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Buzz Over Oprah's 2020 Bid Leads to Debate Over Celebrity Candidates

Buzz Over Oprah's 2020 Bid Leads to Debate Over Celebrity Candidates
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 January 2018 09:39 AM

The hoopla over the possibility of Oprah Winfrey running for president following her powerful speech at the Golden Globes ceremony on Sunday evening has raised questions whether it is good for the public that celebrities seek political office, The Hill reported on Tuesday.

Although in a not too distant era, the idea of someone like Winfrey running for president would not be taken seriously, the shocking victory of Donald Trump has changed that conception and made the possibility appear more realistic.

A wide range of strategists have expressed excitement about the idea of her launching a presidential bid.

USA Today reported that Democratic strategist Joe Trippi, who was campaign manager for Howard Dean's bid for president in 2004, said, "If she decides to run, she certainly would be the top contender, no doubt about it. All of the politicians who would think about running, she'd be one of the people they'd have to get past."

Plenty of others have joined in encouraging her, with California Rep. Jackie Speier, for example sending out an excited tweet.

Some experts have pointed out that celebrities have significant advantages over conventional politicians, especially since voters are disenchanted with the status quo.

London Metropolitan University Prof. Mark Wheeler, author of "Celebrity Politics," explained to The Hill that there has been "a collapse of trust" in established institutions, but that celebrities, with whom the public often "developed a sense of affinity," were well positioned to fill the void.

However, others scoffed at the idea of imitating Trump's example.

"Maybe we should just elect the president after a special week-long edition of 'Survivor,'" prominent New York left-wing activist Jonathan Tasini wrote. "Celebrity culture is a cancer — and it's dismaying to see people who should know better swooning over such idiocy."

But Trippi countered that a Winfrey bid for president is not necessarily the wrong line of thinking.

"Do people think Trump is failing because he never operated in government before and doesn't know what he's doing? Or is he failing because he is a divisive voice keeping us in a world of chaos?" Trippi asked.

"If it's the latter, Oprah Winfrey could present herself as the exact antidote to that."

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The hoopla over the possibility of Oprah Winfrey running for president following her powerful speech at the Golden Globes ceremony on Sunday evening has raised questions whether it is good for the public that celebrities seek political office...
oprah, presidential, bid, sparks, talk, celebrity, candidates
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2018-39-09
Tuesday, 09 January 2018 09:39 AM
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