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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Only way we get Pres. Oprah is if Donald stops being President Trump

Americans should be forgiven for the hearty belly laughs heard throughout the country at the possibility of TV talk show maven Oprah Winfrey running against President Donald Trump in 2020 – after all, the notion of the two being on the same electoral plane is side-splitting funny.

Most people (including myself) didn’t watch this past Sunday night but apparently Oprah delivered an impassioned speech about overcoming sexual harassment and touting the necessity of an independent press during the Golden Globes awards show. Shortly after the broadcast liberals were beside themselves suggesting Oprah Winfreythe queen of the daytime couch would make a lovely replacement for the loutish current occupant of the Oval Office.

Despite the obvious hilarity associated with the thought of Winfrey attempting to one-up Donald Trump by becoming the second complete “outsider” to run for and win the presidency, others are taking it seriously. A few even offered tips on how Oprah might pull off an upset. W. James Antle III of the Washington Examiner wrote, “A divided and obscure Democratic field could be easy pickings for Winfrey, allowing her to win primaries and caucuses with plurality support, like Trump did across the aisle in the early stages of the 2016 contest.

“The veteran daytime talk show host and media mogul is wealthy enough to self-finance a campaign, but like Trump she would not need to tap too deeply into her personal fortune: She would get a massive amount of free media coverage that even relatively well-known rivals like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., would find difficult to keep up with…

“Winfrey would be able to [take advantage of loads of free media coverage, same as Trump]. She would likely have the additional benefit of her earned media being more positive than Trump’s, judging from NBC’s tweets and her own willingness to say the press is under siege during the current administration.”

Though Antle’s final point is likely accurate it doesn’t matter whether media coverage is glowing or not. There are a host of reasons why Donald Trump is president today, not the least of which is the set of issues he chose to champion during the 2016 campaign. Oprah may indeed be considering a run for president but that’s light years away from being able to conduct a campaign and win.

For the sake of argument we’ll tick off the strikes against her. First, though it’s true Winfrey has nearly universal name recognition, her “brand” isn’t equal to Trump’s. Prior to his political career Trump was known for a plethora of things: as an aggressive and wealthy real estate investor, frequent guest on cable news programs (as a regular observer of politics and as a potential presidential candidate in 2000) and of course for his famous “The Apprentice” TV show.

As a result Trump’s name is everywhere – at least in major cities. Those of us who are familiar with golf also know Trump owns a healthy number of distinguished golf clubs. Trump is a true “brand;” it’s pervasive.

Trump also possessed a catchphrase of his own making – “You’re fired!” Even people who never watched his program understood the saying was linked to Donald Trump. His celebrity reached a level of notoriety that few – if any – ever accomplished. And Ronald Reagan is Trump’s only peer when it comes to mixing celebrity and politics.

Can any of these things also be said for Oprah Winfrey? Yes, nearly everyone knows Oprah, but what’s the first thing you think of when her name is mentioned? Daytime TV. Winfrey’s had primetime specials and has also appeared in movies and television shows but other than the entertainment business, who’s really aware of what she represents?

Next, where’s her platform? Every political candidate needs something that sets him or herself apart from their competitors, especially if he or she is to make a successful run for a major party’s presidential nomination. Again, Trump set himself up early as an anti-establishment message-carrying candidate with the slogan “Make America Great Again.” Therefore Trump based his campaign on the notion that the country that provided so many opportunities for him to build the Trump empire was being subdued by the corruption and complacency of the political class.

At the same time, Trump’s was not a traditional Republican campaign but it still incorporated a number of issues that could draw not only newcomers to his camp but also inspire support from traditional Republicans.

In contrast, what’s Winfrey’s selling point? Sure, she could position herself against the Democrat establishment but there are already several party presidential hopefuls who have a head start on her for the title of anti-Democrat. Heck, Bernie Sanders technically isn’t even a Democrat -- yet his far-left movement is drawing the party closer to him rather than pushing them away.

Not to mention there’s Oprah’s deep connections to the Hollywood and New York entertainment giants, which won’t be viewed as a positive in today’s world. As an example she was photographed kissing archfiend Harvey Weinstein on the cheek, something she’ll have to explain when the time comes. One photo wouldn’t necessarily kill any campaign but how would Winfrey disassociate from the entirety of the Hollywood sleaze she’s been such a part of for so long?

Oprah knows all of the major players and they won’t be running away from her in droves like they did for Trump. Trying to get elected as a Hollywood star is not the same as Trump’s championing the “forgotten” Americans. Trump also promised many times, if elected, to hire only the “best people,” the ones who ran successful companies and knew how to create jobs.

Who would Oprah propose bringing into her administration? Whoopi Goldberg?

Assuming Oprah would attempt to run more of a “centrist” campaign than her fellow Democrats, is there even any room for such a thing in the party anymore? Is the same party apparatus that swung the 2016 race to Crooked Hillary Clinton likely to ditch someone like Joe Biden in favor of Oprah Winfrey? Hardly. Oprah may be a minority and a woman but Democrat identity politics voters will already have more radical (and hence more attractive) choices in the persons of Senators Corey Booker and Elizabeth Warren...and possibly Kamala Harris.

Lastly, Oprah couldn’t hope to convince the angry leftist Bernie Sanders-loving Democrat base that she’s sufficiently anti-Trump to earn their allegiance. The campus protesting, urine bomb throwing, riot instigating Antifa crowd isn’t going to settle for anything less than blood for the 2020 Democrat presidential nominee.

Could it be Oprah is just too nice to be a Democrat presidential nominee? Would Oprah call for Trump’s impeachment? It might take such a bold stance to make her palatable to the resistance/Antifa crowd.

For these reasons here’s thinking Oprah wouldn’t really do it (run for president), but those around her claim she’s really considering it. And who knows, maybe some GOP #NeverTrumpers would go along with it just to look good to the “in” crowd. Jonathan Easley of The Hill reported, “Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, a fierce critic of President Trump, tweeted his support on Monday for Oprah Winfrey should she run for president in 2020.

“Kristol, who refused to back Trump in the 2016 presidential race, tweeted that he believed Winfrey’s well-received speech on Sunday night at the Golden Globes was an indication she’s preparing to run for the White House.

“Kristol then took-up the hashtag #ImWithHer — once used by supporters of 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton — to highlight his support for Winfrey’s worldview.”

In a subsequent email to the publication Kristol indicated his tweets were tongue-in-cheek, but were they really? Kristol said if Winfrey ran she could win the Democrat nomination and therefore the presidency. He also pointed out her candidacy would trump Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and (Colorado Governor) John Hickenlooper – all in different ways.

The fact Kristol is even thinking deeply about Oprah as a possible president just shows how far off the deep end he’s traveled. While the vast majority of #NeverTrumpers have at least acknowledged Trump’s recent policy successes have made his presidency better than they’d hoped for, Kristol remains mired in self-delusion that the president can be stopped somehow.

People like Kristol are no doubt hedging their bets on a GOP primary challenge to Trump in 2020 – good luck with that. Rumor has it John Kasich turned down the chance to run for senate in Ohio because he’s planning on another try in the party presidential primaries in a couple years. If the economy continues with its positive direction Kasich wouldn’t even poll high enough to force televised debates with the president much less earn a shot at dethroning him.

The #NeverTrumpers could conceivably join with Democrats to pursue an impeachment spectacle if the Democrats retake the House after this year’s midterm elections. If that were the case Trump’s challengers – including possibly Oprah – could improve their chances.

Ultimately the public will decide, not the prosecutors.

David French wrote in National Review, “If Trump’s popularity slides further, and if the Democrats take the House, then he may well face the humiliation Bill Clinton endured — an impeachment vote in the House and a trial in the Senate — but with a media pursuing Trump with the same zeal that they pursued Nixon. Clinton enjoyed popularity and media backing. Nixon faced a shrinking base and unrelenting media hostility…

“Trump should view improving his public perception as a priority of the second year of the first term. But ‘less drama’ is a tough sale for a president who’s dramatic by nature, built his brand on drama, and won a presidential election even as he crammed the news cycle with controversy. Yet when he beat Hillary Clinton, he ran against an unpopular person, one of the most-disliked politicians in American history. She couldn’t help but create drama all her own. If he ‘runs’ against impeachment, he’ll be battling an idea — the alluring thought of a Trumpless government where his opponents promise that prosperity is possible without ceaseless panic.”

Trump should look to improve his popularity but not because he’s fearful of continued #NeverTrump scorn or the specter of an Oprah Winfrey candidacy hanging over his head. Trump shouldn’t even clean up his act because he’s cognizant of impeachment – he should do it because it’s the best way to move his agenda.

All the tweets in the world won’t pass bills in Congress or improve Trump’s standing with the skeptical part of the public. Trump likely won’t face impeachment and Oprah probably won’t run – but the ultimate success of his administration depends on his ability to control himself.

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