Could Oprah Winfrey be the next US president?

Following a combative speech on women's and civil rights at the Golden Globes award ceremony there is talk of US entertainer Oprah Winfrey becoming Donald Trump's successor in the White House. But not all commentators are convinced that this would be a good idea.

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The Evening Standard (GB) /

Trump put the bar at an all-time low

The fact that so many people are keen on the idea of Oprah Winfrey becoming the next US president shows just how low US politics have sunk, columnist Dan Jones writes scathingly in The Evening Standard:

“The bar for acceptability as president has sunk out of sight, for if Trump can do it then so can the Easter bunny. Perhaps Oprah, whose vision of the future seems to consist of everyone losing weight, being good to one another and getting a free car, really is the answer to the American malaise. Actually, I suspect the fevered reaction to her Obama-lite stump speech at the Globes says more about the deplorable state of US politics than it does about the admirable lady's suitability for a position in government.”

Upsala Nya Tidning (SE) /

Democrats lack suitable candidates

The discussion above all demonstrates that the Democrats lack any serious candidates, Upsala Nya Tidning points out:

“Oprah Winfrey may well make an excellent politician. But clearly there's also a risk that the US could become even more fragmented. ... As a party the Democrats have major problems. The rift that emerged with the fight between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders endures. It's not enough just to be against Trump. There is no sign of a saviour. When competent senators like Kirsten Gillibrand and Chris Murphy are asked about 2020 they look away and mumble something about the midterm elections in 2018. It's a good thing that Trump's time is coming to an end, but that also shortens the window of opportunity for finding reasonable alternatives.”

hvg (HU) /

The way has been paved for political amateurs

Basically Donald Trump himself paved the way for the current discussion, writes the weekly paper hvg:

“It is not least thanks to Donald Trump that a TV personality like Oprah Winfrey is being discussed seriously by the US people for president. Like Oprah, he became famous across the nation through his TV appearances. He even managed to change the public discourse in the US. ... Trump's presidency proves in the eyes of many voters that professional and material success go hand in hand with political talent. And Oprah's supporters are hoping that one politically inexperienced TV star can repair the damage done by another politically inexperienced TV star.”

De Morgen (BE) /

Oprah is just hype

One good speech does not make Oprah Winfrey a promising presidential candidate, US expert Frans Verhagen writes in De Morgen:

“In this America a black woman as a presidential candidate is a guarantee for a lost election. Don't forget who helped Trump become president: angry white voters, radical Evangelists and opponents of the state. You have to be blind politically to think that many of them would vote for Oprah Winfrey. ... What's more, Trump's election has made it clear how unwise it is to elect an inexperienced media figure as president. If Trump has left any legacy at all it's that voters will look more closely at what a candidate has to offer. ... So enjoy the hype but face the facts: hype is all it is.”

La Stampa (IT) /

A sign of the vitality of US democracy

La Stampa praises Oprah Winfrey's speech but asks whether the US is really ready for a black woman as president:

“It's hard to tell, the past is an unreliable aid for predicting the future of the United States, as the victories of Obama and Trump demonstrate. Truly impressive by contrast is the tremendous vitality of American democracy. It offers a TV star [Winfrey in her speech] the possibility to turn Recy Taylor, who was raped by racists in 1944, into a hero. ... Oprah has put personal rights back at the centre of the debate, she has warmed the hearts of many, and we will see whether she can challenge the man who once dreamed of having her as his vice-president [Trump said in a TV interview in 1999], and how she will handle things when it comes to defending freedom from the likes of Putin or Xi Jinping.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Feminism gaining ground

The Golden Globes and Oprah Winfrey's speech have shown that social progress is now unstoppable, Der Standard comments:

“Conservative governments like that in Austria may paint a picture of the 'normal' family consisting of mother, father and child, as used to be the case. They may cut off the money supplies for feminist initiatives and deliberately avoid promoting women's programmes. ... But women are claiming their place on the public stage, they are gaining ground - even in countries like Saudi Arabia that are so backwards in this respect. Despite the hate speech on social networks: the clock can't be turned back.”