Don’t print those Oprah 2020 posters just yet.
On Tuesday morning, CBS This Morning co-anchor Gayle King revealed that best friend Oprah Winfrey has no plans to run for president right now — even though the former daytime talk show host might be “intrigued” by the idea.
“I absolutely don’t think her position has changed, I don’t,” King, 63, said of Winfrey, who has repeatedly denied a desire to run for office and told CBS This Morning in Oct. 2017, “There will be no running for office of any kind for me.”
“I was up talking to her very late last night. I do think she is intrigued by the idea, I do think that,” King added Tuesday. “I also know that after years of watching The Oprah Winfrey Show, you always have the right to change your mind. I don’t think at this point she’s actually considering it.”
She continued, “But listen, there are people saying they want to quit their jobs and be her campaign manager. She loves this county and would like to be of service in some way. But I don’t think she’s actively considering it at this time.”
Interest in Winfrey’s possible presidential run swelled on Sunday with the 63-year-old Peabody winner’s rousing Cecil B. DeMille Award acceptance speech at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, where she assured sexual predators that their “time is up.”
“I want all the girls watching to know a new day is on the horizon,” she said. “And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure they are the leaders to take us to the time where nobody has to say ‘me too’ again.”
To donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which will provide subsidized legal support to women and men in all industries who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace, visit its GoFundMe page. Learn more about Time’s Up, an organization of women in entertainment combating sexual harassment and inequality, on its website.
Her longtime partner Stedman Graham added fuel to the fire when he told the Los Angeles Times after the awards, “It’s up to the people. She would absolutely do it.”
But according to King, Graham’s comments were in response to a different question he had heard.
“Stedman says that he thought the reporter said to him, ‘Would she make a good president?’ and he said, ‘Absolutely, she would.’ That’s how he interpreted the question,” King said on CBS This Morning. “Cause this is the thing — Stedman would never so cavalierly say, ‘Absolutely she would do it’ or ‘It’s up to the people’ — he would never do that. I got emails from people being like, ‘Is he being strategic or is he being supportive?’ He is nothing but supportive. He would never just throw it out there like that.”
Winfrey supported King’s argument after the Golden Globes with her own comments to Bloomberg. Asked if she planned to run, she responded, “I don’t — I don’t.”
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Elsewhere on the morning show, King revealed secrets behind Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech — which clocked in at nine minutes with applause even though producers had hoped Winfrey would shave three minutes off it during rehearsals.
“Oprah crafted that speech. She knew how she wanted to start. She knew exactly what she wanted to say and how she wanted to say it. Those were all her words,” King said. “She writes her ‘What I Know For Sure’ column in [O Magazine] each week. She’s a very good writer, we all know she’s a very good talker. So I think it was a home run on many levels.”
“Being in that room was electrifying,” King continued. “It was the right person giving the right speech at the right time. She wanted that moment to be more than women wearing black dresses in solidarity. She really did want to speak to young girls around the country. She really did want to say enough already. And I think she delivered on all that in a very eloquent way. But will she run for president? I think it’s a very intriguing idea.”
King concluded: “People said she wrote that speech as a launching pad, that’s absolutely not true.”