Michelle Obama ’24? – The prospect that President Joe Biden might not run for reelection is increasing.
As investigations swirl around Hunter Biden and the possibility that his family—including the president—may have been involved in his illicit business dealings, with Biden’s age becoming an ever-present concern for most voters, the Democratic Party’s elite need to start contemplating who could replace Biden.
Sadly for the Democrats, their bench is not that deep.
In fact, of those Democrats believed to be interested in running for president, few appear capable of attracting the kind of attention that would be needed to ensure that the Left gets another four years in control of the White House.
Here Comes Michelle Obama: More Hope and Change?
There is one person, however, who could completely reset the 2024 Presidential Election in the Democratic Party’s favor.
That is former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Many are skeptical that this is a real possibility, of course. These skeptics, including Michelle Obama herself, argue that the former First Lady was never interested in the hurly-burly of domestic politics the way that another former First Lady, Hillary Clinton, was.
Yet, as someone who was married to a successful politician—a former president who made history by being the first African-American elected to that role, no less—Mrs. Obama is likely not immune to the needs of her preferred political party. A recent CNN report stated that Michelle Obama “stopped short of a full-throated” endorsement for a Biden reelection campaign in 2024.
For instance, should President Biden choose not to seek reelection, that would mean that the Democratic Party’s bogeyman, former Republican President Donald J. Trump (who is running for reelection) would have an increased chance of returning to power. Michelle Obama famously described Trump’s 2016 victory as a “direct rebuke” of her husband’s legacy.
What’s more, the Obamas are clearly interested in keeping their hands in the political pie. After all, rather than leave Washington, D.C. after their term in office was over, the Obamas purchased a palatial home in the historic Kalorama neighborhood of the nation’s capital. That home was described by Seth Barron of City Journal as having been the “nerve center” of the anti-Trump “resistance” that pervaded all of Washington, D.C. (and the political establishment) throughout the entirety of the contentious Trump Administration.
Clearly, both former President Barack Obama and his wife desired to maintain their investment in politics, if only to preserve their legacy (which Trump made a point to threaten). As 2024 approaches and the crises both to the United States and to the Democratic Party mount, might Michelle Obama decide to try her hat at politics?
Under the right circumstances, yes.
Political Animals Don’t Change
The fact remains that the Obamas remain political creatures strongly tethered to their party.
Other Democratic Party leaders have been mentioned to run in 2024, should President Biden decide not to run. But none have the cachet that Michelle Obama has. The former first lady has the right qualifications for a successful Democratic Party presidential candidate: she’s got star power, she’s got experience, she rankles all the correct people on the Right, and she has a truly national and even international profile.
What’s more, she’d be bringing along with her a former president who has effectively stage-managed the Democratic Party from behind-the-scenes since he left the Oval Office in January 2017. For Democrats, it’d be the two-for-one special they were promised with Bill and Hillary Clinton but never got (only, unlike Bill and Hillary Clinton, the Obamas really are dyed-in-the-wool Lefties).
Michelle Obama: the Most Admired Woman
According to a YouGov poll from months back, Michelle Obama has a 67 percent approval rating and she is considered the 302nd most famous person of all time (right between Bob Saget and Joe DiMaggio). In a May 2020 YouGov poll, the former First Lady had a 55.8 percent favorability rating among Americans.
That was the third time in a row that Michelle Obama had received the reward. Interestingly, in a 2020 Gallup poll asking Americans to rank their most admired men and women, Michelle Obama was given the top billing status for women.
In the same poll from 2020, it was Donald J. Trump who topped the list of most admired men.
If Donald Trump does, in fact, become the Republican nominee, given the dearth of alternatives if Biden doesn’t run, Michelle Obama will enter the race against Trump. For her, this is a personal matter. She and her husband view Trump as a political knife aimed at the very heart of their legacy. Mrs. Obama described Trump’s 2016 victory as something “much uglier than a political defeat.” During a tour for her recent book, Obama stated that Trump’s 2016 victory “hurt” her.
These visceral feelings toward Trump’s presidency are what prompted Mrs. Obama to lead an effort to register one million new voters in the runup to the 2022 Midterms. Obama’s views about Trump and his party compelled Michelle to hit the campaign trail during the 2022 Midterms with such a ferocity that is usually only exhibited by a politician whose running for office.
Such actions are not those of a conventional former first lady. Michelle Obama readying to take decisive action aimed at stunting the restoration of her great bugaboo, Donald Trump. And Michelle Obama is the possible Democratic Party candidate in 2024 that most Republicans—including Donald Trump—most fear. Trump may very well get the GOP’s nomination in 2024. But, in so doing that, Trump might galvanize his greatest foe, Michelle Obama, to run against him in the general election and squelch his ambition of returning to the Oval Office.
Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who recently became a writer for 19FortyFive.com. Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as a contributing editor at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower(Republic Book Publishers), The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (March 28), and Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.