Still Wishing Oprah Would Run for President? Sounds Like Gayle King Does, Too!

Illustration for article titled Still Wishing Oprah Would Run for President? Sounds Like Gayle King Does, Too!
Image: The Hollywood Reporter

At this point, we’ve got 50-11 Democratic candidates running for president in 2020, but if Gayle King had her way, her famous bestie might throw her hat in the ring, too. In fact, she bravely broached the subject with the great and powerful Oprah just a few weeks ago, as she tells the Hollywood Reporter.

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“She had just given a speech ... and it was so good,” King recalls. “And I said, ‘You know, you give speeches like that, it just gives more fuel to us who really think it’s something you should consider.’”

Oprah’s response?

“I was instantly slapped down,” King admits. “And not in a good way.”

No doubt Oprah would instantly catapult to the top of the frontrunners for 2020, but equally true is that we need someone more adept at policy than simply garnering popularity (though even on her worst day, O would be a massive improvement over our current reality star-in-chief).

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Illustration for article titled Still Wishing Oprah Would Run for President? Sounds Like Gayle King Does, Too!
Photo: Ida Mae Astute (Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

But as the anchor of CBS This Morning, King has garnered her own long overdue accolades, as of late—particularly in her unflappable handling of hard-to-get, sometimes explosive interviews, like R. Kelly’s now-infamous appearance earlier this year. King’s performance and professionalism sealed the deal on the veteran journalist’s contract negotiations with the network, which doubled her salary to approximately $11 million annually.

“There has long been recognition that she is a unique broadcaster, journalist, storyteller, humanitarian,” Susan Zirinsky, president of CBS News, told THR. “Gayle brings a unique sensibility and sensitivity. What this represented was a sea change.”

But if the world just caught on to the talent and tenacity of Gayle King, who’d perhaps become best known as Oprah’s bestie, King’s ascension as the new face of CBS was no surprise to her BFF, who gave her feedback during negotiations which resulted in a new three-year deal worth more than $30 million.

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“[R. Kelly] was a very telling and seminal moment for people to see her in a way that she hadn’t been seen,” Oprah told THR. “But I will tell you, absolutely nothing about her ability to handle that interview surprised me. Because I had seen her do that in many other circumstances.”

While we won’t be expecting Oprah in the Oval Office anytime soon, King will continue lighting up morning television daily on CBS This Morning. She talks about her strategic rise and more in a cover story for THR, and in an accompanying video, lays out the best and worst things about becoming a fixture on morning television. Watch below.

The Hollywood Reporter

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?

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DISCUSSION

Justsomerandoontheinternet

I know people love Oprah and she seems like a reasonable and respectable person, but no. We need people with experience to be able to administer a country as the President should do. I want someone more qualified for the job, no matter how much I may agree with their political views or personality. Enough with the celebs in office, unless they’ve done their time in the system at the lower tiers of government. AOC is looking great as a future prospect, but I feel she needs to get a few years under her belt in the system, so that when she’s in office she knows how to work within the system to be effective while still showing she’s able to hold on to her principles.