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Though Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech has reignited calls for a Winfrey 2020 presidential bid, late-night host Stephen Colbert isn’t entirely convinced the entertainment mogul would make an adequate choice.
“Do we really want to elect another billionaire TV star? Granted, this one is actually a billionaire, actually a TV star,” Colbert asked during his Late Show opening monologue Monday night.
The host proceeded to explain that Winfrey — also an actress, author, entrepreneur, and humanitarian — inspires him, but in a different manner when compared with other candidates: “She’s reasonable enough to consider the possibility that maybe being a billionaire TV star doesn’t necessarily qualify you to have the launch codes.”
After presenting his words of caution — while still acknowledging that he would love to hear that the State of the Union is (in Winfrey’s emphatic tone) “Stroo-oong!” — Colbert quipped that the activist could be a worthy opponent for North Korea. “I believe she could calm Kim Jong-un down just by helping him lose weight,” he cracked. “It’s a points system. It’s all points, right? You can eat anything you want!”
He also compared Oprah’s celebrated speech, which many have described as presidential, with that of President Donald Trump: “A year ago, I would have agreed. These days, it played a little coherent.”
Though Donald Trump Jr. expressed negative sentiments regarding the media push around a possible Oprah bid, Colbert assured viewers that the president may think otherwise. The first daughter, Ivanka Trump, also praised Winfrey’s speech and advocated for the Time’s Up initiative.
Colbert resurfaced an old interview with the president, in which Trump was shown in a 1999 town hall speaking about why he would consider Winfrey as a running mate, if he were to run for office. “If you need any more proof that Donald Trump is delusional, he thinks Oprah would take Vice President,” Colbert said of Trump’s idea that Winfrey would join his ballot, referencing talks of the president being unfit stemming from Michael Wolff’s best-selling White House tell-all Fire and Fury. Shaking his head, Colbert added, “No. Uh-uh.”
On Tuesday’s CBS This Morning, Winfrey’s closest friend, Gayle King, addressed the speculation that the mogul might be throwing her name into the ring for the 2020 presidential campaign. “I absolutely don’t think that her position has changed,” said King when pressed about the developing news story that has resulted from Winfrey’s praised awards night moment.
But she wouldn’t rule out the possibility.
“I was up talking to her very late last night,” King continued. “I do think this though, guys; I do think she’s intrigued by the idea, I do think that. I also know that after years of watching the Oprah show, you always have the right to change your mind.”
Though “intrigued,” King reiterated that Winfrey isn’t “actually considering” a run. King also addressed Winfrey’s longtime partner Stedman Graham’s comment that Winfrey would “absolutely” run for president, explaining that his quote was misconstrued: “He would never do that. He is nothing but supportive, but he would never just throw it out there like that.”
Winfrey has yet to address the speculation following the Golden Globes, aside from a slight brush-off to Bloomberg on Sunday night.