Oprah’s Not Running For President, But She Has The Best Advice For Anyone Who Is

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On Sunday's airing of The Van Jones Show, Oprah Winfrey offered advice to 2020 presidential candidates, emphasizing that they should focus more on promoting their own platforms instead of countering those of their opponents. As Winfrey put it, "Do not give your energy to that which you really don't believe in."

Winfrey appeared on The Van Jones Show on Sunday to discuss a variety of politically-related topics. When the host asked her if she had any recommendations for those who run for president in the year 2020, Winfrey passionately emphasized that candidates should focus on promoting what they believe is best for the country.

I will say to whoever is going to run for office, do not give your energy to the other side. Do not spend all your time talking about your opponents. Do not give your energy to that which you really don't believe in. Do not spend an ounce of your time on that ... don't spend your time on that.

More broadly, Winfrey also emphasized that people should look to the example of civil rights leaders in order to learn how to effectively achieve change through resistance and peaceful protest. She asserted,

The civil rights workers and leaders ... there was a strategy to the marching ... there was an intention. There has to be a very clear intention behind what you're doing and why you're doing it. So, by the time that Rosa Parks sat down on that bus, they had been planning that for a very long time.

Winfrey's advice to future presidential candidates is especially noteworthy considering the fact that many have been clamoring for Winfrey herself to run for president, particularly after she gave a rousing speech about the #MeToo movement at the 2018 Golden Globes.

However, despite public interest, Winfrey has repeatedly said that she does not wish to run for president in 2020. Back in February, she confirmed this stance during an interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda, the host of "SuperSoul Conversations."

Later that month, however, Winfrey seemed to imply during an interview with PEOPLE magazine that she would be open to running only if she received a sign from God that she should do so. As Winfrey put it, “I went into prayer [after the Golden Globes]. God, if you think I’m supposed to run, you gotta tell me, and it has to be so clear that not even I can miss it.’ And I haven’t gotten that.”

Winfrey also addressed the issue on The Van Jones Show on Sunday. The former talk show host mentioned to Jones how honored she was that people considered her a strong candidate for the role of president, telling him, "The noise about running for president moved me so humbly and deeply ... it means that you have somewhere in the work gained the people's trust ... And there is nothing more important to me than having the trust of the people ..."

Jones also asked Winfrey what she would say to President Trump if she had ten minutes alone with him. In response, Winfrey emphasized that she might not be very vocal if the situation arose, saying "I would only speak where I feel I could be heard ... so, I would only speak if I felt that I could be heard ..."

Overall, despite not running for president herself at this juncture, Winfrey clearly has strong views on how those who are planning to run in 2020 should conduct their campaigns. Winfrey certainly seems to believe that it is important for her to engage in robust dialogue about the future trajectory of the country — and seems to understand that many Americans are likely looking to her for guidance during what many consider trying times.