Unless you are living under a rock, you saw that last night Oprah declared her bid for Presidency in 2020. Okay, not really...but it sure felt like it. Last night #Oprah2020 trended on Twitter and for good reason. In less than 8 mins, Oprah managed to address uncertain times, condemn tyranny, champion journalism and free speech, and, most powerfully, crusade for justice for women and people of color who are marginalized, silenced, and denied justice. She was political, but universal.
What makes Oprah so damn good? Reese Witherspoon summed it up nicely as she introduced her last night at the Golden Globe Awards: "There's only one person whose name is a verb, an adjective, and a feeling. And that is Oprah."
Here's our five reasons we think Oprah would make a great President.
Oprah is shaped, but not defined, by an incredibly difficult childhood. Her road to prominence as a network chief, producer, actress and philanthropist began with a rocky childhood that caused her to consider taking her own life. Everyone loves a good rags to riches story, and Oprah's is filled with way more than any one person should have to endure. From growing up poor, being moved around from her grandmothers, to her mothers, to her fathers and back again -- to being raped at nine, and sexually harassed/molested many times thereafter by multiple people, to a miscarriage at 14. A baby that was the product of rape by her Uncle (which she often credits as her second chance). Then of course the and racial and gender discrimination she faced throughout her career, which is really just skimming the surface.
Yet, through all of that, here she stands sixty-three years later, worth over 2.5 billion dollars, with a legitimate empire.
Nothing feels more real, than hearing her stories like last night when she recounted the story of "sitting on the linoleum floor of my mother's house in Milwaukee" in 1964 watching Sidney Poitier win the Oscar for best actor. Winfrey goes on to say: "I tried many, many times to explain what a moment like that means to a little girl, a kid watching from the cheap seats as my mom came through the door bone tired from cleaning other people's houses."
In that moment, we ALL are sitting on that floor with Oprah in 1964. Few presidents have felt real. Felt human. How many billionaires make you feel like you're besties? Oprah does that.
And if you're a super fan, like myself. I literally "watched" Oprah get ready for the Globes. Her new Instagram feed is one to die for. All of the B-T-S footage, literally adds to her realness. From watching her get her hair done, to trying on her dress and finally telling her bestie Gayle she needed lotion on her elbows, Oprah is just so real.
She's a woman.
I mean obviously Oprah's a woman, but after last year's election -- we all feel it. We all want it. Well, let me not say all -- because 53% of white women voted for Trump, but who is counting? I don't know the age demographics within this set of women, but I'd make an educated guess that the majority of them are not millennial women. Nevertheless, many women, young and old feel robbed after last year's election. It was like we were so close to making history and society reminded us -- that even if you are the most qualified woman, we still live in a day and age where the last qualified man can beat you out for a job that you spent your whole life preparing for.
It was gut-wrenching. It was a hard pill to swallow. To realized that we still lived in a country where that could happen. But America needed that. We needed that mirror to hold up to us and see all the things that are wrong so that we can to truly seek to change for the better. But wouldn't it make a great "ending" if after that heart-crushing lost in 2016 that we could be rewarded with Auntie "O" in 2020?
She gives a voice to the voiceless.
Most presidents have a way words. It's like the par for the course to be president of the United States. However, not only does Oprah have a way with words...when she speaks, people listen. And she uses her platform to tell the stories of those who never had the chance or may ever have the opportunity to speak their truth. Perhaps it's her decades of experience in media or perhaps that no matter how much money she's worth -- she has a way about her that makes you feel like your best friends.
Last night, she used her platform to tell the story of RecyTaylor and it literally gave me chills. Recy Taylor's name was trending because Oprah was the first black woman to win this award and during her moment, she chose to use her platform to tell her story instead -- along with the stories of many women who were never allowed the opportunity to do so.
She inspires people to take action.
For decades her words have inspire us to action. On her talk show, in her magazine, on her network, in her movies, plays, you name it -- Oprah has always provided a blueprint. Be better, here's how, and I'll do it with you.
What other reasons do you think Oprah would make a great president? And if you can't get enough like we can, her full speech below.