Michelle Obama for President?
Author: Greg Valliere
October 1, 2019
LISTEN TO THE VOTERS: As we travel throughout the country this fall, we’re struck by the dissatisfaction with 2020 presidential choices: there’s Trump fatigue, questions about Joe Biden’s stamina, concerns about Elizabeth Warren’s radical agenda, etc. But there’s one potential candidate who generates tremendous enthusiasm: Michelle Obama.
ONE PROBLEM: The former First Lady, 55, doesn’t want the job and has forcefully ruled out running. But a suspicion persists in Washington that if Biden’s slump continues and Warren’s agenda scares moderates, someone else will have enter the race. Hillary Clinton? No, she’s radioactive.
OBAMA’S ATTRIBUTES: There’s no question that Michelle Obama has a dazzling personality; she’s more likable than her cerebral and aloof husband. She has a Harvard Law degree. She knows the issues. She spent eight years in the public eye and became the most popular woman in America. It’s difficult to find anyone in Washington who says anything bad about her.
STILL TIME TO JUMP IN: Many of the early primary states have filing deadlines around Christmas, so a potential late entrant still has about three months to decide. The key factor, in our opinion, is upcoming debates; more are scheduled in two weeks. If Biden stumbles and the polarizing Warren begins looking like the nominee, party leaders will worry that Democrats could blow a golden opportunity to take down Trump, who looks very vulnerable.
WE THINK MICHELLE OBAMA can win the nomination, finishing first in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, then taking delegate-rich California in the early March Super Tuesday. She could bridge the gap between the party’s restive left wing and its moderates. She would have to get up to speed quickly on foreign policy and economic issues, but she could hire experts who would flock to her campaign.
IN ADDITION TO MEETING WITH VOTERS around the country who would support her enthusiastically, we’ve talked with Washington insiders who are intrigued at the prospect of an Obama candidacy, which would appeal tremendously to women, young people and minorities. She would have an easier path to 270 electoral votes than Trump, and would be favored in the Rust Belt states.
THIS SCENARIO OBVIOUSLY IS A LONG-SHOT, but “We can appeal to her sense of duty” if Biden fades, one Democrat told us. She will continue to say no for another couple of months, but our hunch is that Obama could waver by Thanksgiving if it looks like the radical Warren is the clear frontrunner.
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