Would Michelle Obama agree to run? Vice President Kamala Harris was once the obvious choice for Democrats in 2024. Assuming that President Joe Biden chooses not to run for a second term, the Democrats need a new candidate to put forward their vision for America and take the reins.
With poor poll numbers over the last year, however, Democrats are already looking beyond the Biden-Harris administration and back to the Obamas to save them from a potential second Trump administration.
Polls Put Obama Back in the Spotlight
After playing a substantial role in the 2020 Democratic National Convention, helping humanize candidate Joe Biden and remind voters of things that they liked about the Obama-Biden administration, former first lady Michelle Obama is now polling just behind Vice President Kamala Harris in hypothetical presidential primary competitions.
A Hill-Harris poll from November showed Harris with 13% support among Democrat voters, and Obama a close second with 10%.
The fact that a sitting vice president – and the first female vice president – isn’t polling more than 13% in a hypothetical primary race for 2024 says a lot about how Democrat voters are feeling about the performance of the Biden-Harris administration so far.
Michelle Obama Doesn’t Want to Run
The former first lady has made it clear many times that she doesn’t want to run for political office, and the idea that she may be considering a potential 2024 run has been described as a “baseless rumor.”
While Obama has been floated as a potential future candidate by many political commentators and elected officials ever since her husband left office in 2017, the most recent rumors come from an email sent by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
“Yup, you are reading this right. Michelle Obama? Running for PRESIDENT in 2024?” the email read.
It was followed up with another email, which claimed: “rumors are spreading like wildfire that a certain someone, someone who already spent 8 YEARS in the White House, is thinking of running for PRESIDENT in 2024.”
Where the idea came from, however, is unclear. Rumors have circulated for years, but they have never been substantiated by…anything.
In 2018, Michelle Obama told the Hollywood Reporter that the reason why she doesn’t want to run for president is that “you have to want the job.”
“I’ve never had the passion for politics. I just happened to be married to somebody who has the passion for politics, and he dragged me kicking and screaming into the arena,” she said.
But Could She Win?
Nonetheless, should she run, the former first lady may actually be in with a chance of beating former President Donald Trump.
While Obama has long said that she doesn’t want to enter the world of politics, the same can also be said about former President Donald Trump. During his 2016 campaign, one of the biggest selling points of then-candidate Trump was his insistence that he didn’t “need” to run for office but felt compelled to after seeing the damage done by the Obama administration.
Obama’s hesitance, therefore, could be spun as a positive.
It remains to be seen, however, whether Democrat donors and operatives can convince her to do it.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and report on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.