Americans woke up this morning with a renewed sense of hope after last night’s Golden Globes speech by exceptional human and first black woman to win the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement, Oprah Winfrey. Her acceptance speech briefly transported viewers back to the the early 2000s—maybe even the '90s—where it was 4:00 in the afternoon and her legendary daytime talk show was still thriving on air. We knew nothing of Trumpism and American Idol was still exciting. The grace with which she shared her endless wisdom last night was so comforting and healing, #Oprah2020 became a thing before it even became a thing. Following that, many people began to wonder aloud, “hey, if a terrible television/business personality can be president, what if a wonderful television/business personality could be president?”
Her rousing speech was a call to action—to hope, to work hard, to respect one another, and it fit neatly into the arc of someone seeking high office. Surely, Mark Zuckerberg was watching somewhere in Northern California, calculating his diminishing-by-the-moment odds of attaining absolute power. Following the awards show, Oprah’s longtime partner, affable and aging puppy dog, Stedman Graham, said she would “absolutely do it” which intensely fueled this speculative fire, and there've been breaking news alerts all day sourcing "close friends" saying she's seriously considering it.
But what would an Oprah presidency look like? Let’s dream, shall we?
It’s no secret that Oprah is of the liberal elite. She’s a Democrat and her policies would reflect that. She’s been a fierce advocate for women’s rights her whole life, so we’d likely see real executive support for paid maternity (and paternity leave), Medicaid benefits, early childhood education, and STEM initiatives. She is also a proponent of The Secret, a pseudo-scientific law of attraction. Under her leadership, we’d all get the tax breaks we envision in our minds’ eye and, if we want it badly enough, new Dyson vacuums that patrol our floors via app. The FDA will be overseen by Weight Watchers.
Oprah is incredibly well connected. Gayle is an obvious choice for VP, but there’s also room for Iyanla Vanzant or Ava DuVernay to snag that position. Secretary of State would likely be Sheryl Sandberg and Secretary of the Treasury would be Suze Orzman. What’d be most exciting, however, is having Stedman Graham as the First Husband (First Gentleman? First and Only Stedman?) I already have a clear vision of him shuffling around the family residence of the White House in slippers and a robe, tending to President Oprah’s needs. He’d occasionally peek in and ask for help with a crossword puzzle clue, she would help him, kiss him on the forehead, and ask that he bring her something with chocolate in it for a snack.
Well we saw a little preview of the spirited speeches Oprah is capable of giving last night. But that's nothing new. Oprah was raised in the church and known for giving inspiring sermons. Speeches are her ballgame. She pitches no-hitters. I hate to critique the woman because she isn't in office, and also you can go to hell for critiquing Oprah in some cultures, but her exceptional oratory skills might be overused to cover her lack of policy knowledge. It pains me to say that but it's something we should be conscious of. She will undoubtedly sweep us off our feet with what she says but let's make sure she follows through. Of course, she will follow through. She is Oprah. Oprah does the work. Oprah is the work. Which leads me to my next section...
- Oprah Does The Work.
- U.S of O!
- Jump On The Couch!
- It's 4PM In America
- Release the Mighty-O!
Have you seen Oprah’s garden Instagrams? They’re a stunning sight to behold. I imagine the whole South Lawn would be transformed into a kale and beet garden. Michelle's garden was but a stepping stone, a crack in the soil ceiling for gardens yet to come. Everyone would be eating delicious salads around a long, rustic dinner table. Ted Talks would become required viewing for all citizens and she would reinstate her book club to get us all reading again.
The Oval Office furniture would be replaced with one large couch where foreign dignitaries would come and just chat. Angela Merkel would reveal her dreams, her fears and hopes for the future. Oprah would look into Shinzō Abe's eyes—no, his soul. She’d understand what he was saying without a translator. She’d nod and purse her lips. Some nugget of wisdom would be forming in her head but of course she’d let him finish. She’d lay her hands on his and tell him he was heard. He'd be enthralled.
On a random day, we'd be headed into work and get an announcement to turn around. "What?!", we'd think. "But isn't today just a normal Wednesday?" Well, first of all, no Wednesday is normal any longer because Oprah is president. But second of all, this particular Wednesday is The President's Favorite Things Day. We'd return home to see everything we wanted in the front yard. The books, the appliances, the cars.
Sure, this may seem like a stretch, but Oprah did say in her speech that "speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have." So this is my truth: Oprah as president would be absolutely incredible, but considering who we have in office right now, I would also vote for a sentient Dyson. Let's get to work to make either of those things happen in 2020.