So Patrick Crowe, a Kansas City, Missouri math teacher, wants Oprah Winfrey to run for President in 2008 and he won’t stop talking about it. She’s told him to quit pestering her and she’s even tried to steer him toward promoting Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Obama says he’s not ready to run in ’08 and Crowe won’t stop pushing Oprah. I confess, I’m a little bit on the fence about this one.
I know it won’t come as a shock to anyone here that I’ll be more than a little elated to see this miserable excuse for an administration’s reign come to an end. You know it’s bad when you start thinking wistfully about Richard Nixon– and I don’t mean the sanitized history book version that hindsight provides. I mean.. the administration I lived through. Yeah…it looks pretty good from here.
And, of course, you can’t swing a dead cat around in the periodicals section of the bookstore without hitting a magazine touting the most recent humanitarian efforts of “Miss O”. She feeds and educates African kids. She gets her viewers to send money for AIDS. She profiles deadbeat dads. rapists and pedophiles and her fans turn them in to the police. She shames authors on national tv and devotes entire shows to advice on how you’re wearing the wrong bra. She’s “all that” and a package of Pop-Tarts. You’d think I’d be thrilled to have Oprah and her Pashmina-giving staff lend a healing touch to this angry and violated nation. And you’d be right…sort of. But President Oprah? I dunno. The whole “Legends Ball” thing rubs me the wrong way and why she thinks we care about losers like Bobby Brown or Mike Tyson is a huge puzzle to me. Plus, she interrupts her guests all of the time while they’re talking so that she can sagely sum up for them the point they were just about to make. I admit it. She irritates me just a little. I’d totally let her buy me a car, but I’m not sure I want her to be the Leader of the Free World. Here are a few reasons why:
(1) Oprah’s Book Club. At least when Oprah claims to have read and be able to discuss the existentialist views of Jean-Paul Sartre, the chat will be televised and the whole country can see it in order to believe it. Oh, wait! My mistake. A President who reads stuff like books and the daily briefings and warnings about 9/11 is a good thing. Right?
(2) Gail King would have to be The First Lady because Steadman just isn’t around enough. At least with Gail there would be someone like a BFF around to tell Oprah to “step off” when she was getting a little bit ahead of herself. Someone whose advice she actually listens to and whose advice she would follow…instead of someone who stands by practicing the adoring Nancy Reagan expression that masks a lot of unexpressed hostility and a killer craving for a cigarette. Besides…I’ve heard that Oprah knows how to correctly pronounce “nuclear”. That’s gotta be worth something. That’s another point for Oprah.
3) Nate Berkus would be the official Presidential decorator hired to completely re-do the entire West Wing. What? Am I completely insane? Who wouldn’t want that? Get rid of the horrible flocked wallpaper that “43” never saw because he was mostly on vacation in Crawford clearing brush… PLUS ditch the revolving bookcases with the fake Books of the Month that hide all the Presidential hooch. C’mon! You know it’s there! *sigh*. One more point for Oprah. Wow, I’m starting to lose my own argument.
(4)Want several million raised for Darfur? The fight against Female Genital mutilation in Third World Countries? More money for teachers in some impoverished backwater town…or any town? Illiteracy? Yeah…who thinks this Congress would vote to move on ANY of this stuff before giving itself another raise? I thought so. Maybe Oprah could fill Congress with her viewers who love and respect her enough to do her bidding…and then find a lovely Sheryl Crow cd and some Sephora gift certificates on their desks as a way of saying “thanks”. I’m sensing a pattern here…
(5)Her administration would have at least one voice of reason. A person who could quell the clashing of swords and the self-serving chest beating that power often brings to those in charge of making the law and yet somehow managing to live above it. Two words that might strike fear into the hearts of any one seeking to make Oprah a puppet figure for their own evil plans: “DR. PHIL”. Be afraid. Be very afraid, Dick Cheney. Someone inside the White House questioning the Prez and VP?? It’s called “Checks and Balances”. When was the last time we had that? When was the last time anyone listened when we had it? Why am I talking to myself? Score another for “O”.
(6)When Oprah made a pariah out of writer James Frey, she did it for one reason and one reason only: BECAUSE SHE DIDN’T COTTON TO LOOKING LIKE A TOTAL UNINFORMED BOOB IN FRONT OF HER NATIONAL AUDIENCE BY ENDORSING A NOVEL (A WRITTEN DOCUMENT CLAIMING SOMETHING HAPPENED , THOUGH IT DIDN’T HAPPEN EXACTLY THE WAY THE BOOK SAID) THAT WAS REALLY AN EMBELLISHED PIECE OF “FICTION”. At least Oprah knows when she looks bad and will go to great lengths not to let it happen again. I don’t recall her saying, “Heckuva book, Jamie boy!” after he was caught fabricating his life in print. And as for allowing her “Oprah’s Book Club” sticker to be pasted on something that makes her look as though she doesn’t have a clue about what’s going on? Nah! I doubt it. And what about declaring war for similar reasons? Nope. I’m not seeing it.
(7)Think Oprah would stand at a lectern and let any behind-the-scenes lackey feed someone else’s words/thoughts into her ear via an earpiece? Think again. The only grimaces and pauses you’ll see in her State of the Union Addresses will be the ones where she’s thinking about how to Fire Your Ass.
8) Oprah’s an only child. So…when she wins the election it won’t be because a sibling in Florida rigged the voting.
9) Photo Ops. Sure, there will be a lot of these. Miss “O” likes to have her picture taken. Rest assured, however, none will be taken atop a smoking and unexcavated pile of the World Trade Center or standing on an aircraft carrier wearing a fighter pilot costume.
And finally, Oprah knows when she wouldn’t be suited for a job. She’s never wanted to be commissioner of baseball and she’s built every one of her business ventures into empires…from the ground up. She doesn’t squander family start-up money because there is no family money. It’s all hers. Every dollar of it. Oprah isn’t running for President and that’s okay. But you’ve gotta give credit where credit is due. It’s a great thing to know you’re good at what you do, but Oprah gets my respect for turning down a job she thinks she’d do badly. Not everyone has that kind of guts or wisdom. Tough luck for us. She gets my vote anyway.