Political News

Van Jones on Oprah's 2020 chances: 'If she wants to do it, she can do it'

Posted January 8, 2018 10:59 p.m. EST
Updated January 9, 2018 9:40 a.m. EST

— CNN political commentator Van Jones said Monday that if Oprah Winfrey ran for president she "would destroy anything in front of her."

Jones added, "The question is does she want to do it?"

He said he spoke to a lot of people around her, and "there's basically bedlam in Oprahland" with many people around Winfrey begging her to run for president in 2020 following her emotional speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award at Sunday's Golden Globes.

"If she wants to do it, she can do it," Jones said to Anderson Cooper on "AC360". "She is probably the most beloved carbon-based life-form on this Earth."

"She could hold a front against hatred in this country."

Jones said many Americans are concerned about growing hatred and intolerance and Winfrey could bring a "values-based front for inclusion and tolerance" to the country. While Hillary Clinton had trouble getting key demographics such as white women to vote for her in 2016, Jones doesn't think that gaining broad support would be a problem for Winfrey since she has longstanding fans across many demographics.

CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter weighed in as well, noting that there might be pushback against Winfrey from Democrats, given that there are "not a lot of obvious candidates who have star power and charisma" and Winfrey might dominate the race by virtue of her fame.

"What she would bring is the ability to put on a show, just like Donald Trump," Stelter said.

Stelter reached out to sources close to Winfrey and reported that "they're just letting this trial balloon float up into the air today."

Jones said that in her speech, Winfrey did in nine minutes what Barack Obama did in 17 minutes in 2004, telling her story in a way that was "electrifying."

In his words, the only question on Winfrey is whether she wants to be demoted from "Queen of the Universe to President of the United States."