I can't see Oprah ever deciding to run for the presidency. Why give up her privacy, her business, a lot of her popularity for the ugliness that is a presidential campaign. I think she could win, but at this point, being president is a come down from being Oprah. This reminds a bit of the push to get Colin Powell to run in 1996 except he actually had some relevant experience. But it's a fun little boomlet to contemplate. And Ben Shapiro explains what it all means in the sense of today's politics as he contemplates a moment when we have a reality-show president and the most popular candidate can imagine is a Tv talk show hostess.
They demonstrate rather clearly that the American people have two very different ideas of what the president does: what they actually believe, and what they say they believe. When asked, most Americans will say they believe the presidency is about the policies presidents pursue: economic growth, military strength, and the rest. From this perspective, Oprah isn’t qualified to be president; neither was Trump, but we ought to ignore his Twitter foolishness and instead focus on his accomplishments. If we hold by this picture of the presidency, we ought to pretend that what the president does holds all the weight, and what he says holds nearly none.
Then there’s what Americans really think the president does. They think he talks. They think he speaks. They think he acts as a figurehead on the prow of state, thrusting a certain picture of American character into the world. In this world, what the president says matters far more than what he does. After all, legislative priorities change and executive policy morphs, but character is forever.
That's a pretty sad, but true observation. That's one reason why Obama could remain popular as president even when his policies were unpopular. People liked the way he communicated. Even if most of the things that fell out of his mouth were touchy-feely word salads and untruths.