Gayle King says Oprah Winfrey will need some convincing before she up and makes a presidential bid.
The CBS This Morning anchor was front row for her best friend's powerful speech at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards. The inspiring message left many of Winfrey's fans pondering whether she'll run for office in 2020.
While the 63-year-old entertainment mogul has repeatedly shut down speculation that she would ever get into politics, King says never say never. "I do think she is intrigued, [but] that doesn’t mean she is thinking about running," she tells ET. "I do think that the speech was a different moment for her. ...She knew that she met the moment, but the reaction to the speech has been sort of overwhelming to her."
King notes that it would take a lot for Winfrey to campaign for president. "Listen, Oprah has got a very nice life. She is doing very well for herself and this is not something she is seeking or trying to encourage people to even encourage her to run."
That being said, King says she personally likes "the sound of President Winfrey."
"You just have to convince her," she continues. "She certainly is someone that cares deeply about this country. I believe that she could make a difference in this country. ...For the first time, I am even like, 'Are you sure, are you sure?' -- which only irritates her."
King says she herself has even been contacted by some "very important" people, saying that they would work for Winfrey's campaign, should she decide to run.
"I have people calling me -- very important names that I won't name -- who said, 'I will be her campaign manager. I will quit my job and campaign for her. I will do whatever it takes because I am so concerned about what’s happening,'" she discloses. "I think it is something that Oprah would have to feel and sense for herself. She’s not thinking that, 'Oh, since I did this speech, I qualify to be president or I even want to be president.'"
King adds, "It's something that she would really search within herself about what she can and wants to do. Only she can answer that question."
As for possible running mates for Winfrey -- should she run -- King insists that there will never be a Winfrey-King ticket. "If she decides to run, she will get someone who is every qualified to be her running mate -- and it ain't me," she quips.
Ahead of taking the Golden Globes stage, Winfrey read her speech to King, who knew that it was "going to be killer."
"She really wanted to give a message of hope, which she did," King says of Winfrey's intention behind the message. "She knew it was a big job that was facing her and she knew she wanted to deliver -- and she did. Three days later, I am still so proud, and I had nothing to do with the speech."
Further praising her friend, King gushes, "I am still really on cloud nine for what she did. I am so proud."
Reporting by Rande Iaboni.
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