Gayle King thinks Oprah is "intrigued" by idea of a presidential run
There is growing speculation that Oprah Winfrey may challenge the president in 2020 after her rousing speech at Sunday's Golden Globes. Winfrey's best friend and "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King said on Tuesday "I do think she's intrigued by the idea."
Winfrey's partner, Stedman Graham, started much of the talk when he told the Los Anegels Times on Sunday that she would "absolutely" run, but ultimately it was "up to the people."
King addressed Graham's comments and said that he had misinterpreted the reporter's question.
"Stedman says that he thought the reporter said to him 'Would she make a good president?' And he said 'Absolutely she would.' That's how he interpreted the question, because this is the thing – Stedman would never so cavalierly say absolutely she would do it. It's up to the people. He would never do that," King said.
While King insisted that Winfrey is not "actively considering" a run for president, she also said, "She loves this country and would like to be of service in some way."
According to King, Winfrey was originally asked by producers to keep her speech at Sunday's Golden Globes to three minutes long. She insisted on keeping it at six minutes and when it was all said and done, it lasted for about nine.
"I think the producers thought that was worth going late for," King said. "She wanted that moment to be more than women wearing black dresses of solidarity. She really did want to speak to young girls around the country. She really did want to say 'enough already' and I think she delivered on all that in a very eloquent way. Will she run for president? I think it's a very very intriguing idea myself."
Read King's full comments below.
NORAH O'DONNELL: "So what about what Stedman said?"
GAYLE KING: "I do think that's interesting because Stedman says that he thought the reporter said to him would she make a good president and he said absolutely she would. That's how he interpreted the question, because this is the thing. Stedman would never so cavalierly say absolutely she would do it. It's up to the people. He would never do that.
KING: "I got emails from people yesterday that said is Stedman being strategic or is he being supportive? He is nothing but supportive. He would never just throw it out there like that."
O'DONNELL: "I'm going to ask you the same tough question that I ask guests on this show. In fact, Stedman did say she would absolutely do it. It's up to the people."
KING: "He did say it is up to the people but I'm telling you his interpretation of the question was would she – he thought the reporter was saying would she be a good president."
O'DONNELL: "Is she considering it?"
KING: "No, I absolutely don't think that her position has changed. I don't. You know, I was up talking to her very late last night. I do think this though, guys. I do think she's intrigued by the idea. I do think that. I also know after years of watching the Oprah show, you always have a right to change your mind. I don't think at this point she is actually considering it. But listen, there are people who have said they want to be her campaign manager, who want to quit their jobs and campaign for her. She loves this country and would like to be of service in some way, but I don't think that she's actively considering it."
JEFF GLOR: "For the record that is a significant change – that is a change from what we heard in October."
KING: "It's not a change from her, Jeff. That's a change from me. It's not a change from her."
O'DONNELL: "So let me ask you, who wrote the speech?"
KING: "Listen, Oprah crafted that speech. She knew how she wanted to start. This was the thing for her: she knew exactly what she wanted to say and she knew how she wanted to say it. She crafted the speech, she talked to an editor at the magazine and the two of them came up with it, but Oprah put down exactly what she wanted to say. Those were all her words. You know, listen, she writes her 'What I Know For Sure' column every week – every month in the magazine. She's a very good writer. We all know she's a very good talker and so I think that it was a home run on many levels. Being in that room I will say this: Being in that room was electrifying. It was the right person giving the right speech at the right time. She wanted that moment to be more than women wearing black dresses of solidarity. She really did want to speak to young girls around the country. She really did want to say enough already and I think she delivered on all that in a very eloquent way. Will she run for president? I think it's a very very intriguing idea myself."
GLOR: "If someone were to potentially run for president, what do you think their timeline might be?"
KING (looking at newspaper headline): "I don't know, Jeff. I'm just looking at, this 'Yes She Can.' 'Noprah' if you took out the 'p' it would say Norah. I don't think there is such a thing as a timeline. I'm not trying to be cute here or be mysterious but I do think it's a very intriguing thing that she had never considered. People said 'oh yeah, she wrote that speech as a launching pad for what she wants to do.' That's absolutely not true. She worked on it, she rehearsed it, she practiced it. I was a practice audience member and I have to say I knew the speech was going to be powerful just when she was reading it to time. And you'll like this: before when she was at rehearsal they told her she had to cut three minutes out of it because it was six minutes long. They said you have to cut it to three minutes and Oprah said if it was any other night than this one I could do that but I don't plan on cutting it. As it turned out with all the applause it went nine minutes and I think they were very pleased – I think the producers thought that was worth going late for."
O'DONNELL: "Wow, well, I'm glad to have you back."
KING: "Norah, I am glad to be back. No matter what happens, I will be at 'CBS This Morning.' "
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