WASHINGTON -- Could this really be the presidential matchup in 2020? A spokesman for President Trump said Monday he would welcome a challenge from-- or anyone else, for that matter. The possibility of a Winfrey run was trending heavily on social media Monday after she delivered a at the Golden Globe Awards before a television audience of 19 million people.
To the casual observer, the speech was vintage Winfrey. An emotional commentary on sexual harassment.
"For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up!" Winfrey said.
But fans thought they heard something more: the crescendo of a campaign address.
"So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon," Winfrey continued.
The internet lit up, and her longtime partner Stedman Graham added fuel to the fire, telling the Los Angeles Times that Winfrey would "absolutely" run for president -- if the American people want her to.
That would be a notable shift from last fall, when Winfrey, who is a special correspondent for "60 Minutes," laughed off the notion of a run during an appearance on "CBS This Morning."
"There will be no running for office of any kind for me," Winfrey said.
But the Democratic field in 2020 is wide open, which could be enticing for the well-known, well-funded media mogul.
In fact, her fellow billionaire Donald Trump toldthat Winfrey would be his first choice for vice president.
"If she's do it, she'd be fantastic," he said, at the time mulling his own presidential bid. "She's popular, she's brilliant, she's a wonderful woman."
Detractors say she lacks political experience, but so did Mr. Trump when he was thinking about running. Back in 1988, he talked it over with -- who else? -- Winfrey.
"Would you ever?" Winfrey asked. "Probably not," Mr. Trump said. "I just don't have the inclination, I love what I'm doing, I really like it."
"It also doesn't pay well," Winfrey said.
On Capitol Hill, some Democrats were cautiously supportive of a potential Winfrey bid, while others were downright jubilant. A poll last year pegged her approval rating well above Mr. Trump, but nearly 70 percent of those respondents also said she should not run for president.