'I'll beat Oprah' says Donald Trump on 2020 election. Can he?

Joann Johnston
January 13, 2018

Winfrey said a new day is on the horizon. She would have to fight with that part of the Democratic base committed to Bernie Sanders and suspicious of her as a Hollywood billionaire. He said Taylor had been in good spirits the previous day and her death was sudden.

"I'll beat Oprah", Trump said of the Oscar-nominated actress and talk show host".

Years ago Trump talked about Oprah as his potential running mate if he were to ever run, and yesterday he continued to express his admiration for her. Trump boasted that he had been a guest on one of Oprah's final shows. But today, who can rule it out?

Cillizza spoke with Brian Stelter about the political undertones of Winfrey's speech and the possibility of a Winfrey-Trump 2020 presidential showdown for this week's Reliable Sources podcast.

Through Tuesday morning Trump - though he's a creature of TV and commenting on Twitter, had said nothing about the speech or Winfrey herself. Or that she couldn't win?

Sen. John Scott, a Columbia businessman, said Winfrey matches Trump's qualifications for president: experience as an entertainer, wealth, fame and no experience in holding public office. Forget for a minute that those words came from Oprah Winfrey and imagine anyone saying them. "She is flattered by the attention but she's a private citizen and she's going to remain one, '" Cillizza said. "I think Oprah would be great". It was "Oprah on a soapbox" - bold and full of vigor. The first time was in 1988. Their time is up. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is openly gay, NDP leader Andrea Horwath exudes a confidence and toughness that I find admirable, and my kids really liked former Guelph mayor Karen Farbridge. "She had Donald Trump - this is before politics - her last week, and she had Donald Trump and my family, it was very nice". And I confess that I had a lump in my throat.

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"We welcome the challenge, whether it be or anybody else", Hogan Gidley, a deputy press secretary, said on Air Force One. Winfrey made her first campaign appearances on Obama's behalf in December of that year, and it is logical to assume that her support won him votes in the primaries, though it is not possible to know how many.

Winfrey would win only 8 percent of Republicans, the same percentage Clinton won in 2016.

"I think Oprah Winfrey would make an absolutely brilliant president", the director, who's in London promoting The Post, told Britain's The Guardian newspaper.

During the Golden Globes, Winfrey gave an empowering speech, alluding to the importance of truth given the turmoil that the media has been under in the past few months. For Americans traumatized by the Trump presidency, Winfrey's address hit all the right notes. Once upon a time, military service, political experience, a policy portfolio and national-security chops were mandatory to plausibly run for president.

It was a stunning, stirring, rallying cry for women and equality, and against a culture "broken by brutally powerful men". "I don't think at this point she is actually considering it".

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