Famed television icon Oprah may have quelled rumors of her running for the presidency in 2020, but it seems she will remain politically involved.
During a commencement speech at the University of Southern California, she told the group of graduates that they should “rise” up and head to the polls to vote in the upcoming congressional elections.
“This moment in time, this is your time to rise,” Oprah said, per Washington Examiner. “Even though you can’t go anywhere — you can’t stand in line at Starbucks, you can’t go to a party, you can’t go anywhere without everyone talking about how bad things are, how terrible it is.”
She encouraged students to take the reins and help steer the country a different direction.
Oprah Winfrey ruled out a 2020 run for president – but she didn’t shy away from getting political while delivering a commencement speech in California pic.twitter.com/wHa3Mc4JVn
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) May 12, 2018
Here’s more from her speech:
Winfrey, who is rumored to be a possible presidential candidate in 2020, referenced former first lady Michelle Obama’s famous “when they go low, we go high” line from the 2016 Democratic National Convention during her speech, compelling students to vote at the polls in November.
“If they go low, thank you Michelle Obama, we go to the polls,” Winfrey said. “People died for that right. I think about it every time I cast a vote, so don’t let their sacrifice be in vain.”
“The rumors from my last big speech have finally died down,” she added, referencing the media frenzy caused by her Golden Globes remarks in support of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. “Vote! Pay attention to the people who claim to represent you and your values.”
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— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 12, 2018
Here’s even more, per Atlantic:
If the Donald could be dared into running, why couldn’t Oprah? She is, like him, one of America’s most famous television stars. Winfrey has publicly ruled out a run—it’s “definitely not” happening, she said in a late-night talk-show appearance in February—but she hasn’t stayed quiet on politics.
“Vote! Vote! Vote!” she urged graduates in a commencement address at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California on Friday. “Everything around us, including—and, in particular the internet and social media—is now being used to erode trust in our institutions, interfere in our elections, and wreak havoc on our infrastructure.”
She went on: “Pay attention to what the people who represent you are doing and saying in your name and on your behalf… If their policies are at odds with your core beliefs, then you have a responsibility to send them packing.”
She may have even targeted President Trump in her speech, though she did not reference him directly, NTK Network reports:
Oprah claimed that “false stories” now “run circles around major news outlets.”
She then told the graduates that they would have the job of countering attacks on the press from those in power.
“You are in a position to keep all of those who now disparage real news – you all are the ones who are going to keep those people in check,” she said. “You can set the record straight.”
The California crowd cheered her comments, clearly meant as a shot at President Trump.
Oprah asked the future journalists to “give voice” to those who don’t have a voice on the national stage.
Check out the media mogul’s speech below: