Democrats are all a twitter over the possibility of an Oprah White House run. Her inspirational remarks at the Golden Globe awards the genesis of their euphoria. A hopeful and inclusive message offering a stark contrast to daily divisiveness emanating from the mansion’s current tenant.
I listened intently as liberal commentators gushed over the possibility of Oprah Winfrey taking on Donald Trump; portrayed as a battle between good and evil. Surely the gifted and accomplished Winfrey would free us from the evils of the madman running loose in the White House.
As I listened I couldn’t help be reminded of the morning after Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech for the Republican nomination for Vice President of the United States. News commentators gushing about her fantastic entry into the world of national politics. Palin, the sitting Alaskan governor with an 87% approval rating and self-proclaimed hockey mom, wowed the national audience with her bright enthusiasm, bold proclamations and oratory skills. “Do you know the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom?” Palin asked the crowd. “Lipstick!” A political star was born.
It didn’t take long for the world to find out that Palin was an empty vessel more interested in shopping sprees and her personal stardom than serving the interests of the American people.
I am not trying to insinuate that Oprah Winfrey is anything like Sarah Palin. Oprah is a self made media mogul. A women who pulled herself up from a hardscrabble background to become one wealthiest and most powerful people in the world. A woman who during her rise to success was dismissed by critics every step along the way. From popular local talk show host to nationally syndicated television personality to owner of her own network; she pushed through every obstacle. An accomplished actress, best selling authoress and world renown philanthropist…Oprah Winfrey is arguably the most influential women in the world. A women who along with her stardom and business acumen is a good person blessed with a natural ability to connect with people.
I am convinced that should she decide to run she would prove to be a very formidable foe. The question is…for all her outstanding accomplishments…would she be a good president?
For if we are being honest…many of the accolades attributed to Ms. Winfrey could be said of the current President of the United States. An outsider from Queens, Trump made himself into one most successful real estate developers in Manhattan; arguably one of the toughest markets in the world. He achieved incredible world wide fame as star of “The Apprentice.” He read the discontent in the country and found that he connected with a large swath of an angry populace. So he threw his hat into the cutthroat world of Washington politics and became the most powerful person in the world.
We now know that Trump, like Palin, is an empty vessel, borne to power on a rising tide of discontent; fueled by a connection with those who felt that they had been left to drown.
For the past 25 years we have elected Washington outsiders to the highest office in the land. To a man they had no experience in how the federal government works. We elected them not for their experience in Washington politics. We elected them because we liked them and we hoped they would bring a fresh perspective that would result in our lives being made better. Most of the country would argue that our 25 year long popularity contest hasn’t worked.
Oprah Winfrey might turn out to be one of the greatest presidents to ever occupy the Oval Office. But as of this moment none of us have any idea about the depth of her knowledge on matters crucial to effectively governing the country. We only know that we like her. We need to know a great deal more before we hand her the keys to the White House.
There is more to running the singularly most important country in the world than than a successful private sector career and soaring oratory skills.
We have seen the results of a 25 year popularity contest. Let’s not make that same mistake again. Nice is nice but we need more.
Let’s take a long, hard critical look at the next person we elect to the highest office in the land. may the best most qualified man or women win.