Oprah Winfrey is not interested in running for president in 2020, the TV host said on Thursday, following fevered speculation that she would attempt to challenge Donald Trump in the next election.
“I’ve always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not,” Winfrey told US magazine InStyle. “And so it’s not something that interests me. I don’t have the DNA for it.”
Over the years, Winfrey’s popularity has led many to speculate that she could be a viable Democratic candidate. Winfrey, however, has never made a formal bid for the presidency.
At the Golden Globes earlier this month, host Seth Meyers made a joke about Winfrey being president just before she delivered a rousing speech.
A deluge of news stories and editorials followed, with commentators debating whether or not Winfrey would run, and what such a challenge would look like.
Trump himself was even asked whether he could defeat Winfrey in a presidential election.
“Yeah, I’d beat Oprah,” Trump said. “Oprah would be a lot of fun. I know her very well. I like Oprah. I don’t think she’s gonna run.”
Winfrey’s friends, including best friend Gayle King, said Winfrey was probably not running for president. But her partner, Stedman Graham, fueled further speculation when the Los Angeles Times asked him whether Oprah would run.
“It’s up to the people,” Graham said. “She would absolutely do it.”
Winfrey’s comments to InStyle were her first response to the Golden Globes-incited presidential fervor.
She said: “Gayle – who knows me as well as I know myself, practically – has been calling me regularly and texting me things, like a woman in the airport saying, ‘When’s Oprah going to run?’ So Gayle sends me these things, and then she’ll go, ‘I know, I know, I know! It wouldn’t be good for you – it would be good for everyone else. I met with someone the other day who said that they would help me with a campaign. That’s not for me.”
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