From the Right



Oprah's electricity is presidential

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

We are also expected to ignore the rhetorical backflips that both political parties are doing to square what they said about one billionaire yesterday with what they're saying about another billionaire today.

In 2016, Democrats essentially said about the idea of a Trump candidacy: "This is crazy. You can't have a political novice, who has never run for office, who doesn't know about politics or public policy and comes from within a bubble of like-minded people. The presidency is not an entry-level job."

In 2020, if Winfrey runs for president, we're likely to hear the same sort of things from Republicans.

Eye-rolling could become the new national pastime.

Of course, Obama wasn't the first presidential hopeful to have the X-factor of ginning up excitement. Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush all had it. And it's no coincidence that all went on to be elected, then re-elected. The two-term club is pretty exclusive, and, to become a member, you have to capture the imagination of the American people.

Trump does that. While I don't agree with most of his agenda, and I think he's been bad for our political system, there is no denying the electricity he generates. Ask Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz.


Getting elected president is hard work, but it isn't rocket science. If your candidacy excites people to their core, you have a huge advantage. If it doesn't, well, don't give up your day job.

Reagan, Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump also have another thing in common: being underestimated. Don't make that mistake with Oprah.


Ruben Navarrette's email address is His daily podcast, "Navarrette Nation," is available through every podcast app.

(c) 2018, The Washington Post Writers Group

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