Michelle Obama is praising her “wonderful friend” Oprah Winfrey, calling the media mogul a unifying figure in hyperpolarized America.
The former first lady penned a tribute to Winfrey as part of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2022” issue, released Monday.
“Whether she’s talking to pop stars, presidents, schoolgirls, scholars — or she’s asking you about your life over a glass of wine in the living room — Oprah has always had that uncanny ability to open us up, to hear beyond our words, and to uncover a higher truth, to be vulnerable with us in a way that allows us to be vulnerable back,” Obama wrote of the former talk show host.
“That’s her secret,” Obama said. “But what I love most about Oprah is that she has never been content to keep it for herself.”
“When Oprah connects with something — a person, a book, a song, an idea — she makes sure to shine her light on it. She validates it. She anoints it,” Obama said.
“People know that when Oprah is involved, there is no pretense, no fluff — whether it’s her work in arts and media or her philanthropic work on health care, food equity, and more.”
Winfrey, the ex-executive mansion resident said, challenges the public to “think critically about our society and how it works, reminding us of our common humanity, and challenging us to take our victories and failures, our pride and vulnerability—and make it all seen.”
Winfrey famously endorsed Barack Obama’s 2008 White House bid.
Michelle Obama wrote on Twitter on Monday that 68-year-old Winfrey, who has shot down chatter over the years of a possible political run, carries a “remarkable legacy.”
“No matter where you go,” Obama wrote in Time, “everyone knows her name.”
“And all of it makes me wonder: maybe her success isn’t rooted in the fact that she found a common denominator that unites us all,” Obama said.
“Maybe Oprah is our common denominator.”