Those of you who were hoping that Oprah Winfrey would run for president in 2020 were probably discouraged by her pretty strong recent statements denying interest in the challenge. “[I]t’s just not in my spirit,” she told one interviewer earlier this month.
But it seems now that there was a loophole in Winfrey’s disclaimer, according to The Hill:
Oprah Winfrey said she’s had billionaires offer to fund her presidential campaign if she runs for the White House, but said she’s waiting for a sign from God.
“I went into prayer,” she said of calls for her to run for president.
Now, it’s reasonably clear that the Almighty has not spoken to the billionaire entertainer/journalist/philanthropist/entrepreneur just yet.
“‘God, if you think I’m supposed to run, you gotta tell me, and it has to be so clear that not even I can miss it.’ And I haven’t gotten that yet,” Winfrey told People Magazine in an interview published Wednesday.
This statement gave me the willies, since I recently watched an episode of the cable-TV mini-series Waco about the famous 1993 siege in which Branch Davidian leader David Koresh reneged on a deal to surrender to authorities because he was awaiting a “sign from God.” It did not turn out well for anyone involved, to put it mildly.
In Oprah’s case, of course, if she does nothing, her home will not be besieged by heavily armed federal agents; she’ll keeping doing what she does.
One interpretation of her remarks is that she’s really saying no power on earth can get me to run for president. If so, it would have been much better if she had expressly put it that way. Otherwise the tantalizing, if most likely illusory, prospect of a Winfrey run will continue to live on in the imaginations of people in and out of politics, like the Cheshire Cat’s smile. And there’s no telling when the talk will end: If nobody can tell Oprah Winfrey what to do, it’s even clearer that nobody can tell the God of Hosts when to send a sign — or not.