Bill Maher Argues "History Has Chosen" Oprah to Run for President in 2020

Courtesy of HBO
Bill Maher

"I have Nate Silvered the s*** out of this," the 'Real Time' host explained during a segment on Friday night.

Bill Maher took a break from interviewing some of the 24 current Democratic presidential candidates on his HBO show Real Time on Friday to propose one more enter the race.

"In the upcoming election, I believe history has chosen another person who is, like [Robert] Mueller, uniquely qualified to perform the urgent task of unseating [Donald] Trump. By twist of fate, only this person checks all the boxes and positively answers the question I often hear posed: Who do the Democrats have that we know can beat Trump?" Maher said at the top of his "New Rules" segment. Later, the host revealed who he was thinking could run: "The only person who is a sure thing is Oprah Winfrey," 

Maher said that the notion came to him while he was "self-medicating" and that he was never a giant fan of Winfrey's, given that in 1997, when his show Politically Incorrect moved to ABC, Winfrey "demanded" her Oprah Winfrey Show re-run during his time slot in Chicago, which he argued decreased his ratings. Nevertheless, "What matters is Oprah alone checks all the boxes that a Democrat needs to win," he said. Those boxes? That she can energize Democrats' African-American base, female membership, white men and that she's a celebrity.

"Never underestimate the power of being in people's living rooms for decades. That's what got Trump elected," Maher said. "This is now an 'as seen on TV' country."

He added about the power of celebrity in America: "It's not the way it's supposed to be, it's not the way I'd like it to be, but we officially live in a post-literate, post-truth, star-fucker society and this is going to be the dirtiest campaign ever." While Maher likes Elizabeth Warren, he joked, "No one worries about Oprah being a socialist. Have you seen the home in Montecito? And that's just the guest house."

In terms of other Democratic candidates who are actually running, Maher shot them down one by one. As for Joe Biden: "Young people look at him like a typewriter's running for president." Warren is "a three-syllable woman in a one-syllable country." Bernie Sanders "is an American hero in my book, but he's another one who has his cardiologist on speed-dial." As for Pete Buttigieg: "We must ask the question, 'Is America ready to be led by a gay teenager?'" Maher joked. He added that he'd "never heard" of Jay Inslee, though he'd been on the show twice.

"This is not an open letter to Oprah, I know she isn't running," Maher concluded. "I'm just saying, I have Nate Silvered the shit out of this, and I am telling you, at this particular moment in history, in this particular election year, she is the only candidate who is a sure-thing winner for the Democrats, no pressure. I am just putting it out into the universe."

Winfrey has repeatedly said that she will not run for president, including in a recent Hollywood Reporter cover story. "Right now, I'm studying the field," she said. "I'm reading Shortest Way Home by [Pete Buttigieg], I call him Buttabeep, Buttaboop. The name's either going to really hurt or [really help] — I think it's going to help, actually."