April 30, 2019 / 7:27 PM / 23 days ago

Oprah 'quietly figuring out' how to wield her political clout in 2020

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Media mogul Oprah Winfrey, whose opinions can get millions of fans to try a new diet or turn a book into an international best-seller, is figuring out which Democratic candidate she will endorse in the crowded 2020 U.S. presidential race.

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Oprah Winfrey talks on stage during a taping of her TV show in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 5, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo/File Photo

Winfrey, who has ruled out running for the White House, told the Hollywood Reporter in an extensive interview released on Tuesday that she was “quietly figuring out where I’m going to use my voice in support.”

“I’m sitting back, waiting to see. It’ll be very clear who I’m supporting,” she said of the 2020 election campaign.

Winfrey campaigned heavily for Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 but adopted a lower profile in her support of Hillary Clinton, who lost in 2016 to current Republican President Donald Trump.

Some 20 Democrats are running for president in 2020.

Winfrey said among the Democrats she is researching are South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke and California Senator Kamala Harris. She said she already knows New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.

Winfrey, a billionaire movie producer, television network owner, magazine publisher and philanthropist, was urged by her supporters to run for the White House herself after delivering a rousing speech at the 2018 Golden Globe awards ceremony. She has repeatedly ruled out the idea.

Winfrey is also an actress who was Oscar-nominated for her supporting role in the 1985 film “The Color Purple.” She also had a major role in the 2018 film “A Wrinkle in Time,” and appeared in “Selma” and “The Butler” as well as the series “Greenleaf” on OWN TV, the Oprah Winfrey Network.

But with a series of documentaries and interview shows lined up for the upcoming Apple TV+ streaming service, Winfrey said she was no longer interested in acting.

“I think to be really, really good at it, you’ve got to do it a lot. You’ve got to work at it. And it’s got to be something that you have true passion about. I don’t think it’s something you can dabble in,” she said.

“It doesn’t feed my soul anymore.”

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by David Gregorio

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