CNN Reporter: Talk of Oprah Winfrey for President Shows Democrats Have ‘Thin Bench’ for 2020

• January 8, 2018 2:35 pm


CNN senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju said Monday that, while Oprah Winfrey may be a long shot to become president, she benefits from the lack of strong potential candidates within the Democratic Party to run in 2020.

Winfrey's politically charged speech at the Golden Globes on Sunday fueled speculation that she is eyeing a presidential bid, and the talk-show host is considering it, according to CNN.

On CNN's "Inside Politics," host John King said that politicians such as Barack Obama and Donald Trump defied predictions to become president, and he posed the possibility of Winfrey following suit.

"If we have learned anything in the last 10 years of volatile, changing, quicksand American politics: Never say never," King said. "Oprah Winfrey?"

Raju replied by voicing skepticism, but he did say that the potential of Winfrey running indicates that the Democratic primary will be wide open.

"I do think it also speaks to this 2020 campaign for the Democrats is going to be a free-for-all," Raju said. "There's so many people who want to run and the Democrats—there really are not that many who people can see as beating Donald Trump. They have a pretty thin bench at the end of the day."

Still, Raju said Winfrey may not be ready for how nasty a presidential campaign would be.

"She is someone who has got universal name recognition, people love her, she has got a lot of money, but the moment she steps into the ring, half the country will probably automatically hate you," Raju said of Winfrey. "She will have to throw a lot of mud. It's going to be a nasty, nasty affair."

Winfrey's support on social media has swelled since her speech at the Golden Globes. Celebrities such as John Stamos tweeted support for her, and various liberal journalists and commentators called for her to run in 2020.