Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Oprah for President…or Not!



The biggest decision I had to make Monday was whether or not to cancel my haircut appointment. It had snowed overnight and the snowplow hadn’t been down my cul-de-sac and it was a mess out there. After watching the morning weather report I called the salon and asked if my girl had any openings in the afternoon that I could switch to. She did. And low and behold by the time I had to leave, the sun was shining bright and the snowplow came by like the giant, green machine that it is, pushing all the snow to the side in its wake. I was free, free at last! It was the day after the Golden Globes and I was anxious to get a reading from the millennials working at the salon regarding Oprah’s speech given after receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Life-Time Achievement Award. I was not disappointed. They were ready to put on their pink pussycat hats and support her, should she run for president. 

When I first heard the speech it brought tears to my eyes but it wasn’t until her long-time boyfriend, Stedman, said that she was seriously considering the idea of running that I realized I needed to be on my favorite political debate site where an Oprah run for president might be a hot topic of discussion. It was and it thoroughly entertained me both Sunday night and Monday. Trump fans were twisting themselves into pretzels saying a "TV reality host" isn’t qualified to run for president and it was even funnier when Sean Spicer gave an interview saying the same thing. Did he forget that his former boss was a TV reality host with no experience in governing when he threw his hat in the ring? And she actually built her 3.1 billion dollar media empire all by herself where Mr. Trump’s fortune was piggy-backed off his father’s fortune. But to the Trump supporters I was debating she’s an “elitist black bitch” who can’t relate to common people and who hates white people. I love political debate sites when one side or the other gets a pea stuck up their nose. Of course, it’s more fun when I’m not the one trying to dig a pea out from where it doesn’t belong.

Oprah’s speech was over nine minutes and she spoke without notes or a teleprompter and the second time I saw it---knowing she could actually run for president---it gave me chills. She ended the speech with: “In my career, what I've always tried my best to do, whether on television or through film, is to say something about how men and women really behave. To say how we experience shame, how we love and how we rage, how we fail, how we retreat, persevere and how we overcome. I've interviewed and portrayed people who've withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.”

Before the Golden Globes I would have groaned at the idea of another celebrity candidate for president, but now I’m wondering if that’s exactly what we'll need in 2020. Oprah is known and loved world-wide and she could certainly repair the damage Trump has done to our international relationships. World leaders know her character and philanthropic reputation and they won’t have to take a wait-and-see approach like they would with most others. She smart, compassionate, pragmatic, a hard worker and has the right temperament to be a good leader. She’d also have no trouble racking up enough donations from both celebrities and ordinary people without having to suck up to lobbyists who’d want pay-backs. I'm guessing an Oprah run probably won’t happen although she's leaving the door open to the idea. She’s “intrigued” she says and that’s enough for me to believe that with the next election people with an impeccable high moral fiber, like Oprah, will step up to the plate and run. The pendulum will swing back to sanity in the White House.

After getting a haircut the second hardest decision I had to make Monday happened at the Guy Land Cafeteria where I had to decide whether to eat my late-lunch facing the windows or the cafeteria line. I chose the latter and it was a good choice because after I sat down a group of eight retired guys came in and sat between me and the line. I took out my notebook at the ready to be Lois Lane, girl reporter working for the Daily Planet. My mission: To find out what a bunch of old dudes talk about. I noted they didn’t talk about grand-kids, medical problems, sports or world affairs. They didn't laugh or even chuckle. They didn’t mention Oprah so I’m guessing the Golden Globes was on past their bedtimes. A couple of them did, however, notice when I dropped some tuna salad on my chest, making a terrible stain I made worse by trying to wipe it off. That’s how I knew the guys weren’t all dead. ©


35 comments:

  1. Well, sorry. Oprah seems a perfectly nice person, but she never would get my vote for president. It's not sexism or racism. It's my own, idiosyncratic desire to send all the reality show stars packing and get some people in office who are more interested in issues than maintaining their cult of personality. And there I'll leave it. My worst nightmare is months of blabbering about the O.

    I've already excised the Hollywood crowd from my life, and it seems I may have to excise a bit more. I'm just glad I'll be dead and gone before someone decides one of the Kardashians would be a perfect fit. At least, I hope I will be!

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    1. I seriously doubt she will run but it was fun thinking about it because the idea upset Trump's fans so much. There are a lot of good people in the house and senate and I'm hoping one will step up to the plate. Too much can happen between now and 2020 for anyone to predict what will happen in politics. I will say if Trump does run again it's going to take a person with a strong personality to run against him.

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    2. I have to agree with shoreacres. No more non-qualified/lacking in political experience presidential nominees, please. Even though Oprah would be three trillion times better at presidency than Donald is. Give me a Kamala Harris any day.

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  2. I am not on this band wagon Jean but I am sure her ego will have her run. And if she is my choice vs the dufus in charge now I will vote for her. But the battle of the network stars is not what I want for our country.

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    1. I doubt she'll run and I really don't care one way or the other BUT if she did, she'd be a good president and I would vote for her. I wrote about it because the idea took up a good share of my time Sunday night and Tuesday at the political debate site. I write about my life...good, bad or boring.

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  3. I love and respect Oprah but I stand but what I have said before which is....I prefer my president to have extensive experience with law, public policy and a good dose of history (in the hopes they think a bit before repeating it).

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    1. Well said! The idea that we needed an outsider in D.C. to clean it up has been debunked by the Trump administration in many/most people's minds. So hopefully we'll get back to valuing experience, intelligent and commitment to public policy issues. But if Trump runs challenged in the next primary by a person like that, I do see door wide up for the Democrats to run an unconventional candidate, too.

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  4. I'd vote for almost anyone over Trump. And if they were even worse, I guess I wouldn't vote or do a write in... I like Oprah but have a tendency to want a stable politically savvy person to run. Think...Corey Booker, Elizabeth Warren maybe. Someone polished and well spoken and sensible. We can hope!

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    1. I like both of them but Elizabeth Warren, especially, would get so much push back from Republicans it would get nasty very quickly. Isn't it amazing that we have an election coming up where we'd actually be looking for someone "stable and politically savvy"! I mean usually that's just a given that we don't have to thinking about in a future president. Maybe Trump will get impeached and run out of office before 2020 and we can get back normal candidates. But I'm counting on it.

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    2. Correction: I'm NOT counting on it.

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  5. I finally got a haircut yesterday. Finally because I had minimized the amount of time I wanted to leave the house these past few frigid weeks and it wasn’t until a bit warmer weather yesterday that I was willing. Now my ears are cold! I was used to the hair around them and the back of my neck that had grown too long!
    While agreeing with you and all the commenters, and not taking an interest in who is going to run in 2020, what I am interested in is how long and why the media are running with this story. Why, for instance, is there any prominence to this on the N.Y. Times front page? What editorial decision are they making that this is important and newsworthy. I can understand it on the late night comedians, but prominent news organizations? I’d like them to explain why that is newsworthy. Who’s feeding who the news?
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. Maybe they and over half of the country so desperately want Trump and the spindless Republicans replaced. I do worry that it will backfire for the Democrats.

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    2. Getting a haircut feels so good when you really need one!

      I think as long as common people on Tweeter, Facebook and political sites are sharing links, etc. on Oprah she'll be a "story" for the media. I give it one more day. I disagree with you about the Time's decision and this being newsworthy of a front page. She's a billionaire and the richest black woman in America known world-wide who just won a major award from the Foreign Press Ass. She owns a cable network that's in 80 million homes. Those things alone makes her possible run for president newsworthy but more importantly the speculation set the internet on fire Sunday night. How could the Times ignore that anymore than they could ignore it if, say, Alice Walton (the richest white woman in America) had floated that same trial balloon that fired up so many people? The 'Me too' crowd is also going to be a major factor in our next election and Oprah's speech gave them more fuel in their burning fire to change the status quo which is another reason Times viewed it as an important story. She didn't just use a dog whistle to call them to action,it was clear shout out.

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    3. I hear you, Mary! (I don't know how these comments got out of order but they did and the system won't let me put this one under your last one.)

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  6. My two cents - Think we need to get away from the Hollywood prospects. I don't want to argue or debate, but I think they lose touch with the real reality, no matter where they started.

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    1. Your two cents is worth the same as my two cents. LOL

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  7. Jean :

    I love Oprah, I discovered her in her last season on TV & now follow her supersoul series on her OWN network, & I adore her, so she will get my vote if she decides to run against Trump, but I highly doubt it,that it will happen.

    Asha

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    1. Every job I've ever had I could watch daytime TV at work, so I've follower her shows since the first day she came on national TV. I feel like I know her true character, human assets and accomplishments. I'd have no trouble voting for her. But I serious doubt she'd run if other good people step up to the plate but if it's Trump against a mediocre field of democrats I'll bet the decision to run or not would keep her up nights.

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  8. I don't think I can improve upon what most of the others have said (e.g., shoreacres, Silver Willow, Peggy) regarding another Personality Vs. Real Knowledge/Experience running for President. I miss having the Office Of President Of The United States meaning something important.

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    1. If these comments were a straw poll, she'd be losing. There are a lot of people I don't want to run---Hillary (too toxic), Joe Biden (too old), Elizabeth Warren (too polarizing0 and Kid Rock (too crazy) just to name a few.

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  9. I really thing someone who has NOT been in politics, or in for just a short while, COULD bring something to the table. Government IS big business and I wish we had someone with a business background ... but what about Condoleezza Rice, Elise Stefanik, Elizabeth Dole, Nikki Haley ... not even considering any males ...

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    1. Ms. Rice is doing an in-depth interview this weekend so maybe she'll be asked about running. Nikki Haley will be too tainted by Trump to run and she'd have to run against her boss. I hate to say this but I don't think the country ready for a woman president. Yet.

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  10. Here’s another two cents worth. The reason I am complaining about the coverage in otherwise reputable newspapers is what is news and what is speculation. She gave a powerful speech and that indeed deserved coverage. If you look at the headlines, however, they aren’t focusing on the substance of the speech and the powerful things that she said. They are focusing on what could happen in 2020 and how that could effect her potential opponent: in other words they very quickly move from reporting a powerful speech to trying to fit her into their mold (a potential run). She never mentioned it. Her speech and the setting of it deserve coverage and not be clouded by what the reporters decide they want to add to the story.
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. Yes, GOOD POINTS! Substance gets overshadowed by "entertainment" and speculation. I was actually really dismayed when all the President talk immediately emerged. I thought it was ridiculous and detracting from what she said.

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  11. No from me re Oprah. For all the reasons given already. ~ Libby

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    1. I've learn one thing over the past few days, Libby. Oprah is more polarizing that I ever dreamed. It doesn't surprise me that people want to get back to having experience politicians run for president after filling the White House with people who have none, but it does surprise me so many people (not here on my blog) but elsewhere express outright hatred toward her and/or who don't have a clue about her background.

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  12. I just think a dentist for my teeth: optician for my eyes; plumber for .....you get the drift.

    Job description: to govern (and forget the song/dance entertainment.)

    Nothing against Oprah.personally. ~ Libby

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  13. I skimmed through the previous comments and I think many of us are on the same page....I am a HUGE Oprah fan and her speech was spectacular. I simply cannot imagine her running for president. I think Stedman was "playing along" with the hype and perhaps got an Oprah-style dressing down for spouting off. Gayle said on Tuesday that Oprah is NOT considering a run....but who knows? It must be flattering to have many people saying she should.

    My opinion is that of others -- please, no more celebrities. Give me a candidate with experience in elected office, governing success, and clear and realistic policy points. Plus, have we fallen so far in our expectations for the presidency that one 9 minute articulately and passionately delivered speech makes us all swoon and shout "Presidential!"? And I think her friend Barack might have a talk with her about the realities of the job. It's not all glam and glitter and standing ovations.

    (Plus, you are so right about people who hate her....it would be ugly. Let's not forget about the racism, sexism, and misogyny now exposed in a vast swath of the American populace.)

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    1. I think you nailed it on what happened with Stedman sending out the trial balloon maybe with or without Orpah's blessing. At the political site I go to it's been ugly---the hatred, racism, sexism and misogyny against Oprah for the mire mention of her running. It's hard for Trump supporters to talk against her lack of experience because he didn't have any. But running while black or running while woman...it's open season on those scores. Anyway it was fun while it lasted.

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  14. Oprah has the temperament and integrity that I want in the Oval Office. She would be far above Trump, but she has no experience, and we really need someone coming in behind Trump who knows what they are doing. Whoever lands in that office will need to hit the ground running. He/she will have a lot of fixing to do. I have a feeling the country will go for someone who is not in television and who has experience this time. At least I hope the pendulum swings back to that. Honesty would be nice, too.

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    1. Let's hope we get someone in there that can turn things around and restore our reputation in the world. This next election will be the most important in our lives. We have to get it right.

      In general I'm not sure I believe it's important to have experience in governing IF it's a person who is smart, a fast learner and who can surround themselves with experienced people. And who wants to learn which no one can say about Trump. I'm not saying that person should be Oprah, but Oprah and Obama (and spouses) have spent weeks together on her cruiser and she's friends with Hillary. IF she ran she would have plenty of guidance from quality people in government. First things first we need to get better people in for the mid-terms. In truth I don't think we are ready for a woman or another black person to run. Way too much hatred out there still based on gender and color.

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  15. I'm not a fan of the idea of Oprah for President. I think governing is a real job skill that is different from running a business, being thoughtful, being smart, being rich, being articulate or being popular. The best way to develop the skill in governing is through experience doing it. I was not a big fan of Ronald Reagan, but he is generally regarded as a very effective leader. Note that he did not jump directly from being an entertainer to being President; he learned how to govern by on-the-job training as Governor of California (and as someone who lived in California while he was Governor, I can attest that he made some whopper mistakes while he was learning). I am a fan of Barack Obama, but I think he would have been a much more effective President if he had spent more years in the Senate learning the skills of governing first. -Jean P.

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  16. Maybe the result of the Trump administration will be to add some more requirements for presidential candidates like government experience and showing their tax returns.

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