Oprah Gail Winfrey is a self-made media tycoon, journalist, humanitarian and philanthropist among many other titles and references about her. Born into poverty in Mississippi, she pulled herself up by the bootstraps and became the richest African-American and North America’s first multi-billionaire black person, and has been ranked the greatest black philanthropist in American history. In 2013, Oprah was awarded the nation’s highest honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Obama among numerous other honors. This includes having received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Harvard University and honorary doctorate degree from Duke University.
According to Wikipedia, Oprah has been called “arguably the world’s most powerful woman” by both CNN and Time.com. She is, in fact, reportedly the only person in the world to have appeared on Time Magazine’s “One of the Most Influential People” on ten separate occasions. Oprah was also deemed “one of the 100 people who most influenced the 20th Century,” by American Spectator and in 2007, USA Today ranked her as the “most influential woman and most influential black person of the previous quarter-century.” Vanity Fair summed it up with this, “Oprah Winfrey arguably has more influence on the culture than any university president, politician, or religious leader, except perhaps the Pope.”
By one estimate, her endorsement of President Obama delivered over a million votes in the close 2008 Democratic primary race. Her influence is perhaps unequalled by any other notable American.
No. Draft committees exist to encourage or pressure a certain individual to enter a political race by demonstrating a significant groundswell of support for the candidate. A recent example on the GOP side is the committee that was formed to draft Dr. Ben Carson to run for President in 2016. He reportedly initially laughed off the idea and said he was not considering running for President but this eventually changed after the draft committee succeeded in gathering over 500,000 petition signatures supporting his candidacy. It should be noted that super PACs, whether or not operating as a presidential draft committee, are prohibited from donating money directly to political candidates, and their spending must not be coordinated with that of the candidates they benefit.
We don’t but we are hopeful! The purpose of the Draft committee is to build public support for such a candidacy and to urge the potential candidate to run for office. Draft committees can not only “test the waters” to get a feel for the level of genuine public support that exists for such a candidacy, but it also provides an opportunity to build a nationwide infrastructure including volunteers, donors, and voters who will support her at the polls if she does officially file as a candidate.
One thing we know about Oprah is that she surrounds herself with and accepts expert counsel. We have every confidence that she would rely on the best and most qualified experts available to advise and guide her in every decision and policy. She embodies proven character and leadership and has already earned the respect of dignitaries and heads of state around the globe. We believe that her entry into the race will elevate the dialog and help regain the confidence of our friends and allies the world over who know and trust her.
The Committee plans to work closely with other political organizations aligned with our progressive values and to taking back The White House in 2020. If we are not able to convince Oprah to run, we are committed to using our resources to further the progressive agenda in 2020.
At that point the Committee will change its name and focus from drafting Oprah to defeating her GOP opponent and taking back The White House. Of course, we would plan to do everything possible to continue supporting to Oprah’s candidacy!
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