Oprah Winfrey said she is not interested in running for president, in comments published this week that were made before the current wave of speculation that followed her speech at the Golden Globes.
Over the years, Winfrey’s popularity has frequently prompted conjecture that she could be a viable presidential candidate. Winfrey, however, has never made a formal bid for the presidency.
“I’ve always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not,” Winfrey told US magazine InStyle three weeks before the Globes. “And so it’s not something that interests me. I don’t have the DNA for it.”
At the awards show earlier this month, host Seth Meyers made a joke about Winfrey being president just before she at the awards show.
A deluge of news stories and editorials followed, with commentators debating whether Winfrey would run for president and what such a bid would look like.
Donald Trump was even asked whether he could defeat Winfrey in a presidential election.
“Yeah, I’d beat Oprah,” Trump said. “Oprah would be a lot of fun. I know her very well. I like Oprah. I don’t think she’s gonna run.”
Winfrey’s friends, including best friend Gayle King, said Winfrey was likely not running for president. But her partner, Stedman Graham, fueled further speculation when the Los Angeles Times asked him whether Oprah would run.
“It’s up to the people,” Graham said. “She would absolutely do it.”
“Gayle – who knows me as well as I know myself, practically – has been calling me regularly and texting me things, like a woman in the airport saying, ‘When’s Oprah going to run?’ So Gayle sends me these things, and then she’ll go, ‘I know, I know, I know! It wouldn’t be good for you – it would be good for everyone else,’” Winfrey said.
“I met with someone the other day who said that they would help me with a campaign. That’s not for me.”
This article was updated on 25 January 2018. An earlier version of this story implied Winfrey made these comments after her Golden Globe speech. In fact, she made them three weeks before.>