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Does Oprah have more intel on Beto’s presidential decision?

February 21, 2019

Oprah Winfrey, whose interview with El Paso Democrat Beto O’Rourke about his presidential aspirations aired on Feb. 16, apparently held something back.

Winfrey’s OWN channel will air her extended conversation with O’Rourke, roughly 40 minutes total, on Sunday at 10 a.m. — with about 30 minutes of footage that hasn’t been on the air yet.

The extended interview’s release comes as political watchers from across the nation wait for O’Rourke to announce whether he’s jumping into the 2020 Democratic presidential primary or not. He has said he would make an announcement by the end of the month.

When Winfrey pressed O’Rourke about his plans in previously aired portions of the interview, O’Rourke hedged: “I’ve been thinking about running for President,” he said. “I’m so excited at the prospect of being able to play that role.”

The possibility of O’Rourke running against Republican Sen. John Cornyn did not come up in excerpts released by the OWN network, though last week, Politico, citing unnamed sources, said U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., had talked to O’Rourke directly about running for Senate — a report O’Rourke’s camp has not confirmed.

Whether Winfrey’s show will help dispel any of the mystery around O’Rourke’s intentions remains to be seen.

Meantime, O’Rourke has given few a clues. He was in Wisconsin over the weekend, a state Hillary Clinton lost to President Donald Trump, and in Chicago, where he spoke at an event for Latino leaders. On Tuesday, he was back in El Paso for a ceremony that honored him as the El Pasoan of the Year.

At that event, O’Rourke told reporters that he’s still trying to figure out how he can best serve the country. That, he said, may include running for president or “it may involve something else,” according to the Texas Tribune.