Oprah Talks Chicago, Politics - NBC Chicago

Oprah Talks Chicago, Politics

Winfrey talks politics, her network and more



    After appearing on MSNBC's Morning Show on Friday, Oprah Winfrey chats about when she knew it was time to leave Chicago and her thoughts about the upcoming mayoral race. (Published Friday, Feb. 11, 2011)

    When Oprah Winfrey arrived in Chicago pre-"The Oprah Winfrey Show" more than 25 years ago, she said she fell in love with working in the city. So much so that she was willing to switch career paths away from TV to stay here.

    "If I don't get the job, I'm gonna go into PR, because I want to work in this town," Winfrey said Friday morning on a live segment of "Morning Joe," filming from Chicago.

    With a little more than 40 shows to go before "The Oprah Winfrey Show" ends its tenure and Winfrey moves out of Chicago, the Queen of Media talked with "Morning Joe" hosts about politics, President Obama and the next Oprah. 

    On Barack Obama becoming president:
    I believed [in him] from the first moment I saw him in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention. ... I did not think it would be in 2008. I thought one day it would happen.

    On why she publicly supported Obama:
    I believed in his integrity and I believed in his heart, and I believe that what he really wants for this country is for this country to be greater, stronger, more innovative. And I believe those principles influenced his beliefs. I have no issues with the Obama administration.

    On the harshness of U.S. politics:
    I never really paid attention to it before I knew somebody who was there. Obviously I've been voting all my adult life and have voted for Rebublicans and voted for Democrats because I always look for who is the best candidate. I am surprised at the mood of the country, I am surprised at the fact we live in an era when it is so easy for everybody to have a position of criticism.

    On starting the OWN network:

    "It is challenging. It is very challenging. ... I love the platform. As you know, there's nothing like it. ... The landscape is not so good out there for a lot of television. So I wanted to be able to continue with the platform to be able to continue to be a force for good.

    On 25 years of the show:
    Only in America could this story happen. I really live in the moment of yes, this is going on ... to take in every moment and not take one moment for granted.

    On "taking the high road" with her show:
    I made a decision in the 90s when I was interviewing skinheads in the Ku Klux Klan. ... I made a decision that i would use the platform to bring a little bit of light into people's loves.

    On who the next Oprah will be:
    My legacy is my legacy, and whoever the next person is, they will define themselves by whatever they choose to do.