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Dear Oprah: Please Don't. Just Don't.



BY GUEST BLOGGER STACY FITZGERALD -- if the rumors are true, Oprah is currently considering running for president. You’d be hard pressed to find a woman in America or globally who is more recognizable than the media mogul, actress and philanthropist.

While the idea of a thoughtful, intelligent, empathetic and wildly popular President Oprah may seem appealing on some level, our current calamitous experience with a reality star president is the perfect illustration of why America shouldn’t have another celebrity Commander-In-Chief. But, perhaps, especially Oprah.

Almost a year to the date after the inauguration of our first reality star president and the tweets keep coming. There’s a general sense of fatigue among many Americans who are alternately outraged and annoyed by the obvious pleas for attention that come in the form of 280-character missives from President Trump.

Like it or not, Trump’s tweets serve as a source of entertainment for many Americans – whether supporters or detractors -- because of his celebrity status and often times incendiary comments. But, if America is to maintain (or recover) its standing on the global stage, we must demand leaders that dedicate less time to pursuing fame and followers and more to pursuing bi-partisan policies that serve the interests of all Americans.

As a celebrity and global brand, Oprah Winfrey is a giant and a legend. But like the president, she has obvious challenges as a potential president that we shouldn’t ignore.

First, and most importantly, she has no political experience, having never held a public office at the local, state or national level. While visionaries might believe that perhaps a Washington outsider is just the person needed to “right” the ship, pragmatists will know that a savvy political mind with extensive knowledge of how to effectively negotiate bi-partisan agreements and speak the language of consensus and compromise is what we need if our politics are ever to re-gain a level of civility, if not respectability.

Secondly, despite an abundance of wit, charm and grace, Oprah can’t surmount two obvious traits that will make her electability all the more difficult: being born black and female.

While many Americans believed that we’d entered a “post-racial” society following the election of America’s first black president, an October 2016 poll showed that 54 percent of Americans believe President Obama’s election made race relations worse.

Moreover, the current spike in racial hate crimes illustrates that America’s race relations may indeed be on the decline. And while Oprah may have broad appeal, the nation’s current racial climate will factor into her ability to mount a successful run at the Oval Office.

Finally, if Americans are truly interested in having a president who can relate to the needs of the common man or woman and the concerns of working-class families they are unlikely to view a woman worth an estimated $2.8 billion as the person who can even understand, yet alone fight for their interests. It worked for Trump because he was able to perfect a blend of swarthy, folksy charm and chameleon-like affectation that made him seem relatable to the common, working-class American. Well, that and he clearly didn’t have to surmount the two aforementioned challenges that Oprah simply can’t change.

At the end of the day, it may not matter, since a recent poll shows that 54 percent of Americans don’t want Oprah to run for president. [3] As much as we may adore Ms. Winfrey, celebrity shouldn’t be the primary qualification of selecting a president.

Clearly, it’s time Americans returned to respectable, establishment politicians who can affect bi-partisan collaboration and bring a return of diplomacy, maturity and dignity to the Oval Office, rather than drama, lights and cameras.

Stacy Fitzgerald is a Washington, DC area Gen Xer whose obsessions include politics, traveling and food and wine ventures.

#OprahWinfrey #MeToo

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