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Michelle Obama might run for president, but will she do it in 2024?
U.S. Department of Agriculture, flickr
Michelle Obama giving a speech at the White House

Michelle Obama might be up to something. She’s been dropping not-so-subtle hints lately, like having her team send surveys to “heavy-duty donors asking how they’d feel about her as the candidate.” She’s on the hunt, scouting out the land.

Right now could be shaping up for a prime opportunity if she wishes to run in 2024. Biden’s public image isn’t exactly doing too hot, and you-know-who is on the rise again over on the Republican side. Most Democrats currently have a common enemy, and there is very little confidence in the one man who could possibly take him down.

A poll by Axios says that ⅔ of Democratic leaning voters say they don’t want Biden as president.

A poll by Axios says that ⅔ of Democratic leaning voters say they don’t want Biden as president.

Some of them are open to changing their mind about who to vote for, because at the moment, voting kind of seems like a lose-lose situation.

If former First Lady Obama is going to make a move in 2024, she would have to act very soon, because in case you haven’t noticed, it’s now election year and time is starting to run out. 

But taking a step back, a few questions must be asked, “Is Michelle Obama actually serious about running in 2024, or is she simply testing the waters? What about 2028?”

Joel Gilbert, an author on a book about Obama, seems to think that she is serious…at least eventually. He says in a Washington Times article, “I’ve been following the Obamas for years and I noticed some years ago Michelle started following the exact same formula Barack had when running for president.”

So yes, it is definitely likely that she will run.

But in 2024? Probably not and for multiple reasons.

Why Michelle Obama Won’t Run in 2024

  • The Obamas don’t want to risk losing to Trump

Barack and Michelle have a name and reputation to uphold. A loss to Trump as a result of a premature campaign run would be a national embarrassment. It’s probably better to wait until that risk is totally out of the way. 

  • Again, It’s too late to start a campaign in 2024

If Obama was serious about running this year, she would have announced her candidacy a while back. Only a small handful of ways are left for her to make an appearance on the 2024 ballot, one of them being if Biden drops out of the race. 

It seems to be the general consensus among Democrats that the former First Lady would be best to take his place. 

The Wall Street Journal writes, “With a broad network of supporters and the ability to resurrect Barack Obama’s political organization, she would be the strongest candidate by far.”

Of course, this is only IF Biden drops out, and basically no one knows if that will happen or not.

Michelle’s Switcheroo

The fact that she may be considering running at all is certainly a switch up from what Americans heard before. During the months before the 2016 election, Barack had some interesting things to say regarding his wife’s political future.

He said, “She is as talented and brilliant a person as there is and I could not be prouder of her, but Michelle does not have the patience or the inclination to actually be a candidate herself.

Michelle does not have the patience or the inclination to actually be a candidate herself.

— Barack Obama

That’s one thing y’all can take to the bank,”

Michelle said herself, “I will not run for president. No, nope, not going to do it,”

If she was still sticking to this word, then why would she be asking the donors if they would support her candidacy? Things have changed.

She made that statement before Donald Trump took office, and she didn’t take his victory very well either. Look at this CNN headline, for example.

“Michelle Obama addressed in a new book the deep hurt and disappointment she felt when Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election.”

It may be that she just lacked the motivation to run for presidency before Trump. Fast forward to today and the perfect storm has been brewed up. For Obama, the ground to becoming president is nutrient rich and ready for her to come along and plant herself in it.

 It’s probably difficult to resist, with so many people and news outlets talking about her.

What Obama Has to Get Right

So, if Democrats are to actually consider Obama as a candidate, whether in this election or the next, she has to politically establish herself. Obama has never held a publicly elected position before, and even though this doesn’t mean much nowadays, it might spark criticism in the future and inhibit her progress among more independent voters. Some may think she would lack the know-how needed to run a successful campaign.

The same thing was thought about Donald Trump, but as the story goes, he proved everyone wrong by becoming the 45th President of the US.

This criticism about Obama not knowing how to run a campaign can also be answered by pointing out that she has Barack to help her through the process.

Michelle Obama also lacks a complete political agenda. Her views on foreign policy, the border, and the economy are not widely known, and she would have to ground herself in a solid position on those topics that would attract support. 

The overall question on this matter is this: would Michelle Obama be a sufficiently qualified president?

Some say no.

In an interview with the journalist Megyn Kelly, Sky News Australia asked, “what is [Michelle Obama’s] record? I lived in the White House for 8 years?” Kelly responded, “Right? Why not one of the daughters?”, referring to Obama’s children. Kelly points out that from this standpoint, Michelle Obama and her daughters have roughly the same amount of political experience.

This is unlikely to deter Obama from trying anyways because she is wildly popular among Democratic groups. So, it might be that whether she’s fully qualified for the job or not doesn’t even matter. She may even be propelled over the finish line by her popularity alone.

If she does end up running, her campaign would in all likelihood be built on the ‘there is nobody else’ motto. As expressed before, the Democrats are looking for somebody other than Biden. If Biden dropped out, Obama would almost unquestionably get the call.

If Biden stays in the race, they will probably rally behind him because they have no other candidate. In this situation, Obama might hold back for reasons listed above.

Whenever Michelle Obama’s name comes up in the presidency talk, things get wild. If she waits until Trump is out of the picture, which will most likely happen by 2028, the office could be hers for the taking.

About the Contributor
Asher Maney, Reporter
Specializes in politics, gardening, and Grandpa Asher