In his Jan. 9 op-ed, “Never underestimate Oprah,” Eugene Robinson all but endorsed Oprah Winfrey for the presidency. We can agree that, unlike the current president, she has an excellent haircut, is not a shameless egotist and doesn’t make your skin crawl whenever you see her on television, but that’s just to say she would be better than President Trump, which is very faint praise.
Ms. Winfrey wouldn’t hand her television show over to someone who had never worked in front of a camera and had no demonstrated ability to attract and hold an audience; why should we hand the country over to her? Could she perhaps start as mayor of Chicago? As far as I know, Ms. Winfrey, to her credit, hasn’t expressed interest in running, but the electorate has become so childish that it seems inevitable. Frank Zappa once said of young Americans, “The people are desperate to be entertained.” That was decades ago, but things haven’t gotten better — more like worse.
I saw 10 minutes of the “Today” show yesterday, and the subject was Ms. Winfrey. The host turned her cheerful morning TV face to the audience and, with that happy-talk delivery, asked if they’d like to see Ms. Winfrey run. The unspoken but unmistakable question was, “Wouldn’t that be fun?” Unsurprisingly, the response was enthusiastic approval.
Keith Smith, Silver Spring
We need to end the political aspirations of celebrities and political neophytes. If Oprah Winfrey wants to run for office, let her start in Congress, as a representative, until she learns the legislative process. We are absolutely finished with putting beginners in the highest office in the land. You don’t go from zero to 100 just because you are a celebrity. Work your way up. We are finished handing you the keys to the kingdom because you’re a bit famous.
The vanity campaigns by the rich and famous have to end before they’re even allowed to start.
Jess Vermont, Arlington
I admire Oprah Winfrey. I really do. Her Golden Globe Awards speech was fiery and inspiring and exciting and well thought out. Clearly, she can speak (after all, she is an actress). She has done well with her life and enriched ours with her many talents.
But we have already had the experience of a TV star running for (and becoming!) president. And his lack of political knowledge, work ethic and experience in anything remotely akin to governmental issues may bring us all down.
It is one thing to like a person; it is quite another to actually put him or her in charge of your country. I fear that the same people who thought a failed businessman and a reality show host would be able to work in the complex environs of our government might want to try again.
I do think Ms. Winfrey is stable and, like, really smart. And I am sure that she listens to her advisers and actually reads. But she is not presidential material. May calmer heads prevail.
Penelope Suritz, Arlington
No, no. Oprah Winfrey should not run as a Democrat. Run as an independent to show both major parties they have lost their way in governing for the people.
Walt Cheatham, Arlington
I am reading with growing concern the vox populi crying for Oprah Winfrey to run for president in 2020. While I think she is an amazing person who has done much with her fame and wealth to help direct public dialogue about numerous social issues, including her emotional speech at the Golden Globe Awards, none of that necessarily qualifies her for the highest leadership position in our national government.
Have we learned nothing from the 2016 election and the current occupant of the Oval Office? We need candidates who have governing experience at the local, state or national level. This is evident in the current president’s push for policies that require more thought, debate and bipartisan cooperation to address both immediate and unforeseen consequences of them.
I know dedicated elected officials at every level of government may not have Hollywood-style charisma, but they have experience and knowledge, and the vast majority incorporate an intrinsic desire to serve the people, not themselves.
Natalie Root, Arlington