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Old 01-08-2018, 02:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Oprah for President?

I see there's much speculation that, after her well-received speech at the Golden Globes, Oprah Winrey might be considering a bid to become the Democrats' candidate in the 2020 Presidential Election.

What do people make of this?

Not being an American I find it difficult to form an opinion on the matter, but -- for what it's worth -- I'm really not sure that TV stars with little or no political experience are necessarily well-qualified for the office of President.

One of the things that comes over really strongly in the Fire & Fury books,to my mind, is that the President (whoever she or he is) needs to understand and to be skilled in the political arts of government and the legislative process -- building coalitions and negotiating with different factions and groups to get policies turned into action.

Even if Trump didn't labour under the many difficulties caused by his many defects of character, intellect and temprament, I think his inexperience in government would have caused him multiple problems regardless, and I fear Oprah Winfrey, despite her many obvious differences from the present incumbent, might find herself struggling with the practical problems of government.

Of course she would be assisted by a strong team, who would be far more able and competent than the somewhat less-than-golden shower that accompany Trump. However, assembling, leading and managing a team of skilled politicians itself requires a degree of political expertise and skill.

Simply put, I don't think that POTUS is an entry-level job in politics, regardless of the candidate's other excellent qualities.

But I'm very much an outsider, looking at it from a distance. What do others make of it all?
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I can't stand Oprah. Like Bono - she is entirely too full of her own virtue.
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Please kill me now. No that would be horrible. Just what we don't need with Trump's Apprentice is more reality tv stars.
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ha, I just posted about Oprah in another thread.

I'm not American either, Innula. I think there are some nuances in American politics that I still have trouble with when it comes to the the party leader's actual job, or rather, what people expect from them, along with the whole 2 party system. I'm not a huge fan, but after Trump, I think Oprah would be a welcome relief. She may not have political experience, but she seems to know how to listen, find solutions or hire the right people (she heads her own production company, no?), and has a lot of experience leading large teams of people.
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't object to people who are not lawyers getting into politics, and I think she'd have the sense to surround herself with experts, and she certainly has the charisma, but...

I'd prefer someone with charisma who has experience with that sort of job.

Then again, my biggest concern with Obama was that he lacked experience, and even though he did a lot of things I didn't like all that much, overall, he did good.
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Also, look at all the lifelong US politicians with a lot experience who end up sucking.
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Also, look at all the lifelong US politicians with a lot experience who end up sucking.
Every president since I was born except for Jimmy Carter.
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aribeth Zelin View Post
I don't object to people who are not lawyers getting into politics, and I think she'd have the sense to surround herself with experts, and she certainly has the charisma, but...

I'd prefer someone with charisma who has experience with that sort of job.

Then again, my biggest concern with Obama was that he lacked experience, and even though he did a lot of things I didn't like all that much, overall, he did good.
Any president has to surround her- or himself with experts, in both cabinet and staff appointments, but there's more to it than that.

The experts are going to have their own political agendas -- that's a given. These are all going to coincide to a greater or lesser extent with those of the President and those of the other experts, but are also going to conflict to a greater or lesser extent with everyone else's views and agendas, too.

The President has to understand all those different policy and personal agendas, and be able to make people work as a team.

Furthermore, to get anything done, the President and her or his advisers and cabinet members will need the cooperation of both Congressional Houses, and that in turn means being able to work with the various different constituencies within the President's own party and also some of the people in their own party.

All this requires, to my mind, considerable skill and background, including a degree of political capital -- in the sense that if the President says she or he will do such-and-such in return for someone's support, then that someone needs to have confidence the President can, and will, deliver on her promises.

A big part of Trump's problem is that he doesn't have the background or ability to run a government, even if he were interested in trying to. He's handed it all off to his entourage, who seem (or at least seemed, until Stephen Bannon left) to spend most of their time fighting amongst each other about which of at least three factions' conflicting agendas would prevail.

A successful president, it seems to me, has to have the experience and ability to take control of the inevitable conflicts within government and navigate them successfully.
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I would vote for her, if I were American.
No one who became POTUS had experience as POTUS when they ran for office for the first term.
Oprah is experienced enough to know how to close deals and get things done.
She certainly would not look like a lost clown (like 45 does) when among world leaders.
She can give a speech, listen, analyze and ask the right questions in the right way.
And her Rolodex contains more then enough politically useful names and phone numbers.


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Old 01-08-2018, 04:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The fawning over Oprah today has been ridiculous. She gave a beautiful speech while accepting her award, but the "draft Oprah" movement that has followed is a bit over the top. I would love to see Oprah become more involved in politics, perhaps using her fame and fortune to help get more young voters and more black voters to the voting booth in 2018. I would not even consider voting for her for President of the United States.
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Old 01-08-2018, 04:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Trump Warns That President Oprah Would Force Americans to Read | The New Yorker
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Old 01-08-2018, 05:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
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What do people make of this?
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Old 01-08-2018, 05:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aribeth Zelin View Post
I'd prefer someone with charisma who has experience with that sort of job.

Then again, my biggest concern with Obama was that he lacked experience, and even though he did a lot of things I didn't like all that much, overall, he did good.
He did better by his second term when he'd figured out more of the "how."

The main reason I voted for Clinton over Obama in the primaries was his lack of experience, and I think it was a valid concern. He had the right personal qualities, but knowing how to pull the strings and levers of government is a HUGE advantage. It's one reason that Lyndon Johnson was able to pull off some truly historic legislative accomplishments, such as the Civil Rights Act. He knew how to twist arms, stockpile favors and get things done.
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Old 01-08-2018, 05:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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At this point I'm ready for the United States to become a British colony again. We seem to have lost the knack for civilization lately anyways and could well use the refresher course.
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Old 01-08-2018, 05:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Maybe she and her book club should tackle Machiavelli's Il Principe.
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Old 01-08-2018, 05:39 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I've been baiting a Trump lover on Facebook who is having a fit about Oprah possibly running for president by saying, "She is a successful business person. She has personal charisma. She's literate. Unlike Trump none of her wealth was inherited. She is completely self-made, and she has never had to declare bankruptcy." I thought her head was going to spin around and pop off.

I don't care for Oprah, but seeing the collective head of Trump supporters explode if a black woman was the one to defeat him in 2020 - would be just too delicious.
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Old 01-08-2018, 05:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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At this point I'm ready for the United States to become a British colony again. We seem to have lost the knack for civilization lately anyways and could well use the refresher course.
Before or after Brexit?
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:07 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Here is a list of every USA President whose first elected political office was President of the USA:

12th USA President Zachary Taylor. Had been a career army officer prior to being elected president. Reached Major General. Died early in his term - not sure how he might have turned out otherwise.

18th USA President Ulysses S. Grant. 6th Commanding General of the United States Army - his time in office has been noted as being one of the most corrupt in USA history

21st USA President Chester A. Arthur. He had worked in politics since his early days, but more in the party machine, and in appointed positions, less in elected positions. Technically he doesn't 'qualify' for this list since he was elected Vice President and never actually elected to USA President (assuming the role after James A. Garfield's assassination.

27th USA President William Howard Taft held many political offices, but only President was an elected position. Prior to being president he was: 6th Solicitor General of the United States, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Governor-General of the Philippines, 1st Provisional Governor of Cuba, 42nd United States Secretary of War, after he was President: 10th Chief Justice of the United States. - Served only one term because Teddy Roosevelt didn't like what Taft was doing

31st USA President Herbert Hoover held cabinet positions but no political position prior to becoming President. He was first and only Director of the U.S. Food Administration (for Wilson), and 3rd United States Secretary of Commerce (for Harding and Coolidge). Became President right when the US, and world, fell into the Great Depression. Did not successfully get USA out of Depression.

34th USA President Dwight D. Eisenhower gained much political experience, in the military theater, as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe, but President was his first elected office. Like others, like Taft, Eisenhower had been an appointed Governor, but not elected - Governor of the American Zone of Occupied Germany. Served two terms, built highways (Interstate Highway System), 'Eisenhower made greater use of press conferences than any previous president, holding almost 200 over his two terms.' and . . . other stuff

And then finally:
45th USA President Donald Trump Is Donald Trump

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Old 01-08-2018, 06:18 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Before or after Brexit?
Probably the only way we'd get into the EU would be if we bribed the Germans with Hawaii, so it wouldn't really matter anyways.

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Old 01-08-2018, 06:19 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Thing is, there are people who are successful when it comes to making people work together, and there are people who are dividers. Has nothing to do with experience.

I'm not saying I'd vote for Oprah in the primaries, but if her name ended up in the General, I'd likely vote for her over most anyone the GOP might end up putting forth.

I'd vote for a sloth to get away from Twitler.
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:19 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soda Sullivan View Post
The fawning over Oprah today has been ridiculous. She gave a beautiful speech while accepting her award, but the "draft Oprah" movement that has followed is a bit over the top. I would love to see Oprah become more involved in politics, perhaps using her fame and fortune to help get more young voters and more black voters to the voting booth in 2018. I would not even consider voting for her for President of the United States.
I'm not sure it is necessarily ridiculous. It speaks to the mood and abject desperation of so many as we watch in horror every day as Trump and his enablers destroy our country and seem to be unstoppable. Her dignified grace, the raw power of that speech, and that's she's motherfucking Oprah Winfrey all provide the perfect storm right now to get people who are feeling hopeless and broken to feel excited. I don't think Oprah will ultimately run, but entertaining the idea for just a little while isn't a bad thing.

I agree that I'd love to see her take a larger role in politics, but not as POTUS - at least not now.
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:30 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I've been baiting a Trump lover on Facebook who is having a fit about Oprah possibly running for president by saying, "She is a successful business person. She has personal charisma. She's literate. Unlike Trump none of her wealth was inherited. She is completely self-made, and she has never had to declare bankruptcy." I thought her head was going to spin around and pop off.

I don't care for Oprah, but seeing the collective head of Trump supporters explode if a black woman was the one to defeat him in 2020 - would be just too delicious.
In the Washington Post today, Alexandra Petri looks at The pros and cons of President Oprah.

Among them,
Quote:
On the one hand, maybe the fact that we are even having this conversation is a sign that we live in a fallen, broken world, where we cannot have nice things, and we will never have a normal, boring president ever again, and this is just how things are going to be from now on, and we will oscillate forever between terrifying celebrity presidents who just think it would be fun to run and well-intentioned celebrity presidents who are actually trying to put in the work, and so by 2040 the president will be Jake Paul, after three terms of The Rock.

On the other hand, there is little I can imagine Trump hating more than having to spend the rest of his presidency listening to the talking heads on television rave about what a better president Oprah would be.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaida Gearbox View Post
I've been baiting a Trump lover on Facebook who is having a fit about Oprah possibly running for president by saying, "She is a successful business person. She has personal charisma. She's literate. Unlike Trump none of her wealth was inherited. She is completely self-made, and she has never had to declare bankruptcy." I thought her head was going to spin around and pop off.

I don't care for Oprah, but seeing the collective head of Trump supporters explode if a black woman was the one to defeat him in 2020 - would be just too delicious.
This alone would be worth having Oprah at least run in a few primaries. Obama gave them apoplexy and he was at least qualified by education.

The possible number of " angry old white guy" coronaries and aneurysms she would inspire alone would be worth getting her to run. Black AND female? They'd be dropping like flies in November.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:46 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:09 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Every candidate who runs for president will have major dirt brought up whether real or made up. It would be ugly, especially for a tv star who has made their name somewhat artificially resolving conflicts like she has.
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