For years, Oprah Winfrey, the beloved matriarch of afternoon talk shows, has denied any possibility of a White House run.
But it appears she may not be ruling a presidential bid out entirely.
In an interview taped in December and published Wednesday, Ms. Winfrey implied that the election victory of President Trump had made her rethink whether she would be qualified to run the United States.
"I actually never thought – I never considered the question even a possibility," Winfrey told interviewer David Rubenstein on the Season Two premiere of "The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations" on Bloomberg Television. "I thought, 'I don't have the experience, I don't know enough.' Now I'm thinking, 'Oh, oh.' "
When presented with similar questions during other media appearances, Winfrey has dismissed the idea of a presidential run. In January, the media mogul told Stephen Colbert on "The Late Show" that running for president is "not my thing."
"The one thing that I know for sure, sure, sure, is I will never run for office," she told Jimmy Kimmel last June on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
But her reluctance hasn't stopped her many admirers from speculating and voicing support for an #Oprah2020 run on social media.
Even Mr. Trump himself has suggested that the daytime talk show star would be a good fit for the White House. In a 1999 interview with Larry King, Trump said he'd consider Oprah as a running mate if he ran for office – a sentiment he repeated after announcing his presidential bid in 2015.
"I like Oprah," Trump told interviewer George Stephanopoulos. "I think Oprah would be great. I'd love to have Oprah. I think we'd win easily, actually."
Winfrey has yet to confirm any plans to run for office – and, considering her "Late Show" appearance took place after the Bloomberg Television interview was taped, such an announcement doesn't seem likely.
But some political observers have suggested that, in the wake of Trump's election victory, running a well-known candidate with little to no political experience might be in the Democratic Party's best interest.
"Democrats would be better off if they ran Oprah [Winfrey] or Tom Hanks," filmmaker Michael Moore told CNN in November. "Why don’t we run beloved people? We have so many of them. The Republicans do this – they run [Ronald] Reagan and the Terminator [Arnold Schwarzenegger] and other people. Why don’t we run somebody that the American people love and are really drawn to, and that are smart and have good politics and all that?"