In a candid interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday, actors Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep gushed about Oprah 2020. Both Hollywood figures enthusiastically agreed with the idea of TV legend Oprah Winfrey becoming the president of the United States, with Streep calling Winfrey "more than qualified" to run for office.
While speaking with Amanpour, Hanks said that the present administration under Donald Trump showed that anyone had a chance to run for the position of America's president. In such a country, the idea of President Winfrey didn't sound bad, according to Hanks.
The possibility of someone who is incredibly smart, incredibly passionate, who is always putting forward a message of inclusion and cooperation, and with the authenticity of someone who says, "I would wake up everyday and make the world and our country and your city and your neighborhood better than it is" — I think that person is a type of president of the United States that I'd like.
In contrast with the President Trump, Hanks said that Winfrey would be much more admirable as the leader of the country. "This great thing has always been said about our country ... [it's] that anybody can grow up and become the president of the United States," Hanks said. "And our current chief executive has proven literally that anybody can become the president of the United States."
Raising concerns from those who think Winfrey's lack of political experience would make her an incompetent president, Amanpour said that Winfrey, like Trump, didn't have experience in running a political office. Indirectly referring to Trump's sketchy business history, Streep responded:
[Winfrey] has run a major corporation that didn't go bankrupt three or four or however many times. Yeah, I think she's more than qualified. Intellectually, she's qualified. Her energy, her stamina, her passion. I think she's more than qualified.
During the discussion, Streep also corrected Hanks about his point that "anybody" could run for office in the United States. "And as for anybody growing up and thinking they can be president [of the United States], for half of the population that has been true. For our entire history, if you'll notice," Streep said, partly in jest. "Let me womansplain that to you, Tom"; Hanks heartily agreed.
As the man, let me walk back the statement that I just said. I am so glad that you had enlightened me. I became enlightened by simply listening to what you had to say and I cannot argue with the empirical truth of what you just pointed out.
There's a number of ways for history to be made here and I think the first woman chief executive of the United States would need to have Oprah Winfrey's qualities.
There is some bad news for Winfrey's fans, though. For people who want to see an Oprah 2020 campaign in the future, the likelihood of such a thing is fairly nonexistent — at least according to sources close to Winfrey. Winfrey's best friend, Gayle King, said on Tuesday that Winfrey was not planning to run for office, but she was "intrigued" by the notion.
"[L]isten, there are people who have said they want to be her campaign manager, who want to quit their jobs and campaign for her," King said. "She loves this country and would like to be of service in some way. But I don't think she's actively considering it at this time."
In addition to Hollywood celebrities gushing about Winfrey as a future president, some online sellers have gone ahead and put out Oprah 2020 merchandise. Whether you like the idea of a President Winfrey or think it's a bad idea that will backfire, it's clear that the popular topic isn't going anywhere anytime soon.