think she’s intrigued by the idea, I do think that,” King said on This Morning. “I also know that after years of watching The Oprah (Winfrey) Show you always have the right to change your mind. I don’t think at this point she’s actually considering it.”

READ MORE: Seal says Oprah Winfrey is ‘part of the problem’ over sexual assault allegations in Hollywood

Many celebrities are calling for the former talk show host to run for U.S. president in 2020. Those supporters include Steven Spielberg, Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson Sr., Sarah Silverman and Meryl Streep.

Spielberg said he would absolutely endorse Winfrey if she decided to run for president in 2020.

“I think Oprah Winfrey would make an absolutely brilliant president,” he told The Guardian, adding that “If she declares, I will back her.”

“I think she’ll learn on the job the same way Bill Clinton learned – a former governor of Arkansas – or Barack Obama, a junior senator, learned on the job,” he added, calling her an “ambassador of empathy.”

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“I’d much rather go for someone like Oprah Winfrey than a career politician,” he continued.

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Streep told the Washington Post that Winfrey “launched a rocket” at the Golden Globes.

“I want her to run for president,” Streep said. “I don’t think she had any intention [of declaring]. But now she doesn’t have a choice.”

Streep went on to call Winfrey’s speech “a barnburner.”

“She runs a major company. She could lead the country. Instead of leading the country down,” Streep added.

READ MORE: Oprah Winfrey discusses most difficult guests and life with partner Stedman Graham

Jackson Sr. tweeted, “Oprah is eminently qualified to be President. She is a patriot. She has integrity, is smart & communicates w/the broadest cross section of Americans, from Appalachia to the Mississippi Delta; from the very rich to the very poor. She can raise our moral standing in the world. #visionary.”

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Television host Joy-Ann Reid posted a photo of Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, with the caption, “When Oprah is speaking at the Golden Globes and your goals shift to VP…”

READ MORE: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson confirms he’s ‘seriously considering’ a run for U.S. President in 2024

Country singer Billy Gilman wrote, “As I sit here in tears… I have never ever seen such a speech. Oprah, my friend. Please run for President. This world needs more of THAT. WOW.”

Singer Janelle Monáe wrote, “When your PASTOR is also your PRESIDENT. Oprah. Thank you.”

Larry Wilmore wrote, “OPRAH FOR PRESIDENT!!!! #Oprah2020.”

Comedian Silverman wrote, “Oprah/Michelle 2020.”

John Stamos wrote, “#Oprah2020.”

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Winfrey even had a TV presidency prediction of her own.

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In 2006, animated sitcom The Boondocks predicted a Winfrey presidency in 2020.

Screengrab / ‘The Boondocks’ Season 1, Episode 6. Screengrab / 'The Boondocks' Season 1, Episode 6

Not everyone is in favour of Winfrey running for president.

U.S. President Donald Trump has weighed in, telling reporters last Tuesday during a Cabinet Room meeting on immigration, “Yeah, I’ll beat Oprah.”

“I did one of her last shows,” he added. “She had Donald Trump — this is before politics — her last week and she had Donald Trump and my family, it was very nice.”

WATCH BELOW: Donald Trump: I would beat Oprah in a presidential election

Click to play video: 'Donald Trump: I would beat Oprah in a presidential election' Donald Trump: I would beat Oprah in a presidential election
Donald Trump: I would beat Oprah in a presidential election – Jan 9, 2018

Roseanne Barr said that she’d make a better president than Oprah WinfreySusan Sarandon and “possibly even President Trump.”

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“I do love Oprah. Of course I love Oprah like everybody else,” Barr said about Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globes during a panel last week ahead of the return of Rosanne at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour.

When asked about her personal decision to support Trump and whether she would vote for Winfrey for president, Barr said, “Actually, I think I would be a better president than Oprah or Susan Sarandon, possibly even President Trump. And I did run in 2012.”

READ MORE: Roseanne Barr says she would be better president than Donald Trump or Oprah

Seal has criticized Winfrey for her relationship with disgraced Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein just days after her widely praised speech at the Golden Globes on sexual misconduct in Hollywood.

The singer took to Instagram on Jan. 10, calling Winfrey “part of the problem for decades.”

He published a pair of photos of Winfrey with Weinstein, including one in which she is kissing the producer’s cheek.

Overlaid on the photos, in capital letters, is the text that reads: “When you have been part of the problem for decades, but suddenly they all think you are the solution.”

READ MORE: Oprah Winfrey’s home damaged by deadly California mudslides

The 54-year-old singer added a sarcastic comment to his caption, suggesting that Winfrey knew about Weinstein’s alleged behaviour.

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“Oh I forgot, that’s right…’d heard the rumours but you had no idea he was actually serially assaulting young starry-eyed actresses who in turn had no idea what they were getting into. My bad,” Seal wrote.

The Grammy-winning artist ended the post with the hashtag “#SanctimoniousHollywood.”

On Jan. 9, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane spoke out against Winfrey, warning that celebrity power does not qualify a candidate for the presidency.

“Oprah is beyond doubt a magnificent orator,” MacFarlane wrote. “But the idea of a reality show star running against a talk show host is troublingly dystopian. We don’t want to create a world where dedicated public service careers become undesirable and impractical in the face of raw celebrity.”

—With a file from Reuters and the Associated Press

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