Oprah’s stand against sexual assault and harassment at the Golden Globes has kicked off a world of speculation about a potential White House run, but where does she stand on the issues?
The star of screen and syndicated talk show has no political experience and has said that she does not consider herself “political,” but has spent decades in the public eye.
When she was not giving away free cars, she has given occasional glimpses into the potential agenda of a Winfrey presidency if Americans decide to elect back-to-back television stars to the position of commander-in-chief.
Click through to see her opinions on current political issues:
Oprah's political stances
Oprah's political stances
As her speech on Sunday night showed, Winfrey is an advocate for gender equality, not just in combating sexual assault and harassment but also in trying to break the glass ceiling separating women from positions of power.
Winfrey has also spoken out about how she survived childhood abuse, and testimony to Congress in 1991 helped push through the “Oprah bill,” or the National Child Protection Act, which created a national database of convicted child abusers.
Another clearly defined political stance has been Winfrey’s support for gay rights, of which she was an early supporter.
Winfrey interviewed Ellen Degeneres as she came out to the country with a “Yep, I’m gay” TIME magazine cover in 1997, and defended herself to an upset audience member.
“I have a different view of 'Christian' than you do,” she said to a woman referencing the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality.
“The God I serve doesn't care whether you're tall or short, or whether you were born black or Asian or gay
Oprah also suggested in 2013, before gay marriage became legalized nationwide by the Supreme Court, that homosexual couples would help strengthen the institution of marriage.
Winfrey did show her political side during a commencement address at Harvard University in 2013, touching on a string of issues while encouraging students to go out into the world.
The topic that received the most attention at the time, in the aftermath of the massacre in Newtown, Conn.
She noted that the vast majority of Americans are in support of stronger background checks for gun purchases “because they realize that we can uphold the Second Amendment and also reduce that violence that is robbing us of our children.”
She also dove into the debate about immigration, saying it was possible both to adhere to the rule of law and welcome those looking for a better life.
She endorsed “a clear path to citizenship for the 12 million undocumented immigrants who reside in this country” while also saying it was possible to “enforce our laws” at the same time.
Though details on policy were scarce, that speech also included a line challenging graduates in Cambridge to think about support for those struggling in the U.S.
“There are people from both parties, and no party, believe that indigent mothers and families should have access to healthy food and a roof over their heads and a strong public education because here in the richest nation on Earth, we can afford a basic level of security and opportunity,” she said.
Invasion of Iraq:
Winfrey’s peak of fame in the 2000s also coincided with the policies of the second Bush administration, and her show could not avoid dealing with the “War on Terror.”
It ran a series in 2002 and 2003 called “Is War the Only Answer?” which included large parts about international opposition to the brewing War in Iraq.
Winfrey said in an interview several years later that she never received as much hate mail as for those episodes.
However, she was also criticized by those opposed to the war for allegedly pushing the government’s line, with neo-conservative commentator Bill Kristol saying on Twitter Monday that she had come out in support of regime change during the first installment of the series.
The episode, as recounted in a biography of Winfrey by Kitty Kelley, saw the host cut off an audience member questioning the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and tell her that the weapons were “just a fact.”
Sweden’s broadcasting watchdog later censored Winfrey’s show as biased in favor of the war, according to a 2003 article from Reuters, and said that “different views were expressed, but all longer remarks gave voice to the opinion that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the United States and should be the target of attack.”
Her view on the war was not the only position trumpeted by conservatives on Monday.
Commentators such as Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist dug up a quote where Winfrey spoke against the estate tax.
“I think it's so irritating that once I die, 55 percent of my money goes to the United States government....You know why that's so irritating? Because you have already paid nearly 50 percent,” she said on her show, according to a National Center for Policy Analysis paper in 1999.
The tax bill passed by Republicans in Congress last month raised the threshold for the estate tax to more than $11 million for individuals, though Winfrey, with an estimated net worth of more than $2 billion, would stil be affected.