Oprah Winfrey's stirring speech at the 2018 Golden Globes was a call to action. But it was not, as some had hoped, the start of a campaign to become the next President of the United States.
Winfrey appeared on CBS This Morning Tuesday to promote A Wrinkle in Time (in theaters Friday), and confirmed that Gayle King was, in fact, one of many who had tried to persuade her to run for public office. Their initial conversation took place in Winfrey's private gym in Maui, shortly before the annual award ceremony occurred. "Gayle goes, 'Look, uh, I just want to talk to you about something. It's not going to be good for you, but I think it would be good for the country,'" she said. "And I'm like, 'Get out of here! I wanted you to come listen to the speech.'"
The actress has already said politics are not in her "DNA," later arguing that she has not seen any signs that she is meant to succeed President Donald Trump. "I believe that for everything that anybody does, there is a feeling—not just voices outside yourself telling you to do something—but there is a feeling that you have about, 'Yes, this is the direction I should move in,'" she said. While she wouldn't call that "grace," she added, "I think it is an instinct; it is an intuition. I call it your internal guidance system, your personal GPS that says, 'This is the way.'"
King hasn't accepted that Winfrey is uninterested in the job. "No one should be convinced to run for the presidency," King admitted, "but I also think you have a very unique ability in terms of healing and connecting people." In response, Winfrey said, "I have great compassion for people, I do, but I think you need more than compassion to be President of the United States."
Still holding out hope, King wondered if Winfrey might reconsider if Maya Angelou were alive and supported the idea. "What do you think Maya would say? It's one of those times I really wish Maya was here," she said. "What do you think Maya would say? You'd certainly ask her."
"She'd say, 'Baby, listen to your own heart,'" Winfrey said. "That's what she would say."
When King first "tried to convince" her to run for President, Winfrey recalled her BFF saying, 'Look, it's not going to be good for you—it's not even going to be good for me. But, just do it!'" King added that someone suggested to her that if Winfrey were to run for office, she would need to quit her job at CBS. Winfrey understood that assertion, telling her, "I think you might!"
"No! No, I don't!" King protested. "I can be very impartial."