Oprah and the power of the spoken word

Maybe Oprah Winfrey will run for president in 2020; maybe she won’t.

Her speech at last night’s Golden Globe Awards, however, was a reminder of the power of language to inspire and lift. No doubt the judgment of it will be based on the usual tribal fighting of the political class and its minions, even though it wasn’t a speech about politics; it was a speech about the abuse of power.

But for fans of the power of the spoken word,it was good to know it’s not dead yet.

“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,” she said

“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.”

“It was so good that it kind of felt like there didn’t need to be anything else,” Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson writes. That’s odd since NBC had earlier asked her to cut her speech by three minutes.