Neither Oprah Winfrey nor Jennifer Garner will be running for president come 2020, but they sure want Disney CEO Bob Iger to take up the task.
Speaking at the Save the Children Centennial Celebration: Once in a Lifetime gala in Los Angeles, Oprah Winfrey presented Iger with the Centennial Award, during which she expressed her desire to see him run for president.
“I’ll tell you the truth, this is not really where I intended to be tonight,” Winfrey said, as reported by Variety. “I was hoping that by this time in early fall, I would be knocking on doors in Des Moines, wearing an ‘Iger 2020’ t-shirt. Because I really do believe that Bob Iger’s guidance and decency is exactly what the country needs right now.”
“But since my canvassing Iger strategy doesn’t seem to be in the cards, I’m happy to be here with all of you to honor a man who has devoted himself to actually lifting the spirits of children all over the world,” she continued. “Kids have always been at the heart of Disney’s philanthropic efforts, so what better organization for Bob to join forces with than one that shares Disney’s values so perfectly like Save the Children.”
Upon taking the stage to accept the award, Iger joked that he has no desire to add on to the already populated list of potential 2020 candidates.
“Oprah, I am reminded of something that Ronald Reagan said to Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential debate: ‘There you go again.’ Please, I am not about to become the 25th or the 30th person seeking the presidency in 2020,” he said.
Iger went on to say that he hopes whoever wins the presidency puts children at the front-and-center of his/her focus, citing “unchecked climate change” and “rampant gun violence” as threats to their safety.
“I certainly hope that whoever runs — and whoever wins — makes the safety and well-being of children their number one priority,” Iger said. “As I think you would expect as the CEO of Disney, exuding optimism is a real priority. But let’s face it, the world around us is becoming increasingly hostile and more dangerous to children. Rampant gun violence, regional wars, terrorism, unchecked climate change, growing intolerance, economic instability and so many other threats including ugly and abhorrent politics and short-sighted policies that are mortgaging the future of our world.”
Actress Jennifer Garner also told Variety that Bob Iger is the perfect presidential candidate in every respect.
“Mr. Iger is everything you could want in a leader,” Garner said. “I dare to say he is presidential. He’s dignified, he’s a risk-taker, he is down to earth, he is wise, and he has integrity. I would hand him any job I possibly could.”
Though Iger is a registered Democrat and has helped raise funds for Democratic candidates, he has previously lamented the growing ugliness in politics, as oftentimes seen on social media.
“We have to change how we talk to each other,” Iger said earlier this year. “Maybe we should just start by reconnecting with those friends and family members that we haven’t spoken to since the 2016 election.”
Iger went on to say that the hate and anger Americans have for one another will drag the country into “the abyss,” adding that politics are now dominated by contempt.
“We are losing ground,” Iger said. “Hate and anger are dragging us towards the abyss once again, and apathy is growing … consuming our public discourse and shaping our country into something that is wholly unrecognizable. Our politics, in particular, are now dominated by contempt.”