As the lead guest on the first Late Show of 2017, Oprah Winfrey was ostensibly there to promote her new weight-loss cookbook, Food, Health, and Happiness: 115 On-Point Recipes for Great Meals and a Better Life. But there was no way Stephen Colbert was going to let her go without talking a little bit of politics.
Winfrey raised eyebrows in the days following Donald Trump’s victory when she suggested that the candidate had seemed “humbled” in his public meeting with President Obama. “I think everybody can take a deep breath now,” she said, to which many of her fans replied, “Not so fast.”
Colbert declined to press Winfrey on what she meant when it came to Trump, but he did ask her about the exit interview she conducted with first lady Michelle Obama last month. The Late Show host admitted that he had not actually watched any of the interview, which also aired on CBS, telling her, “I’m saving it for when I’m good enough to deserve it.”
Winfrey described the interview as “bittersweet,” recalling the first interview she did with Obama for her magazine back in 2008, when Malia and Sasha Obama were still “baby children.” She said that she told the first lady that she is just going to miss her “presence” in the White House.
“For me, you know, African-American woman,” she said, “being able to see that reflection of myself through the girls and through her, just their presence there, I’m going to miss that. But it has meant so much to me.” She didn’t even have to specifically address the change that is about to come to the White House to make her point crystal clear.
Asked if she thinks Michelle Obama will ever run for office, Winfrey replied, “Never!” Then, the host asked, to cheers from his audience, “Is there any charismatic African-American woman that both sides of the political aisle really love?”
“Never!” Winfrey exclaimed in her signature scream. “No, it’s not my thing.”
Back in June, on the same day she endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, Winfrey joked to Jimmy Kimmel that Trump’s success had started to make her feel “really qualified” to be president. Yet even then, she said, “The one thing that I know for sure, sure, sure, is I will never run for office.”
At that point, she never could have imagined that Trump would actually win the election. And apparently, that reality has not made her change her mind about her own plans for the future.