Oprah Perhaps Running for President?

Enrique Eguiguren


Kanye West. The Rock. Donald Trump. Now, apparently, Oprah.

No one was going to vote for Kanye, not anyone who would make an impact on the vote. The Rock would’ve announced he wasn’t staying in the race after he realized he couldn’t get on the ballot. But people talk about Oprah being president as if that’s not a monumentally dumb decision.

Oprah Winfrey has never held public office. There is no evidence to support that Oprah Winfrey would make a good president outside of the fact that she is generally well liked and sometimes gives people free cars. This is not what qualifies someone for the presidency.

I understand that to some, President Trump has set a low bar. He didn’t hold public office, he couldn’t even keep many of his businesses or marriages from falling apart. But he knew the media and the people better than we thought so he won. Which you know, good for him.

But being good at running for President doesn’t make you good at being President, something Barack Obama learned as the years of  holding the power and responsibility of the highest office in the land took their toll on his health and his hairline. I don’t know when people forgot, but the presidency is important. It’s an immense, almost Sisyphean task to be given to someone who is willing to give everything they have to their country. Oprah Winfrey has faced adversity for sure. But facing adversity doesn’t mean she knows the first thing about the intricacies of Middle Eastern foreign policy, or that she can draw up a tax plan that won’t bankrupt a country that is already on the precipice of a recession.

It is understandable that given the news coverage of Donald Trump, one might think that to do a better job than him one would simply have to not insult our allies and equivocate between neo-nazi groups and well, not those groups. But there is more to it than that. Just because Winfrey seems like a better alternative, doesn’t mean she’s a good one. Replacing one billionaire with another doesn’t guarantee better management in the things that matter either, in our actual policy, and in the way other nations treat us, since at the end of the day we’ll still have elected a celebrity. Oprah Winfrey may be the candidate that this nation deserves after all it’s done. But she’s not the one it needs. And if her heart is as big as her wallet, she’ll avoid entering the race so someone who knows what they’re doing can run instead.