Since Oprah Winfrey’s rousing Golden Globes speech, the talk-show queen herself is perhaps the only A-lister who hasn’t weighed in on her potential presidential bid. That relegates the rest of us to tea-leaf reading and social-media-crumb following. So when Oprah shows up in the battleground state of Michigan for the second time in just a few months, the #Oprah2020 hashtags come out to play.
Winfrey touched down in Grand Rapids over the weekend to sit down once again with the 14 politically diverse Michiganders she first profiled in her inaugural dispatch as a “60 Minutes” correspondent — essentially a potential-voter focus group.
The group spent three hours talking politics over pizza and beer at Mitten Brewing Co., according to Mlive.com. Winfrey, a Weight Watchers spokeswoman with a 10 percent stake in the company, said she didn’t eat all day so she could indulge, according to the local Fox affiliate. The encounter left one of the restaurant’s owners in tears.
“I can count on one hand the times I’ve cried in my life out of pure happiness. My wedding day, when my children were born, annnnnd when Oprah came to have dinner at our restaurant. Such a surreal day. I’m so insanely proud,” Shannon Andrus wrote on Facebook.
The queen of talk said she returned to West Michigan because the people there, dubbed “the 14,” had something to teach the rest of the country.
“I came back to Grand Rapids because the group that we interviewed on ’60 Minutes’ here actually surprised us all and remained in connection with one another and continued to have conversations even though they still disagree, but they have agreed to disagree and not be disagreeable, so that’s what I’m back here for,” Winfrey told the Fox affiliated.
While Winfrey’s shot at the White House never came up, one participant said the media mogul still had her vote.
“This is a woman who has for many years spoken directly to the people,” Kim Harris told Mlive.com. “I think she has a real understanding of what people want. I think she has real good ear to the ground of America.”