Oprah, Sarah Palin Oprah, Sarah Palin

The most powerful woman in show business isn't worried about the most powerful woman in politics becoming even more powerful.

In an interview with Parade magazine that'll be in this Sunday's newspapers, Oprah Winfrey was asked whether the thought of Sarah Palin running for president frightens her.

"It does not scare me because I believe in the intelligence of the American public," said Winfrey, who nonetheless was impressed with Sarah Palin's Alaska. "When I saw that first episode, I went, 'Whoa! She is charming and very likable,'" she said.

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One thing that does strike fear in Winfrey, though,  is the huge undertaking of her new network, which bows New Year's Day.

While moving ahead with plans for the network, "I would wake up clutching my chest, like, Omigod. When I looked at it in terms of the vastness of what needed to be accomplished I would start feeling overwhelmed by it," Winfrey said. "And then I read this article about Michael Jackson in the July edition of Vanity Fair, and the author of that article spoke to his friends and said, 'The mistake that Michael Jackson made is that he didn't recognize that Thriller was a phenomenon and he spent the rest of his life trying to chase the phenomenon.'

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"I went, 'That's what I've been doing. I've been thinking that if I don't match what I've already done then I'm a failure,'" Winfrey continued. "And I thought, 'I don't want to be Michael Jackson.' ... I didn't want to be that person who's been given this great opportunity of a network and thinking, but how am I going to make it what the Oprah show has been for 25 years? What I recognize is that it took me at least 10 solid years to build [that show]."