WASHINGTON — Oprah Winfrey says in a new interview she doesn’t “have the DNA” for running for president.
She made the comments to InStyle in an interview conducted before the Golden Globes on Jan. 7. At that ceremony, she addressed the MeToo movement with inspirational words that “a new day is on the horizon.” Democrats began talking up the possibility that she could be a positive celebrity counter to President Donald Trump. Winfrey’s friend, Gayle King, said Winfrey was “intrigued” by the idea following the speech, although she said that her mind hadn’t changed about not running.
In the interview, Winfrey said, “I’ve always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not. And so it’s not something that interests me. I don’t have the DNA for it.”
She indicated that it was something that King has talked to her about before.
Winfrey said, “Gayle — who knows me as well as I know myself practically — has been calling me regularly and texting me things, like a woman in the airport saying, ‘When’s Oprah going to run?’ So Gayle sends me these things, and then she’ll go, ‘I know, I know, I know! It wouldn’t be good for you — it would be good for everyone else.’ I met with someone the other day who said that they would help me with a campaign. That’s not for me.”
Winfrey’s speech at least had the effect of making her a name to be polled. A CNN survey this week showed that she would beat Trump, 51% to 42%. But Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden had wider margins against the incumbent.
Moreover, polling this far out from the presidential campaign is notoriously unreliable. They are popularity polls, more than anything, and once a prospective candidate actually says that he or she will get in the race, their favorability numbers usually take a beating.
Those who favor the idea of an Oprah 2020 run, though, note that these are also historically unpredictable times in the world of politics.