Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Michelle Obama’s office says the former first lady ‘will not be running for president’ in 2024

By 37ci3 Mar5,2024

WASHINGTON – Former President Barack Obama says he is “all in” for President Joe Biden’s re-election bid. But the question that worries many Democrats is what role his celebrity wife might play.

Democrats anxiously awaiting November say they want to see Michelle Obama play a bigger role in the campaign. Some are even whispering about the possibility that he could replace the politically jaded incumbent on the 2024 ticket this summer — making him a fantasy candidate for members of both parties, albeit for different reasons.

Republican candidate Donald Trump has supporters It is built on the concept of Obamaenters replacing Biden in an attempt to reduce the president’s political viability and shore up the GOP base.

In a statement to NBC News, the former first lady’s office sought to curb speculation on the left and right, clarifying that she does not include a 2024 run in her plans.

“As former first lady Michelle Obama has stated several times over the years, she will not be running for president,” said Crystal Carson, her office’s communications director. “Mrs. Obama supports the re-election campaign of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.”

Sources familiar with the discussions say he intends to help the Biden campaign this fall, as he did four years ago. But as in 2020, her engagement will be fairly limited compared to her husband’s, reflecting both her other commitments and her long-standing reluctance to re-enter the political fray full-time.

The expectation among many close to Biden is that given the former first lady’s star power, the Biden campaign will try to maximize her limited role in a campaign where more swing voters will focus on the race. A top Biden adviser said there were early talks with Obama’s team about the campaign, noting that one obvious area of ​​”alignment” with him is his nonpartisan voter registration group When We All Vote, which aims to encourage turnout and close the registration gap. . among young voters and people of color.

“President and Michelle Obama have been instrumental in the fight to defeat Donald Trump and elect President Biden and Vice President Harris for the first time, and we are grateful for their vote and support in the fight for the fate of our democracy this November.” Kevin Munoz, the spokesman of the Biden campaign, made a statement about this.

An Obama aide pointed to a discussion he had with Oprah Winfrey last year to reflect his thinking today — and why he will likely never appear on the ballot himself.

“Politics is hard,” he said in his Netflix special. “And the people who get into it… you have to want it. It must be in your soul, because it is very important. It’s not in my spirit.”

In an interview with the BBC in 2022, he also said he “hated” questions about his presidential bid.

But in at least one case, the former first lady appeared unwilling to completely dismiss the idea of ​​her holding public office.

Amid speculation about Biden’s potential running mate in the summer of 2020, CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota he suggested In an interview with Jill Biden: “Maybe former first lady Michelle Obama?”

Jill Biden laughed. “You know, I’d love it if Michelle agreed. But I – you know, I think he was involved in politics. I do not know. He is very good at everything he does. That would be great,” he said.

People close to Obama were not happy that Jill Biden had eliminated that option and wanted her to give a different answer if she were asked a similar question in the future, according to two people familiar with the matter. An ally of the former first lady called Anita Dunn, a top adviser to the Biden campaign, to share her opinion that this was not the right response, these people said.

The new talks offered by Obama’s office will confirm that she will be great at whatever she chooses, and that she’s a great first lady, and that he’s grateful for the work the Biden team did on When We Ham Vote. people familiar with the matter. They said the response was designed to make it sound like Obama would never hold public office, which aides to the former first lady suggested in an interview with CNN.

“It doesn’t close the door,” said a person familiar with the preparation of the new statement, “and that’s what prompted the call to Michelle’s office.”

As first and second ladies of the Obama administration, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden have forged a close partnership, including a joint Joining Forces initiative, to support military families. Sources close to both women say they have remained amicable.

Last month, they spent some time alone together on their way back to Washington from the funeral of former first lady Rosalyn Carter. Last week, Jill Biden also hosted a private screening of Rustin, produced by the Obamas’ Higher Ground producers, at the White House, although Obama did not attend.

Obama’s name continues to come up among Democrats, especially Democratic donors, who are worried about Joe Biden’s poor showing in the polls. “Michelle Obama” became a trending topic on X when special counsel Robert Hur released a scathing report questioning Biden’s vulnerability.

Republicans have been warning of an alternative for months and are happy to discuss the prospect of an Obama nomination.

Jason Miller, the chief adviser of Trump’s election campaign, said that he had discussions with the former president.

“Everybody sees what’s going on with Joe Biden, but only a few Democrats will say it out loud,” Miller said. “Behind the scenes, Democrats across the country are calling for Joe Biden to be replaced, and of course President Trump will be asked for his opinion.”

Former GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy raised the idea of ​​Obama running for president at least 20 times during the primary campaign, claiming that if he won the nomination, “they wouldn’t let Biden run.”

“It’s going to be a new puppet Gavin Newsom, Michelle Obama, you name it,” Ramaswamy said.

Last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a convention in his hometown of Chicago, an entire panel discussion was devoted to the possibility of “parachuting in” as the Democratic nominee.

The 2020 Democratic National Convention was one of the highlights of a campaign in which Obama played a target role for her husband’s former running mate in the closing stages of the race. He gave a closing speech on the first night of the convention, calling Biden a “deeply decent man” and a “terrific vice president” with the empathy to move the nation forward.

A month before the election, he released a longer address, which the campaign called his “closing argument,” in which he criticized Trump in very personal terms for engaging in “racism, fear and division” that threatened to “destroy this nation.” .”

“We can no longer claim that we do not know exactly who and what this president is defending. Search your hearts and your conscience and vote for Joe Biden like your life depends on it.”

But she never appeared on the campaign trail, as her husband did in a series of solo campaign appearances, as well as joint events with Biden in Michigan the weekend before Election Day.

At the time, his advisers noted his leading role in When We All Vote, now “preparing for our biggest election cycle in 2024.”

Still, nothing he’s done or said has stopped speculation or fantasizing about a 2024 bid.

After voting unchallenged in Michigan’s Democratic primary last week, Carol Reynoso was asked who she might write to if she could choose an alternative candidate.

“Michelle Obama would be phenomenal. But he’s too smart to do that,” he said.

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By 37ci3

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