If you haven’t heard, longtime California Democrat and Senator Dianne Feinstein has passed away. Naturally, that means her seat in the US Senate is open and needs a warm body. And according to a growing number, that could be filled by none other than the infamous Oprah Winfrey.
No, that doesn’t mean Oprah has announced a run for the office or a campaign. However, she has been named as one of only a few assumed to be on Governor Gavin Newsom’s shortlist for the position.
In fact, due to Feinstein’s age and growing health concerns, Newsom announced a while back that he was considering putting someone in the seat to finish the Senator’s term. Now that she’s dead, he has no choice but to fulfill that promise.
Of course, he also promised that whoever he appointed for the interim would be a black woman, which only adds to the suspicion that Winfrey may be his top choice at the moment.
As Kerman Maddox, a black LA-based Democratic strategist and fundraiser, says, “He made the commitment, and I do not believe there is any wiggle room for the governor not to honor his commitment.”
But this promise, as well as his vow to choose someone to simply finish the current term and not run for a new one, puts him in a rather tight spot. Plenty may fall into the former, such as Representative Barbara Lee.
But Lee has already announced her intention of running for Feinstein’s now-vacated seat in 2024. So that immediately takes her off Newsom’s list.
And that makes the possibility of Oprah obtaining the seat all the more probable.
As election advisor Stan Taney told the California Globe, she might be just what Newsom needs. “Winfrey has been known to be political and outspoken on issues, plus she is popular with many people. She is known, liked, does know about many subjects, college grad, and would likely agree to only serve out the term.”
And while Taney admits she isn’t the “best candidate,” he says Newsom could “do worse.”
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.