Juan Williams: Three black women could beat Trump

The three strongest Democratic challengers to President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE’s reelection are now all black women.

They are talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama joins stars in launch of voter registration push The Hill's Morning Report — Russia furor grips Washington Michelle Obama launches voter registration initiative ahead of midterms: report MORE and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump: ‘Dems have a death wish’ Election Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas Senate Democrats block resolution supporting ICE MORE (D-Calif.).

Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon has said Oprah and the "Me Too" movement pose an “existential threat” to the Trump presidency.

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Obama left the White House with a 68 percent approval rating. She got a new wave of positive attention this month when record crowds showed up to see her newly unveiled official portrait at the National Gallery of Art. 

Conservative columnist and Trump booster Ann Coulter confidently predicted last fall that if Harris ran, she would be the Democratic nominee.

A black female candidate would attract a lot of attention with a challenge to Trump. Ninety-four percent of black women voted against Trump in 2016 as did 69 percent of Latina women and 43 percent of white women. Women of all races have led the biggest anti-Trump marches.

April Reign, an activist who founded the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, worried during a recent NBC interview that the clamor for a black female presidential candidate could be a trap.

“Stop begging strong black women to be president: Michelle, Oprah, whatever,” Reign said. “It’s weird. And Lord knows when black women try to lead, y’all attempt to silence and erase us. So how would that work, exactly?”

Well, black women are already thriving at the top of the political ladder in lots of places.

Black women are in charge as mayor of at least seven big cities: Atlanta; Baltimore; Charlotte, N.C.; Flint, Mich.; New Orleans; Toledo, Ohio; and Washington. 

In addition, a record 21 black women are serving in Congress, including Harris. All but one — Rep. Mia LoveLudmya (Mia) LoveOvernight Energy: Proposed rule would roll back endangered species protections | House passes Interior, EPA spending | House votes to disavow carbon tax House votes to disavow carbon tax The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — GOP spars with FBI agent at tense hearing MORE (R-Utah) — are Democrats.

Winfrey and Obama stand out among all these black women because their political strength is only a subset of their power as cultural icons.

They have fans among Republicans and Democrats. They attract people of all races. Their broad appeal, including among suburban white women, crosses the nation’s deep political divide

Trump is attuned to a potential challenge from Winfrey.

After Winfrey conducted a focus group on Trump for CBS’s “60 Minutes,” the president quickly lashed out at her.

“Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes,” he tweeted. “The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!”

Oprah responded last week by telling Ellen DeGeneres: “I woke up, and I just thought — I don't like giving negativity power — so I just thought, what?”

Oprah said that she asked CBS to add a response from a pro-Trump member of the focus group to give the piece more balance. “So I was working very hard to do the opposite of what I was hate-tweeted about,” she told Ellen.

Meanwhile, if Obama runs, she would inherit her husband’s formidable political machine.

Perhaps only an Obama can successfully use the Obama political machine to hold together the Obama coalition and win back the White House?

Even longtime Trump political adviser Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneMueller probing Roger Stone following Russian hacker indictment: report DNC claims Secret Service blocked attempt to deliver lawsuit against Kushner Twitter suspends Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks accounts after indictments MORE recently told the Oxford Union that Obama would be the strongest Democratic candidate.

The then-first lady’s “When they go low, we go high” speech was one of the most memorable of the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

The big question with Obama is whether she is willing to go low and put her family through another brutal presidential campaign.

Harris lacks the name identification of Winfrey or Obama. But California’s junior senator comes from the most influential state in Democratic politics.

Harris would have a strong claim to the deep-pocketed donors in Hollywood and Silicon Valley who helped fund her Senate election in 2016. The former state attorney general’s unflinching television interviews and TV grilling of Trump administration witnesses at congressional hearings have made her a national favorite.

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) said in an interview last August, "She's going to be knocking on doors in Iowa."

In 1968, New York’s Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman elected to Congress.

Four years later, she became the first black candidate to run for a major party’s presidential nomination.

“I am not the candidate of black America, although I am black and proud,” Chisholm told supporters at her announcement. “I am not the candidate of the women’s movement of this country, although I am a woman, and I am equally proud of that. 

“I am the candidate of the people of America. And my presence before you now symbolizes a new era in American political history.”

It's looking more and more likely that 2020 will be the year that a woman finishes the journey and shatters not one but two glass ceilings.

Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.