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Ever since Oprah Winfrey’s rousing acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes earlier this year, rumors have been circulating that the media mogul may be planning to run for president in 2020.
Even close friend Gayle King, didn’t completely rule it out.
“I am actually humbled by the fact that people think that I could be a leader of the free world, but it’s just not in my spirit,” Winfrey told 60 Minutes Overtime correspondent Ann Silvio. “It’s not in my DNA.”
Winfrey’s powerful Globes speech touched on race and the #MeToo movement and featured quotes such as “A new day is on the horizon.”
But Oprah said she never intended to be political or cause any presidential speculation.
“I was just trying to give a good speech,” Winfrey said in the 60 Minutes interview. “I was looking for a way to express what was going on in this moment in terms of gender and class and race. I cared about landing that speech in the room.”
There’s no doubt the speech landed. Numerous audience members were seen with tears in their eyes, and the crowd gave Winfrey a standing ovation on more than one occasion. The speech seemed to resonate with campaign financers, too — Winfrey said she “had a lot of wealthy men calling,” offering to raise money for her potential campaign.
“I think that when you have that many people whose opinions you value coming at you, it’s worthy of thinking about,” Winfrey said.
Ultimately, though, if she was meant to run, she said she would’ve gotten a sign from above.
“And wouldn’t I know? Because if God actually wanted me to run, wouldn’t God kinda tell me? And I haven’t heard that,” Winfrey said.
Politics may not be her thing, but Winfrey said that’s not going to prevent her from continuing to use her platform for good.
“I do feel that I have a responsibility, as a person who has a big voice in this country, to use it to promote justice and kindness and goodwill in the world,” Winfrey said. “But it has never felt to me that that was supposed to be political.”
While she has openly expressed that she’s not interested in a presidential campaign before, the 60 Minutes interview was the first time she’s spoken at length about the possibility of running for office since the Globes — aside from a quip to Lin-Manuel Miranda earlier this month. The two were at the Apollo Theater in New York when the Hamilton star said he had no plans to run for office.
“I’m not either,” Oprah said. And after laughs from the crowd, there was no further discussion at the event.
She also made headlines for an InStyle magazine story in which she said she wasn’t interested in running. But while that story was published after her speech, the interview for it was conducted weeks before her speech.
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