CNN political analyst April Ryan fangirled over the idea that Oprah Winfrey could run for president in 2020, on At This Hour With Kate Bolduan Monday morning. Ryan went on an irrational rant, gushing that the media mogul was both “every person” and a “rock star.”
Fill-in anchor Brianna Keilar led the panel discussion by asking guest analysts Brian Stelter, Chris Cillizza and April Ryan how “receptive” the political community would be to Oprah running.
Ryan led off by calling Oprah an “outstanding” candidate who could “definitely win” but questioned whether this current political environment was one she would want to run in.
Cillizza noted how presidential Oprah sounded from the Hollywood stage last night, calling her speech “very powerful.” He went on to praise the media mogul as someone who does things deliberately, and that this campaign-like speech was a clear sign of her ambitions.
“You don't give a speech like that in that moment with those expectations unless you know that there's going to be some talk of it,” he added.
An eager Ryan jumped in to gush about how significant Oprah’s speech was, calling it her “defining moment” and “history-making:”
“Oprah is very keenly aware of moments...She played upon the moment and she understands those moments are history-making,” Ryan gushed. “That was a soaring speech, it was a very presidential speech, it was a speech that grabbed the entire crowd,” she noted.
Refering the #MeToo movement, the CNN analyst also praised Oprah’s relatability:
[A]nd she was soaring and she saw the moment as the problem. She saw the victims, she saw the possibilities of hope and a better day and she used herself as also an example talking about her mother was a victim. So she was every person in this.
Still ranting, Ryan called the speech her “defining moment” that would “catapult” her presidential bid:
[T]hose moments aren't wasted on an Oprah Winfrey. Oprah Winfrey has a moment that really could catapult her into the stratosphere of politics. This is -- it's not -- this is one of those defining moments. She makes moments everywhere but this is one of those moments that could be her defining moment to possibly run for president.
Later on, Cillizza offered that politicians might not appreciate someone was a cultural figure entering the presidential race. But as he was making his point, Ryan interrupted him to contest what he was suggesting.
“No, no, no, no,” Ryan murmured, causing Cillizza to stop talking. “Chris, no,” she added. Keilar let her step in:
I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Chris, this is a person -- she's not just a cultural person. I understand you say that Donald Trump doesn't have any governance experience, she doesn't either, but guess what, just like you, just like Brian, just like me, we are reporters. She was a reporter, she was an anchor, she knows issues. She knows the basics. In Baltimore, in Nashville, and, you know, I was -- I was a kid when she was here. So I mean, she understand the dynamics of different issues.
Brian Stelter added that Oprah knew “how to stand out on television” and that would work to her advantage. But he anticipated other celebrities would announce their bids for the Democratic ticket next presidential election as well.
[L]et’s remember Oprah is not going to be the only name that comes up like this. Today we're talking about Winfrey because of the Golden Globes other stars and celebrities will try to put their hat in the ring, Mark Cuban, maybe Howard Schultz at Starbucks, who knows what other A-listers will think about the same idea.
Ryan got the final word before cutting to commercial, gushing that Oprah was the perfect "rock star" to fill the void that Barack Obama left:
And I think everyone, Chris and Brian are hitting it, the goal posts have been moved. We are now as a nation we're not just looking for a politician, we're looking for a rock star. Once Barack Obama left, I knew there was going to be a rock star because no one else could fill the position. We're not just looking for a politician, we're looking for someone who has got that "It" factor. Oprah has that “it” factor. And we've spun out of politics and now looking for excitement as well as our politics. So we have to remember that the goal post has been forever moved...
Ryan took her enthusiasm to Twitter as well:
If @Oprah ran for president in 2020, she is every person. She has been poor & now rich. She is also a self made Billionaire. She has a grasp of the issues as she used to cover local politics. She can articulate any issue and she has mass appeal beyond race & gender.— AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) January 8, 2018