Following her Golden Globes speech on Sunday, rumors are spreading that Oprah Winfrey might run for president in 2020.
Referring to speculation about a potential campaign, Oprah’s longtime partner Stedman Graham told The Los Angeles Times “she would absolutely do it.”
The rumors soon erupted on social media, leaving many wondering if a presidential run for Oprah is merely hypothetical.
Oprah: Sounder on economics than Bernie Sanders, understands Middle America better than Elizabeth Warren, less touchy-feely than Joe Biden, more pleasant than Andrew Cuomo, more charismatic than John Hickenlooper.#ImWithHer
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 8, 2018
However, The Hill reports that a new Rasumssen poll shows Oprah beating President Donald Trump by 10 points:
Forty-eight percent of respondents said they would vote for Winfrey, compared with 38 percent who said they would vote to reelect Trump. Fourteen percent were undecided.
Among Democrats, 76 percent said they would support Winfrey, as would 22 percent of Republicans and 44 percent of independents […]
Fifty-five percent of those polled have a favorable view of Winfrey, and 34 percent have an unfavorable one. According to Rasmussen, 55 percent disapprove of Trump’s job performance, while 44 percent approve […]
The president gets the support of 66 percent of Republicans, 12 percent of Democrats and 38 percent of independents.
Sources close to Winfrey have said that while she is “intrigued” in the idea, she is not actively considering a presidential bid. Despite this, “Oprah 2020” merchandise has swept online retailers in the days following her speech.
Trump, who has praised Winfrey in the past, appearing on her show and even speculating choosing her as a running mate, said Tuesday that he doesn’t think she will run, but if she does, he could beat her.
Of course, we know that polls failed to predict that Trump would win the presidency. One embarrassingly inaccurate survey by the Princeton Election Consortium claimed Hillary Clinton had a 99% chance of winning. So President Trump will surely see nothing new in a poll that claims he’d lose to Oprah.
Of course, if Oprah decides to run, she’ll have to explain her rather disturbing history on promoting junk medicine for profit.
Oprah twice endorsed the “healing” techniques of James Arthur Ray, who urged people on “retreat” to fast for days in the Arizona desert and endure 200 degree heat in sweat lodges.
Ray was found guilty of negligent homicide after three of his cult members died from his so-called treatment and 18 were severely injured.
According to National Review, O Magazine promoted “John of God,” who would plunge scissors deep into “patients'” noses or scrape his unwitting victims’ eyes with a knife, all to “heal” them of some untreatable ailment.
She also made Dr. Oz the celebrity figure he is today, repeatedly promoting his ridiculous money-making schemes on her show.
Since Sunday, several articles have been written about Winfrey’s past willingness to embrace people promoting junk science.
As all the articles point out, Winfrey was instrumental in launching the media career of Dr. Mehmet Oz — “Dr. Oz” — who has become “a pariah in the medical community”for endorsing nonscientific treatments, including a green coffee bean extract for weight loss.
“The product was peddled by supplement marketer and frequent show guest Lindsey Duncan, who had a financial stake in the companies making the extract,” writes STAT reporter Megan Thielking. “The study that Duncan cited as evidence was ultimately retracted, and an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission ensued. Duncan agreed to pay $9 million to settle with consumers who’d purchased the product.”
But the “magic beans” fiasco wasn’t the only dubious product or treatment featured by Oz. As I have reported here in Second Opinion, a 2014 study found that only 46 percent of a randomly selected group of health recommendations on “The Dr. Oz Show” were supported by any scientific evidence, and even fewer — 33 percent — were supported by believable, or high quality, evidence.
That’s only the beginning. Oprah has promoted countless schemers, including Jenny McCarthy, Rhonda Byrne, and Suzanne Somers, who according to Minnipost “Winfrey praised for bravely ‘refus[ing] to keep quiet’ when medical experts questioned the usefulness of her personally designed anti-aging regimen, which involves taking 60 pills a day and injecting estrogen directly into the vagina.”
Her track record is absolutely disgusting, but the low-information crowd that makes up her fandom probably isn’t aware of all that Oprah’s done. She’d host a show about how rubbing strawberries on your skin will make you lose weight if she thought she’d make a profit on it. In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she already has.
Oprah would never survive the scrutiny of a campaign.
Perhaps that’s why the White House says Trump would “welcome the challenge” to run against Winfrey.
Whatever the polls may say now, President Trump would be happy to be handed such an easy win.