The 2020 speculations have already taken a turn for the weird.
In a Bloomberg interview posted this morning, Oprah Winfrey allegedly hinted that she might run for president:
I say "allegedly" because it's easy to read that as just a joke about the person presently in office. But it's not the categorical no that she was giving to the idea two months ago, and so Twitter is aflutter, as it so often is. Not that I'm complaining. If we absolutely must start speculating about 2020 this early, we might as well go weird.
Besides, it makes a poetic sort of sense. If I were prone to grand Hegelian theories of history, of thesis and antithesis synthesizing before our eyes, I'd expect an Oprah presidency. Her TV and business background would make her an outsider in the sense that Trump was, only more so; her race and gender would make her an outsider in the sense that Obama was, only more so. She even combines Obama's center-left politics with Trump's positive-thinking theology. If politics were poetry, it would be inevitable: In four years President O will be ordering drone strikes from the Oval Office couch. Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as The Celebrity Apprentice, the second time as an in-depth interview with Rhonda Byrne.
Either that or the Dems will nominate Al Franken, and Trump will get to battle Saturday Night Live in an actual election. Can't discount that possibility. If there's one thing that's clear in this surrealist soap opera we're stuck in, it's that the boys in the writer's room love cheap irony.
Postscript: Ha! Later in the interview Winfrey trots out that categorical no again. The Franken campaign breathes a sigh of relief.