Now that Donald Trump is President-elect, Democrats and the media have begun the parlor game of trying to figure out who will be their standard bearer in 2020.
One name that quickly generated lots of media speculation was First Lady Michelle Obama.
And in one interview, Barack Obama addressed her political future in definitive terms.
Some in the media poured over the thin bench of potential Democrat candidates for 2020 who would possess the name identification, star power, and fundraising ability to mount a challenge to President-elect Donald Trump, and settled on the soon-to-be former First Lady as the Democrats’ best bet.
The Washington Post identified her as a top-tier candidate:
“First lady Michelle Obama: Let’s say this first: The soon-to-be-former first lady has never run for elected office and, to date, has shown absolutely no interest in doing so. But let’s also say this: She gave the two best political speeches of the past two years — the first at the Democratic National Convention in July, the second in New Hampshire in the fall, an emotional condemnation of Trump’s America. Obama has one thing — with the possible exception of Booker — that the rest of the people on this list lack: true star power. She would start the race not only totally known by base Democrats but also absolutely beloved. The issue for Obama is that being a candidate in your own right is very different from being a surrogate for a candidate.”
But would she actually run, and could she really win?
Barack Obama answered that question in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine.
The New York Daily News reports:
“In an interview published this week, President Barack Obama confirmed what the First Lady has been saying all along.
“Michelle will never run for office,” said Obama, speaking with Rolling Stone magazine the day after Hillary Clinton’s Election Day defeat. “She is as talented a person as I know. You can see the incredible resonance she has with the American people. But I joke that she’s too sensible to want to be in politics.”
As recently as March, Michelle Obama denied any inclination to follow in her husband’s footsteps.
“I will not run for president. No, nope, not going to do it,” the First Lady told a crowd at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, according to CNN.
Explaining that she’s busy enough with two daughters, she added, “You don’t have to be president of the United States to do wonderful and marvelous things.”
There is no doubt that even despite this denial, some Democrats will stoke the Michelle Obama for President rumors up until it is no longer possible for her to run.
So where does this leave the Democrats for 2020?
The party has suffered massive down ballot losses during the Obama Presidency, as the American people took out their anger toward his failed, far-left agenda on his party’s candidates.
Democrats are a minority party in the country confined to two coasts.
Their cast of candidates will be the governors and Senators who survived the Obama disaster, but have no experience or stature on the national stage.
Will a candidate who could credibly challenge President-elect Donald Trump emerge?
The post-election period for the Democrats has seen them try and promote a far-left Muslim to National Party Chair and re-elect Nancy Pelosi as House Leader.
Reinforcing their status as the party of left-wing identity politics would keep Democrats on the same failed path of the previous election cycle.