When Donald Trump came down the golden escalator with Melania back in the summer of 2015 to officially announce his intentions to run for President of the United States, just about everybody laughed him off. There is literally a video of George Stephanopoulos and friends laughing at the notion of “President Trump.” As it turned out, Keith Ellison was on to something.
We know what happened after that. Trump has gone on to enjoy an incredibly divisive first year-and-a-half in office, which already has people thinking about the next presidential election in 2020. Trump has already essentially announced that he plans to seek reelection, and you can be sure there will be no shortage of candidates lining up to try and thwart a second term from happening. Honestly, it wouldn’t be a surprise if some members of Trump’s own party tried to mount a charge against him.
Whatever the case, the person that eventually emerges as the Democratic Party’s nominee for President is going to be up against it. There is plenty of anti-Trump momentum out there, but the 2016 election told us that anything can happen.
While some familiar names like former Vice President Joe Biden and former candidate Bernie Sanders may well enter the fray as 2020 draws closer, some believe that the best way to topple Trump would be to fight fire with fire. Trump became the latest person to go from being a television star to holding the highest office in the land, an unconventional path blazed previously by Ronald Reagan.
While both Biden and Sanders have the political qualifications to do the job, it remains to be seen whether either of them (or anyone else already involved in politics) has what it takes to generate the buzz necessary to beat Trump at his own game. We know there’s essentially nothing that can be done to change the minds of his most loyal/rabid supporters, but there is a large swath of the electorate up in the air, ready to be swayed.
Back in February, Oprah Winfrey made headlines after her rousing speech at the Golden Globes. The speech was so well-received that rumors about a potential future run for office started that same night. Oprah has remained coy on whether she would actually do such a thing, but her husband believes she does have at least a little bit of interest.
You can bet on just about anything these days, and politics are no exception. We have covered numerous Trump props in the past, but now let’s tackle some props regarding his potential 2020 opponent.
Who Would be Oprah Winfrey’s Running Mate?
- Joe Biden 16/1
- Hillary Clinton 20/1
- Joe Kennedy III 25/1
- Bernie Sanders 33/1
- Michelle Obama 66/1
- George Clooney 250/1
- Mark Zuckerberg 250/1
- Gayle King 500/1
Let’s start by getting one of these out of the way. Hillary Clinton: no.
Okay, now that that’s settled, let’s dive in. Joe Biden was quite the popular VP under former President Barack Obama for a couple of terms. Biden reportedly toyed with the idea of launching his own presidential campaign in 2016 but ultimately decided against him. He has since said he regrets not running, but he hasn’t said publicly whether he plans to give it a go in 2020.
If he doesn’t, might he have interest in a second stint as Vice President? While there is a 2-term limit on the President, there is no such limit on a Vice President. So, it sounds as though it’s legal for Biden to pursue a third term as VP as a part of a different administration. However, I have a hard time imagining Biden actually going through with it. I’m sure he would pitch in if Oprah’s electability depended on Biden’s presence, but the 75-year-old seems to have more interest in doing The Big Job himself. At 16/1, there isn’t enough value here for me to have interest.
Next up is Hillary Clinton at 20/1. Again, no.
Next up is Joe Kennedy III. He isn’t nearly as well-known as some of the other potential VP candidates, but his last name certainly rings a bell. Kennedy is the son of Joe Kennedy II (obviously), who served 12 years in the House of Representatives representing Massachusetts in the 80s and 90s. Kennedy III is the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy.
Kennedy III, now 37-years-old, has been serving in the House since 2013. Kennedy’s most noteworthy moment to this point came earlier in 2018 when he was chosen to issue the Democratic Party’s official response to President Trump’s State of the Union Address. During his speech, Kennedy praised the Black Lives Matter movement and spoke in Spanish when speaking about immigration.
As was the case with Oprah, Kennedy’s speech immediately put him into the conversation as a potential future presidential candidate. Kennedy’s youth sets him apart from other potential candidates like Biden and Sanders, and the name recognition that comes with being a Kennedy probably can’t hurt, either. His uncle John became the youngest elected President ever when he was elected at the age of 43 in 1960. Could the younger Kennedy follow in his footsteps?
If Kennedy didn’t have major political aspirations, he presumably wouldn’t have become a politician. He may well have his eye on the office at some point, but he could also follow in the footsteps of many others by serving as Vice President first. Among those on the list with legitimate political experience, Kennedy is my favorite value option on the board to be VP at 25/1.
Bernie Sanders would be interesting, but I expect him to focus his efforts on a run of his own, a la Biden. Would Bernie settle for VP? It’s possible, but unlikely. Michelle Obama would certainly raise some eyebrows. Some have hinted that the former First Lady could make a run of her own for the Oval Office at some point. As is the case with Sanders and Biden, it’s tough to imagine her settling for VP beforehand. I’ll pass on Michelle at 66/1.
George Clooney, Mark Zuckerberg and Gayle King are some celebrity names to consider. I would say Clooney (250/1) is the most likely of the three, as the actor has been outspoken and active regarding politics in the past. I don’t hate that as a flier, but I’m willing to write off both Zuckerberg and King here.
Would President Winfrey Make it Mandatory for Every American to Join a Book Club?
- Yes 500/1
Should she? Yes. Will she? No.
Would President Winfrey Host a Weekly Talk Show from the Oval Office?
- Yes 100/1
President Trump wakes up every day and gives Americans a sneak peek into his head by firing off some truly insane tweets. While I imagine Oprah has a social media presence, it’s easier to see a prospective President Winfrey engaging with Americans via her more standard television format. It’s not impossible to think that Oprah would want to host some sort of weekly “State of the Union” style talk show in order to inform Americans about what’s happening.
This would essentially be an updated version of the “Fireside Chats.” Between 1933 and 1944, former President Franklin D. Roosevelt would address Americans on the radio regarding certain policies and discuss what was happening in the world at the time. Roosevelt believed that a key to his administration’s success was the ability to communicate directly with the American people.
With the advancements we’ve made in technology since then, other Presidents have used different methods to communicate with citizens. Oprah made her name in TV, so the idea that she could host a weekly show as President isn’t all that far fetched. The profit potential at 100/1 is pretty favorable here.
Would Candidate Winfrey Award a Car to the First Person to Vote For Her in Every State?
- Yes 250/1
That would certainly be one way to make sure people got out to vote. I wouldn’t put it past her, but then it would just lead to people complaining that she didn’t give everyone a car.
Would President Winfrey Visit North Korea During her First Term?
- Yes 250/1
President Trump seems to have helped create the potential for a real dialogue between the United States and North Korea, though the entire situation remains extremely uncertain. Trump made history by becoming the first sitting U.S. President to meet with a North Korean leader when he met Kim Jong-Un at a neutral location in Singapore earlier this summer.
The meetings ended with the two countries signing some vague agreement that Trump claimed included language for North Korea to begin the process of denuclearization. It seemed as though the North Koreans were planning to comply initially, but there have since been reports that the North Koreans have resumed building nuclear weapons.
Who knows where this situation is headed? There have been reports regarding a potential second summit between Trump and Kim at some point in the future, though the details haven’t yet been hashed out. It’s hard to fathom Trump physically visiting North Korea, though his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has already done so more than once.
Any meeting between the two sides, if it happens, will likely take place at another neutral location. Any President actually visiting North Korea seems like something that would be quite a ways off, but an awful lot can change in a short period of time. Could tensions between the countries have eased by the time a prospective President Winfrey takes office? Sure. Could things have devolved to the point where the relationship is icy once again? Of course.
I don’t hate this one at 250/1. An awful lot has to go right for this to happen, but as I said earlier, the last election showed us that literally, anything is possible.