Amanda Gorman tells WSJ that she plans to run for president in 2036


Amanda Gorman is the young, Black Harvard graduate who read her beautiful poem at Biden’s inauguration earlier this year and inspired a new generation to fall in love with poetry again. Amanda is still making waves especially now that she has signed to IMG Models. Amanda covers WSJ Magazine where she opens up about wanting to run for the presidency in 2036. In her conversation with WSJ, Amanda said that she hopes to be an authentic leader and that the best politicians are language makers. Below are a few more highlights via People:

“I think to make the impossible more proximate, you have to treat it as if it’s in reaching distance,” said Gorman, later adding, “I’ve always understood the potential of the presidency or political office to both be terrific and also toxic and terrible.”

“I used to think about it in the more traditional sense of, okay, we’re going to do this poetry thing for a little bit, and then you’re going to put the pen down and switch over to politics,” she said. “Being able to talk to people like Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, I realized I don’t have to change who I am to be a leader. If anything, those qualities will be what become my strength when I bring them into my field.”

She added, “It’s often language makers who create a rhetoric for movement. They create a new type of dialect in which people can communicate shared dreams even if those shared dreams have yet to be realized.”

“All art is political. I would say especially fashion. I think about what it meant for the Black Panthers to wear tilted berets, what it meant for African-Americans to show up in their Sunday best while marching during the civil rights movement. And what it’s meant to wear rainbow colors in terms of queerness. What it’s meant to wear white as a feminist,” she explained. “I love getting to find more superpowers in what I wear.”

[From People]

I am so proud of Amanda. I knew that she had big dreams and would go far and I have enjoyed watching her grab opportunities. I know that 2036 is a long ways away, a lot can change. In fact, I will literally be 60. Young people like Amanda give me hope for the future. I hope that by the time 2036 comes around, the U.S. will still be here and will have dealt with its racial prejudices and issues. Perhaps Kamala Harris will pave the way if she decides to run for President. I am not sure what will happen over the next 15 years, but I hope Amanda retains her thoughtfulness and enthusiasm for politics. As someone who has been involved with politics, the political scene is cutthroat and draining. I am glad that Amanda has several women mentors in politics to help prepare her. In the mean time, I hope Amanda gets involved in her local and state governments in order to begin building her platform and experience. I also hope to see Amanda continue to use her art politically to inform and inspire.

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54 Responses to “Amanda Gorman tells WSJ that she plans to run for president in 2036”

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  1. Monette says:

    More like Amanda Gorgeous. She ia stunning!

  2. BW says:

    That’s the way to do it. Plan now, and start working for it. She’s smart, talented and beautiful. And yes, smart comes first.

  3. Mac says:

    I can’t wait to vote for this brilliant woman.

  4. Susan says:

    Can I say this out loud without getting banned? In 2036 most/many of these mean old racist boomers will be gone, millennials will be the dominant generation and perhaps things will be different. I am trying to be optimistic. Those boomers and old folks are KILLING me with their hate and anti vaxx stuff at my job right now.

    • Christine says:

      Ehh I think Gen-X is just as bad. As a millennial, I see it split 50/50. The majority of people I speak with and spend time with are liberal, but there are PLENTY of ex-classmates I’ve come across through mutual friends or on FB, individuals who went through higher education, spouting conspiracy theories and promoting snake oil homeopathy. It’s gross. While I do think there will be a shift the next 10-20 years, I don’t think it will be as large of one as we hope for.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Susan and others, in regards to Amanda Gorman, I have adored her since she was first in the spotlight 10 years ago. Amanda knows that she has to put in the work to see the possibility of becoming president. She doesn’t sound like she is assuming that she doesn’t need to learn and start from the bottom. In fact she clearly states that she has much to learn. And it sounds like she is listening to women that came before her for insight, direction and mentoring. Amanda is a brilliant young lady that has plans and she would be an excellent addition for women, especially WOC, to look up to!!

      As a boomer and my older siblings, we have always been progressive thinkers and have campaigned tirelessly for those who stand for progress, fighting for women causes and the right to a safe abortion, fighting for voting rights and fighting against the oppressive left and their constant campaign to reinforce Jim Crow era laws in regards to voting.

      The problem is not with a certain generation, the problem lies within those that refuse to change and make the lives of every American better and more equal. We have millionaires and billionaires that love the fact that they can scam the rules of the IRS tax codes for the ability to keep growing their wealth all the while, middle and lower income families are paying the greatest percentage of their income to run the government.

      Please accept my apologies for getting on my soap box, but I am tired of reading and hearing that the problem with this country is the boomer generation.

    • Totorochan says:

      I’m a Boomer and in the 70s we thought the same, “the Establishment” ie our parents were the baddies and when they died out the young people would…. I mean, late 60s early 70s was the time when the Age of Aquarius was dawning, people were going to tune in, turn on and drop out, bras were going to burn, make love not war, protest, march, anti-nuclear, civil rights, women’s lib, primal scream your neuroses out and a golden age would dawn.

      Every generation has its fantasy of getting rid of the old folks and then! Oh then! Young people in the 1920s in Europe felt the same, short skirts, short hair, sex and jazz and Freud and Marx and away with Victorian repression!

      So this is a pattern that repeats, and repeats…

      Yes there have been some positive changes and some things are more progressive. Our young people today are wonderful, but alas some will always carry on the worst attitudes of previous generations, or create new toxic subcultures. But in the wonderful ones lies my hope. And we olds must do our best too.

    • christina says:

      You’re saying very ageist things, making sweeping generalizations. I’m 65 and neither a racist or an anti-vaxer. Jeez!

  5. Lizzbert says:

    Susan, that’s exactly what I thought in the ‘90s. Unfortunately, racism and misogyny aren’t symptoms of age, we’ve got a lot of young, toxic people in this country.

    • dogmom says:

      Right, the people screaming about their kids not wearing masks or getting vaxxed aren’t boomers.

    • Susan says:

      ugh, you guys are unfortunately SO RIGHT. I am trying to be optimistic and positive but eek, I am not convincing myself. In a county where I work (which is a suburb/exurb of DC) , the vaccination rates are 37%. 37%. I can’t even….

  6. Wiglet Watcher says:

    This may be an unpopular opinion, but…
    She’s brilliant and beautiful and can probably learn a lot towards what it takes to be president, but would she be good at it? I believe at this time there would be better suited candidates.

    The office is brutal. All of our kindest presidents speak softly about the tolls it took on them and their families.
    I think she would be amazing in an Oval Office position and I do appreciate and love her drive. I would like to hear her say she’s running for another office first. Then build up her abilities and reputation from within.
    Just anyone that isn’t an elected official these days saying they want to run for president feels like an attention grab. Like The Rock.

    But if she puts in the work and time and is ready by that time, she may have my vote.

    • Aphra says:

      AOC!

    • lucy2 says:

      I hope her plans include starting at a lower office first – she is brilliant and surely will be able to handle it, but experience is crucial. I’m sure she’s well aware of it all though, and is working towards her goals. I’m enjoying following her, and look forward to see what’s next.

      • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

        Exactly!

        I am SO TIRED of people who do NOT have a background in diplomacy, law or politic science (beginning at grass root level, so they can LEARN how things work) think of stepping into the HIGHEST office in the land right off the bat.

        GET SOME FRIGGIN’ EXPERIENCE!!! AGE ALONE is not experience. The desire to “do good” is NOT equal to experience on how things work/run.

        And I’m sorry. She may be smart, she may have “drive”, but that does NOT make a President.

      • questions says:

        But she’s not talking about running right now.

        If she were 45 and suddenly decided to run out of the blue, i could understand people questioning it.

        But when you’re early 20s. graduated from a decent school. have had some exposure to politics already through canvassing for the Democratic Party and are outspoken politically to begin with, I don’t think it’s strange for her to think “Yes, I’d like to run for President SOME day.” I guess I don’t see this as any different from young men at Yale in their early twenties thinking they could run some day. (I figure there must be some random young male Kennedy out there thinking about it.)

        Who even knows if she’ll actually run in 2036. She’s not held to that timeline. Early twenties and recently graduated from Harvard seems like a good time to think about big aspirations until life and potential obstacles get in the way.

    • Ashley L. says:

      She’s talking about 15 years from now, not 2024. I think its apparent from the interview that she knows that she has a lot to learn and develop before that could be a realistic possibility. Who are the better suited candidates you could see running for President in 15 years?

      • Mel says:

        Thank you! I did not get any entitlement vibe. What’s wrong with her having ambitions and announcing them ? No wonder young women, esp of color, don’t dare. Wait until the actual day, and if you think she’s not qualified, then don’t vote for her! Simple as that. Nothing will change if people disregard potential candidates from the get go.

      • Larisa says:

        If she (or anyone) wants to be president 15 years from now, she better already be holding a smaller office now, or at least running for one soon. I doesn’t sound like that’s in the works. Does it really seem unfair and wild that we’d want the president of the US to have 15 years of relevant public service experience?

      • Cookie says:

        But 15 years is not a long time for someone with no political experience. Obama’s rise to the presidency was considered meteoric, and he had been in politics for over 20 years by the time he ran for president. I applaud the ambition, now let’s see the action. As to the second part of your question, there are probably hundreds of people who are not household names yet but are currently working diligently in lower political positions who could be powerhouses in 15 years.

      • questions says:

        She’s set herself a target for 2036 because that’s how goals are set. But she may push back the time frame as new things happen in her life.

        Also, maybe it’s better she let everyone know what her intentions are at her youthful age so that other leaders can help give her advice. She’s in a unique position to get advice from important people and she seems likely to take it. From the sound of the interview, it does seem like politics has always been a goal for her as it has been for other politicians like Bill and Hillary Clinton, and her talent in poetry probably took her in a slightly different direction for the time being.

        If, in 2036, it turns out she’s been bumming it for 15 years, it would make sense to question her record then. But at the present moment, her saying what she’d like to do in the future doesn’t seem strange coming from an early twenty-something year old. I don’t this as any different than hearing from other recent graduates about what they’d like to do in the future — the only difference is she’s more famous and has a bigger platform.

    • questions says:

      She’s still pretty young. By 2036 she likely would have built up some kind of experience in administration and whatever else. In previous decades it seemed like most people (well, men) who became President were people who had thought about the potential of it in their twenties. With all the opportunities she has now and what she’s done previously , I have my doubts she’d not know anything by 2036. I don’t think she’s really a celebrity in the traditional sense either. She went the regular path of getting an education, getting experience in different areas, and kind of stumbled to fame through her poetry, but that doesn’t seemed to have been her end goal.

      Anyway, given her linguistic abilities in producing poetry , it’s pretty clear she knows how to write a speech in the vein of Obama and JFK and other presidents who had more of a literary bent. In the world of media and cameras, being able to communicate well is an important skill to have in dealing with the public, the press, and in private with ones staff.

  7. Winnie Cooper’s Mom says:

    Seems like any celeb these days thinks they’re qualified to run for President 🙄

    • Mel says:

      She’s not just a celeb. She actually has an education AND a perspective as a woman of color that is extremely important. Let’s not disregard her and think her statement is like the Rock running or something.

      • Mko says:

        She’s really young with limited life experience & no political experience. building up to a run in 2036, sure, but she sounds like a grandiose planner who wants to go 0-100.

      • PeacefulParsley says:

        Agree. I’d like to see her get off Insta though and start the hard work of becoming knowledgeable, experienced and qualified to run for such a difficult and demanding position. It’s hard for this GenXer to take seriously a young person who has become so brand-conscious at warp speed. I’m not referring to the Vogue cover, although that’s of dubious merit. I mean the “Need a new summer read!” thirst trap posts. That shit don’t last. The hard work does.

      • Cookie says:

        She and The Rock have the same level of education. I won’t pretend like the University of Miami is the same as Harvard, but they both have bachelor’s degrees from good schools. And frankly, I don’t want the Rock running either, unless he starts getting serious about politics now and puts in the hard work to “deserve” the presidency.

      • Maria says:

        I agree with Mel.

        And some of these comments are making major stretches about her motivations/abilities/intentions.
        Hillary Clinton has an Instagram, too.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ Mel, or Matthew McConaughey who is talking about getting into the political arena in Texas, my home state unfortunately.

      • Jensies says:

        This is really wild to me that she’s getting so much criticism for this. That she needs to buckle down and get serious, when she’s like 20 years old!

        She’s talking about 15 years from now, she’s so young, and she’s talking about a big life goal she has, and she is one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, and insightful people in her generation. Why are people coming for her in this hard way? Gotta say, it feels like very different standards are being placed on her as a young Black woman.

        If anything, I think she could do way better than politics, she’s too smart and good for that and we don’t deserve her as president.

      • Cookie says:

        @Jensies, she has a 15-year timeline for the most difficult, important job in the world. That’s… not a long time to prepare. Tulsi Gabbard got heat for not having enough experience and she had been in politics/the military for almost 20 years by the time she ran. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to wonder how she plans to become qualified in terms of leadership experience, service to the country, and mastery of policy and government.

      • Maria says:

        There will always be someone to say a woman doesn’t have enough political experience for this, that or the other position.

        As far as leadership experience and service, she’s founded a nonprofit and has done immense work for the arts; she’s used her poetry to honor Malala Yousafzai at the United Nations, and has received an OZY genius grant. She’s served both as a HERLead Fellow and a HERlead Global Delegate. The city of LA gave her an Outstanding Community Service award. These are only a few things. Her record is amazing for her age and will be a solid foundation for political work.

        If Hillary Clinton says she can’t wait for Gorman to run, I see no reason why the rest of us should be wary.

      • Cookie says:

        Sigh, my comment was marked as spam and I can’t be bothered to re-type it. Maria, she is an impressive woman with a solid resume. I applaud her ambition so I apologize if it seemed like I was casting aspersions on her intentions or ability. But I do want to see a rock solid foundation of public service, leadership, values guiding a clear vision for the country, a proven track record of achievements, and concrete policy positions informed by long-term commitment, before I get excited about any one person. I’m much more concerned with that than with fundraising ability or name recognition. So in that sense 15 years isn’t a lot of time to build this up.

      • Maria says:

        Well, if the question is whether you think personally she would be a good candidate, that’s certainly up to you. You don’t have to vote for her if you don’t want. But given her background, I think 15 years is a solid amount of time. And her achievements speak to her commitment: I don’t know any 16-year-olds around me who are founding nonprofits. Her achievements now would be impressive in a person older than her age.
        We’ve certainly had Presidents who had longer political resumes when elected but made mincemeat of the position because they had little of the commitment to change and public service that she has. Out of what you mentioned, she already has a solid foundation of public service, and a proven track record of achievements. I’d say she’s developing her knowledge of policy positions and a clear image of what she wants by talking to heavyweights like Michelle Obama, Clinton, Pelosi, etc. And in light of that, 15 years of plenty of time in my view.

      • Cookie says:

        Maria, my point is that it’s really too early for anyone to tell whether she would be a good candidate in 15 years. So, so much has to fall into place before any of us should be comfortable making that kind of judgement about someone talking about running in their early twenties, no matter who they are. It could very well be that she ends up being immensely qualified — I honestly hope so, based on what I know about her and her values so far. But I’m simply not in a position to say that yet, hence my tempered enthusiasm. So I think we’re just going to have to respectfully agree to disagree on this one and revisit it in 15 years :)

      • Maria says:

        To be fair, I think she would think that’s a reasonable point too. Nobody can say what 15 years will bring! But yes, I do think she has plenty of potential. 😁

    • goofpuff says:

      This is a kid with big dreams. Why are you telling kids they can’t dream to be president one day? It’s not like she’s running next year. Sheesh. I hope you don’t go around telling kids to stop dreaming big.

      • Maria says:

        I agree.
        I’ve worked in political offices too. She has time. It’s not like 15 years is the cutoff either, maybe she’ll run later or something. I’m looking forward to seeing.

      • Cookie says:

        But she’s not a kid, and her dream is something that will directly impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people. She will be in her late 30s if she sticks to that timeline, and JFK, the second youngest president at 43, already had a 20 year career serving in the military and congress under his belt by the time he ran. If we take her at her word, which I think we should, asking how she will become qualified for quite possibly the most important job in the world over the course of the next 15 years is a reasonable question.

      • Maria says:

        Of course it’s reasonable, but posing that question is very different from the instantaneous doubt bordering on derision some of these comments show.
        Compared to most politicians, she is a kid.
        I’ve seen several political candidates who were in their late thirties run for prominent positions with good educational background and strong ideas but a short political resume (which doesn’t necessarily rule out other politically-adjacent work like law) and they were successful. This is not the 1960′s. Furthermore, she said herself she is speaking to people like Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi about wanting to enter politics, so I am sure they are giving her good advice and insight. This interview is about her mindset in regards to her art and wanting to change the world. It is not a list of her qualifications nor is it her five-year career plan.
        Furthermore, as a youth delegate to the UN and knowing people in the Library of Congress, not to mention being Biden’s choice for his inauguration which speaks to his opinion of her work and activism – I think she’s off to a pretty good start.

      • questions says:

        “and her dream is something that will directly impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people.”

        Only if she’s actually elected in 2036 (or later). At this point, her dream isn’t an actuality we’re feeling the consequences of. She actually has to get elected — and people are free to make a decision on who they’ll vote for. She can’t simply foist herself.

        It feels too early to start feeling concerned or worried about what kind of potential impact she could have right now when so much can change in 15 years. The landscape could look very different then and it’s possible her talents and abilities could be suited to that moment (heck, maybe a bunch of late thirty-somethings will be running at that time as the old guard changes. It’s possible she might not be the only one and her competition might even be her own peers and a Kennedy.)

        Having this aspiration at her current age, and her eloquent way of communicating in a few interviews here and there, isn’t really going to cause any damage in the current moment. Maybe I would understand the concern over her saying her aspiration out-loud if she were spouting some kind of violent or racist rhetoric like Donald Trump did during his campaigns, but that clearly isn’t the case here.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      Fifteen years from now…you don’t know what experiences and skills she will have in fifteen years

      • Cookie says:

        15 years is not a long time to run for a lower office, serve a couple terms, and work your way up to the presidency.

      • Maria says:

        Sure it is, in her case. She’s famous now because of the Biden inauguration, so she doesn’t need to spread her name to gain awareness the way another new candidate might. Many local political terms are four years. Congressional terms are two years but can extend up to the average of 10.
        She’s a household name at this point. She’d be able to do excellent fundraising, and the efforts for PR won’t be the same as some grassroots-sourced city council member trying to become known nationwide.

      • Larisa says:

        @Maria
        But I’m not sure I see “household name” as an asset in and of itself. I actually think it’s a sad state of affairs in our politics that celebrities get to swoop in and get spots that hardworking “nobodies” can’t, unless they go completely loco and make their name that way. And I’m talking about Trump and Taylor Green right now, not Amanda, of course. But my hope is that Amanda does not bank on name recognition and actually puts in the work, learns the nitty-gritty, and rises through the ranks with all the experience that comes along the way. I’m far more excited about Mayor Pete in politics than about the Rock, for example. Even though I like them both very much as humans. But only one of them is putting in the boring work.

      • Maria says:

        Household name is how Presidential campaigns are run. All it means is that people know who the person is. What career they have is a different thing entirely. Amanda has put in plenty of work. I think most people are not aware of how very much work she has done. 15 years is long enough for her to build on the legacy she already has. She’s not banking on name recognition at all – she got to where she is from hard work, since she was barely into her teens, and it looks like she is using the recognition to forward the goals she always has. I can’t predict the future of course, but she seems a much better potential candidate than any I’ve seen. She didn’t begin as a celebrity and it didn’t hold her back.

  8. Trillion says:

    Her skin is off the charts gorgeous. Like, electrifying.

  9. J says:

    She’s aiming high. Good for her. She’s a very beautiful girl.

  10. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    Not to take away from her intellect and talent, but, man- she is one drop-dead gorgeous woman.

  11. FilmTurtle says:

    Good grief. She announced her intention to run in 15 years (not next year), she plainly states she is learning and laying the groundwork. She is literally doing what we would WANT a presidential candidate to do. There is not a whiff of entitlement. And people are already grousing and griping and tut-tutting. Gross. Let a young person dream big and keep your ennui to yourself.

  12. Veronica S. says:

    Well, as long as she follows through with it. I just hope she doesn’t get in and wind up bored or disillusioned with the system before she gets there. This being said, the clear path is by starting small (local seats) and working her way up into federal politics. She can do it. It’ll just be a grind.