Oprah, where art thou?

In the Coen brothers’ magnificent Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? long-time incumbent Mississippi governor Pappy O’Daniel is lagging in the polls to a newcomer named Homer Stokes in the run up to an election. Stokes’ campaign is centered around the theme of “sweeping the state clean” and on his tour around the towns and villages he brings with him a midget who carries a broom.

Later on, with O’Daniel facing certain defeat just days from the vote, one of his campaign staff makes a suggestion:

“We could hire us a little fella even smaller than Stokes'”

I was reminded of this film when I read this:

Oprah Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globeson Sunday night prompted wishful calls for the star to run for president — and two of the TV icon’s close friends told CNN that Winfrey is “actively thinking” about seeking the Oval Office in 2020.
Why not? President Donald Trump proved that a celebrity with no political experience could run for the highest office in the land and win.

True, Donald Trump is a TV celebrity who won the presidency but his election was an aberration, a protest vote against what people saw as a corrupt and self-serving political establishment which was taking them for granted. It wasn’t a result of some desire among Americans that they wish to be governed by TV celebrities from now on, even if some clearly do.

The Democrats are probably too dim to work this out, though. So far their response to Trump has matched that of the Republicans for denial-based stupidity, pushing the likes of Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harries up a list headed by Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders (who will be 79 on election day in 2020). Like Pappy O’Daniels advisers, they may just be daft enough to think copying the opposition’s gimmick is the way to win the presidency. I’m hoping they are.


23 thoughts on “Oprah, where art thou?

  1. It is a fine puzzle to consider what the Democrats should do to win in 2020.

    There is the possibly of a huge perception shifting screw up from Trump that sinks his re-election bid against anyone not offensive but Presidential looking.

    However waiting for Trump to make a catastrophic mistake isnt a strong strategy. I know he has low approval ratings, but that hasnt stopped much maligned Presidents being re-elected for a second term.

    What makes Trump so tricky is that he has ripped up the rule book by force of his purposeful personality. People mock his bluster and refusal to apologise for things we all would feel shame and crumble under. Its the only bullet-proof strategy. They would need to find a similar person playing that strategy to compete on an equal footing unless we the small 5-10% of american voters who call an election tire greatly of Trump’s strategy.

  2. My lord they’re thick. Yeah, a moralistic PC SJW harpy is just what the US electorate is crying out for outside of the blue zones…

    She should definitely run, particularly as she seems to have been involved in convincing pretty young things to puff on Harvey Wienstein’s pink pantella over a period of decades.

  3. Can’t see working-class men, or women even, going for Oprah.

    Voters thought, rightly or wrongly, that Trump was a successful businessman in the real world. That was an important part of his appeal. Not the TV stuff.

    Oprah, to be fair, is succesful businesswoman herself, but in the glossy showbiz world, which doesn’t command the same respect amongst working folks.

  4. Let me phrase this carefully. It seems unlikely to me that the next Presidential contest will be between Trump and Oprah.

  5. “Oprah, where art thou?”

    I am Zulu.

    “Oprah Winfrey, the American chat show host, startled a South African audience and baffled historians by claiming to be of Zulu ancestry.

    “Local historians, however, were disinclined to believe her claim, as there are few records of the Zulus having any connection to the African slave trade. “If there were Zulu people taken as slaves they would have been taken eastwards by Arab traders or Portuguese to their South American colonies,” said one.

    “Those who ended up in North America, say in Mississippi where Miss Winfrey comes from, were mostly of West African origin.”


    Oprah Winfrey’s ancestral discovery through mitochondrial DNA testing was a life-changing moment for her. “When it happened to me, it was absolutely empowering to know the journey of my entire family,” she said. Before she took the test, Winfrey had stated that she did not believe that she would possess any European or Native American ancestry, although she did state that being “a little Indian” was desirable. The facts about Oprah’s DNA test actually showed her ancestral breakdown to be 89 per cent sub-Saharan African, 8 per cent Native American and 3 per cent East Asian.

    For ordinary African Americans the findings revealed by the new wave of ancestral DNA testing comes with a cautionary note that often confirms what historians have contended for centuries — that the presence of European DNA confirms that in many cases, during the era of slavery, large numbers of black women were subject to sexual relations with white slave-owners or other white men in positions of power.”

  6. Is there any constitutional reason why the president has to be a real person? Batman would be a good choice (tough on crime, but doesn’t seem to have it in for blacks) and Yogi Bear has a genial caring nature. SpongeBob SquarePants would make a fine Democratic candidate. They could have advisors to fill out the policy details.

  7. Please let it be true, I’ve seen a nice place on the slopes of the wasatch mts in Utah I want to buy and another year or two of trump should do the trick for me…run oprah run…or in her case waddle.

  8. “Is there any constitutional reason why the president has to be a real person?”

    Do you consider JFK to have been a real person, or merely a Hollywoodish fabrication by his gangster family?

  9. The reason why Oprah will play the “I could be POTUS” card, but not actually join the race is both straight forward and obvious.

    Her record of personal conduct is wide open and mostly self confessed into either a tv camera or the glossy pages of glitzy celebrity magazines.

    From the multiple pregnancies from 14-years onwards to the child who died at birth, family neglect, parental abuse, domestic abuse, crack addiction, lesbianism (Gayle King et al), corrupt business dealings (e.g. forcing the cancellation of Dave Chappelle’s show), multiple counts of racism against white people, fronting dodgy products exploiting their viewers religious views, etc., etc., the list goes on.

    With an unknown like Obama when he ran in 2008, nobody really knew him and lots of dirt about him didn’t get aired properly as he was an unknown, but Oprah’s dirt has been aired widely, mostly by Oprah herself, in a quest for publicity / TV ratings.

    If she actually entered the race seriously she would be eaten alive by the “retail politics” of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire democratic primary, before even getting anywhere near her Republican challenger.

    Video clips like the one below (which took about 2-minutes of searching on Google), show a side of her that you don’t see on the edited and polished TV specials and she comes out with the stuff that Obama probably believed, but wasn’t stupid enough to say on camera.

    “If You’re Old and White then Oprah wants you to die” –

    One other thing about Oprah is that while she might have a certain amount of personal charisma and an engaging personality, she is as dumb as a box of rocks. Sure she’s the public head of her Oprah Broadcasting Network (or whatever it’s called), but the mentally challenging stuff is all farmed out to well paid, well qualified subordinates. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but Trump she ain’t.

    Personally I hope she does run as I would love to see her get served her comeuppance on live TV where she has no editorial control over the subject matter, the questions or the final product.

  10. If this thought bubble lasts any longer than a week in the minds of the Democrats, it’s probably safe to drop a couple of grand on a bet that we’ll see a 2nd term for President Trump.

    It’s not that Oprah is intrinsically any more or less corrupt or unsuitable than 99% of the history of presidential candidates, quite the reverse in fact. She’s just more of the same, a doubling-down on the identity politics that lost the election for Hilary.

    If this story continues to run, it’s a clear sign that there have been no lessons learned a year after the election.

  11. “2nd term for President Trump”

    The way the US economy is firing up that is looking like a safe bet. Plus if he can get some kind of administrative concession on the Iran deal and let them trade with the world, tell the Israelis that they got Jerusalem what more do they want, then the European economies should notch up a bit as well plus be able to contribute more to NATO budgets, he might even start getting contracts going for the rebuilding of Syria. With all of this on top of what is going on now the velocity of money and western economies will take off and all sitting political leaders will be a safe bet next time around.

    Oprah who?

  12. Sam Vara
    That’s an interesting idea, one could imagine a politician like William Gibson’s Idoru, completely virtual. However it seems to me that Orwell’s Big Brother got there first.

  13. Best of luck with that one Bill, I don’t bet and get my jollies playing with shares and don’t get anything like those kind of returns either.

  14. @Bardon

    Actually, I just saw a quote from Meryll Streep along the lines of “she has to stand”.

    That 2nd term is a sure bet now that the voice of the people, Meryll, is on board. If we could just get Eddie Izzard to pop over with his beret and pink lippy, the flyover country will be swung.

  15. Bill,

    Be careful that you dont get caught up in the either Oprah or Trump argument.

    For mine if its not Trump it will be Rand Paul and if neither of them and on the Bolsheviks side it will either be Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren or Oprah. Can you bet that it will definitely be a bitch as the Democrat contender and a male as the Republican?

    Or just go balls deep in cryptos instead.

    In my opinion and as an earlier poster alluded to Oprah has too much dirt on her, lesbian partner and on record as saying that old whites have to die and the like. Plus all that voodoo shit with baby dolls with pins in their eyes kind of stuff.

  16. “Rand Paul? His Dad and him are far to consistent and logical to get within a sniff of a candidacy campaign.”

    Whilst the common view is that he has been belittled as an enemy of the state he is anything but. Then there is him being one of the first and loudest to call out the war on Christianity particularly in the Mid East and his pro-Russian stance in the Senate. I see him more as a replacement to Trump after he has brought the UN to crisis point.


    “Across the globe, Christians are under attack, almost as if we lived in the Middle Ages or if we lived under early Pagan Roman rule,” declared Paul. “It’s almost as if that is happening again throughout the Middle East.”


    “Measure Number: H.R. 3364 (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act ) Measure Title: A bill to provide congressional review and to counter aggression by the Governments of Iran, the Russian Federation, and North Korea, and for other purposes.

    Vote Counts: YEAs 98 NAYs 2 Paul (R-KY), Nay”


    “There may yet be reason to hope that Paul can serve as a disruptive force within the Republican Party… if there’s one thing that establishment Democrats and establishment Republicans agree on, it’s that the Pauline insurgency must be crushed. That’s because establishment Democrats and Republicans actually agree on lots of other things that don’t get debated in public: neoliberal economic policies, the rule of the financial oligarchy, a foreign policy based on permanent war, the entrenched power of the national-security ‘deep state.’ Those are precisely the issues that the Pauls, after their loopy, libertarian fashion, try to drag out into the sunlight.”

  17. I think there is some attraction to the idea that celebrities having a go at the Presidency are likely to be much better than professional politicians. I’d prefer the Rock to Oprah though.

    Rand Paul is extremely valuable to the cause of liberty as a Senator. Seems like he has been a good influence on Trump, at least with respect to health care. I don’t think he would be as influential in a cabinet role though. Also it isn’t a given that his successor as Senator for Kentucky would be a solid conservative.

    Spence is doing a good job as VP, serving as a moral anchor for the administration, but I don’t see him as Presidential material. It would be nice if whilst in his second term Trump gives Secretary of State to Pence and elevates Paul to the VP, and Paul then manages to win the next election. Seems unlikely though!

    The biggest risk to Trump is if the Democrats by accident manage to nominate somebody who has at least a whisper of credibility with the working classes, which means talking tough on the border and immigration, and Trump also underwhelms on the same issues, which today seems quite likely based on his recent talk about DACA.

  18. @Bardon,

    I really like Paul Sr and Jr but, let’s be honest, the time has passed where they might convince a majority of the US population to vote for them.

    Why? Because of what Mitt Romney said about net contributors versus recipients of government largesse.

  19. Pingback: President Oprah – Occam All Ye Doubtful

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