By either the will of the people or the force of history, Sunday night’s Golden Globes awards ceremony wound up becoming the political coming-out party for Oprah Winfrey. The talk show host, life coach, actress, businesswoman, humanitarian, and activist was there to receive an incredibly well-deserved lifetime achievement award, and she gave an inspiring, electrifying speech about growth, embracing one’s personal power, and starting a revolution founded on love, respect, and gender equality.
It was the kind of speech that only skilled and earnest leaders can do—it unified, it inspired, it empowered. It was, in a word, presidential. (We haven’t heard that kind of speech from an actual president in a while, like, say, about a year.) Host Seth Meyers jokingly tried to convince Winfrey to run for president earlier in the show, but after Oprah took the stage, many took to social media to renew those long-standing rumors (and/or wishes) that Oprah could, should, can, and will run for president.
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) January 8, 2018
She’s running. A new day is on the way.
— Leslie Odom, Jr. (@leslieodomjr) January 8, 2018
Oprah for president? She’s got my vote.
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 8, 2018
That doesn’t mean Oprah will run, it just means that people really love Oprah. But an Oprah for President campaign isnt’ entirely out of the question either. Winfrey’s best friend, CBS This Morning host Gayle King said on her show, “I don’t think she’s actively considering it at this time. I do think she’s intrigued by the idea.” Winfrey’s partner, Stedman Graham, told the Los Angeles Times that Oprah “would absolutely do it” although “it’s up to the people.”
Well, the people seem to want it. But not all of the people. Not, for example, Sean Spicer. Remember “Spicey,” the easily befuddled former press secretary to President Donald Trump who frequently and casually lied to and/or gaslighted the American people who once hid in bushes to avoid the media? Yeah, that guy. He told Good Morning Britain that Oprah just shouldn’t be president. Why? Because she lacks political experience.
“She doesn’t have the political infrastructure and we’ve seen this before in our history where people who have tried to pop in that are not in politics who have had a difficult time adjusting,” Spicer said, overlooking the fact that he worked for Donald Trump, the first American president to have never previously held elected office or served as a high-ranking member of the military, but who did host a reality TV show and ran an unsuccessful steak company.
But then Spicer did remember that his former boss was a populist from outside the political system. “Clearly President Donald Trump proves there is an appetite for outsiders and you don’t necessarily have to have that. The question is was that an anomaly or is that the new norm? I think if an Oprah Winfrey jumped in, I think it would be on the other side of the political aisle, that would be the test of that.”
Spicer remembered to be complimentary of Oprah (he called her “extremely impressive”), but then dismissed any hypothetical political ambitions. “This would be the clash of titans. Hands down Donald Trump [would win if he faced Winfrey in 2020] but I think Oprah would give him a run for his money.”
Then it was social media’s turn to talk, which said, for the most part, “Shut up, Spicey.”