Oprah Winfrey is looking to raise the national profile of unsuccessful 2018 Senate candidate and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) by providing a forum for him at a network interview series in New York City.
The live event, which will take place on February 5th, will feature other more well-known participants including actors Bradley Cooper and Michael B. Jordan, as well as Melinda Gates and Lisa Borders.
The one-on-one interviews are designed to promote each guest and how they’ve “created an impact and shifted the conversation in their respective fields of entertainment, politics and culture in the last year.”
Not sure what kind of impact she’s looking to explore when O’Rourke managed to raise $69 million for his campaign, spent $59 million of it, and still lost.
Oprah Winfrey will interview Beto O’Rourke in New York City on Feb. 5, according to an O’Rourke spokesperson.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 11, 2019
Is this move a sign that O’Rourke is considering a run for the Democrat nomination in 2020?
Both Winfrey and Beto are popular names on a list of prospects to run in 2020, though neither has committed. Oprah has flat-out denied she’d consider running unless God told her to. Her public foray into politics this past year, in which she stumped for losing Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, was a disaster.
Beto, on the other hand, has seen reports claiming he is “leaning toward running for president,” while several unaffiliated PACs have been launched since November with the intention of enticing him to run.
Beto being interviewed by Oprah and surrounded by Hollywood celebrities. Guys, it’s over.
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) January 11, 2019
A recent straw poll had O’Rourke in third place, trailing Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.
Will It Help or Hurt?
While her effort to help Abrams’s campaign was a failure, Winfrey significantly helped to raise Barack Obama’s national profile when he got to the Senate, even before he seriously thought about running for president.
She would later endorse Obama and campaign for him during the 2008 election.
#OTD In 2007, talk show host Oprah Winfrey, in her first-ever presidential endorsement, backed Barack Obama’s White House bid during appearances in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. https://t.co/gNm3oNJrSK pic.twitter.com/WFOFflduSy
— AP Archive (@AP_Archive) December 8, 2018
The free national publicity will be a boon for any potential candidacy for O’Rourke. Perhaps even more so than live streaming a dental cleaning, though it might be close.
Tickets for “Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations from Times Square,” are priced at $200 each.