In an announcement that left viewers speechless, Democrats snickering, and late night comedians giddy, Donald Trump confirmed on Tuesday that he’s running for president – and he wants Oprah Winfrey as his vice president.
The billionaire businessman and reality TV star sat down for an interview with George Stephanopoulus of ABC News, who noted that when Trump was considering running for the office in 1999, he told talk show host Larry King he’d consider Oprah as his running mate.
“I like Oprah,” Trump told Stephanopoulos. “I think Oprah would be great. I’d love to have Oprah. I think we’d win easily, actually.”
It was the cherry on top of a hyperbolic, meandering, nearly hour-long speech, in which, The Christian Science Monitor‘s Linda Feldmann noted, Trump “tossed out grandiose campaign promises, bragged about his billions, and threw shade at Republicans and Democrats alike”.
Of course, Trump’s chances to win the nomination are about as good as Dan Quayle’s are to win a spelling bee – which is why, when a reporter asked fellow nominee Jeb Bush to respond to a Trump attack about the Common Core, Bush (or should we say, Jeb!?) just laughed.
So why, after 30 years of “threatening to run for president”, is Trump finally running?
For a celebrepreneur, running for president is a one-way ticket to more limelight. Of course, Trump’s never been shy about how he thinks America ought to be run. And, he can afford it.
Which brings us back to Oprah, who probably would add support to Trump’s bid, thanks to her millions of fans around the world.
Will it happen?
Not a chance. Winfrey said in 1999 that she wasn’t interested in the job, and there’s no evidence that she’s changed her mind.
We suspect Oprah is better off running her OWN TV network and media empire from her luxuriously-appointed Montecito and Maui homes than acting as Trump’s presidential accessory.
And while she is a surprising (speculative) choice, there have been stranger VPs (and VP nominees), a position John Adams once called “the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived”.
Like Sarah Palin, the forthright Alaska governor who, in interviews in the days after her selection as John McCain’s 2008 running mate, gave new meaning to “outside-the-beltway”.
Or Dan Quayle, George H.W. Bush’s VP, whose gaffe-laden tenure made him a national punchline.
But the prize for the strangest – and most dangerous – VP goes to Aaron Burr. Thomas Jefferson’s understudy was so upset with Alexander Hamilton for, among other things, orchestrating the support that ultimately made Jefferson president and Burr vice president that he challenged Hamilton to a duel and killed him.
In other words, Oprah probably knows that she can do better than the vice presidency.
-Christian Science Monitor