Warren-Sanders Democrats vs Oprah: "One billionaire president in a decade is going to be plenty for us"

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/14/daytime-tv-presidencies.html


SAGAL: The Oprah 2020 craze, of course, started last weekend when Oprah delivered this really good speech at the Golden Globes. And so everybody’s, like, well, she should be president. And you’re, like, the Democrats don’t have an actual politician who can say words into a microphone and sound human? Really? And you’re, like, well, of course, there’s - well, there’s - Oprah.

PETER SAGAL AND ADAM FELBER: (In unison) Oprah. Oprah. Oprah.



HONG: I can’t believe this. I mean, as much as I love Oprah…

FELBER: And we love Oprah.

HONG: We love Oprah.

SAGAL: You’re required to love Oprah.

BLOUNT JR.: I love Oprah.

HONG: Here’s the thing. If a car has driven into your house, you don’t solve the problem by driving a nicer car into your house.


I don’t give a flying fuck if they’re billionaires. I just want them to be qualified for the job.


Oprah’s net worth is only the third reason I’m unenthusiastic about her running. The first reason is that we’ve now had more than enough privilege-blind* Boomers committed to the neoliberal consensus in office, and the second reason is that we’ve now had more than enough woo peddlers in office.

If Oprah wants to get involved in politics the next two years present her with a unique opportunity to endorse good candidates, which I think she’s very capable of doing.

[* yes, I understand that Oprah is both African-American and a woman. However, she also lived her prime years during the postwar economic anomaly and is a celebrity. Having that much money and/or power and/or fame for more than a decade changes a person. Absent a Buffett-like effort to stay grounded in what is mostly an upper-middle-class lifestyle one ends up like an alien or visitor from the distant future when it comes to understanding the concerns of mere humans.]


I don’t have strong feelings either way.
But what if Oprah could run on her own money and individual contributuons, without becoming indebted to the system that forces bad decisions for the people? But perhaps she is already indebted, it looks improbable to make a fortune without screwing someone over.


That was a big part of the pitch the last (self-described) Billionaire candidate made, but in practice he didn’t actually invest any of his own money in the campaign.

Personally I find the idea of another Billionaire candidate less disturbing than the idea of another candidate who has zero experience in governance or public service of any kind.


Just saying, somebody is already selling these stickers:



To be fair, we don’t actually know if we’ve had one yet…


If Oprah wasn’t interested in running, or even gave a shit about serious issues, she’d have backed Sanders.

She didn’t, which means she wants that turf for her own agenda.


“… And you get an Oligarchy! And you get an Oligarchy! And you get an Oligarchy!”


What exactly does it mean to be “qualified for the job”? What you should want is that they represent your politics accurately in the policies they implement. They aren’t applying to program spreadsheets, they are making policy choices that determine real-life outcomes for millions of Americans.

Mitt Romney was “qualified for the job” - he had executive experience, understands finance, etc. But his “qualifications” are immaterial, because he represented a vampiric investor class and would have advanced their interests at the expense of the country.


If young democrats voted reliably, then maybe the rest of the part would pay more attention to them.


I’m going to suggest that Romney isn’t the relevant republican candidate example here.

In this position, you want both the right policy and competence.


another celebrity president is not going to help


A track record demonstrating the relevant skill sets for public governance, including but not limited to

  • A respect for the important differences between the roles of business vs. government
  • A strong understanding of the structure and purpose of the various legislative, judicial, bureaucratic and regulatory bodies and how they relate to the Executive branch
  • Strong judgement in selecting support staff to craft and enact policy
  • An appropriate amount of humility and self awareness to understand the limits of one’s own expertise
  • The ability to build the kind of political coalitions needed to craft and pass legislation

Good intentions alone aren’t enough. A President can have a heart of gold and still suck at the job.


I’m not so sure that a lot of people are saying Oprah should be president.

What I’m seeing is an awful lot of media outlets endlessly discussing how people are saying Oprah should run, and rumors that Oprah has been thinking about running. Followed by an awful lot of people responding “what the ever living fuck”.

The same nonsense speculation crops up every time anyone on the left gets 30 seconds of positive spotlight. Its primarily the TV news desperate to get the horse race going again. Oprah’s not running. Noone wants Oprah to run. TV anchors and op ed writers just want to hand wring over whether she should or not because it sells.


I would not be OK with Dr. Phil having more access to the White House than he does now.




I worked closely with Oprah on several of her businesses and I can say without a doubt that she is in no way qualified to run the country. She is first and foremost a celebrity actress and brand capitalist. She is every bit as vain and self-centered as Trump. She is lost in her own world and out of touch with reality.

She would be much better than Trump, but we need someone like Elizabeth Warren to really try and fix shit.