If we have really entered the world of the TV presidency, take another look at Oprah. Her speech at the Golden Globes was mesmerizing. She really is a successful empire builder and CEO, not one who made her money by stiffing vendors, clients, bondholders, and funders. Oprah is eloquent. She is charismatic. She would, I believe, decimate Trump one on one — not by stooping to his level, but by vividly showing how stuck in the gutter he is.
I’m not advocating a TV presidency. I happen to believe in statecraft, in public service, in diplomacy, in governance as the way we figure out who gets what resources in our diverse and polarized society. I think governance takes a long time to master. But the America I thought I knew would not have elected Trump, would not be supporting him now, and may no longer value governance as a profession. If that’s true, let’s elect a real player.
Oprah’s Golden Globes speech, in which she accepted the 2018 Cecil B. DeMille Award, sounded pretty close to a stump speech to me.