As the 2020 election season approaches, there has been much discussion about who will be nominated by the Democratic Party to challenge President Donald Trump.
One name that keeps popping up is former first lady Michelle Obama. Even though she has repeatedly insisted that she’s not interested in the presidency, don’t write her off too quickly — multiple commentators and pundits are predicting the popular Democrat will decide otherwise.
Obama ousts Clinton as “Most Admired Woman”
Michelle Obama was recently declared the “Most Admired Woman of 2018” by a Gallup poll, vaulting past failed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton (who held the title for an astonishing 17 years) and top celebrity Oprah Winfrey.
Following that poll, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee predicted we’ll see Obama “toss her hat in the ring” sometime this year. “Now that Michelle Obama has been named ‘Most Admired Woman’ for 2018, it’s time for me to make a prediction for 2019: the former First Lady will toss her hat in the ring for 2020, and she will get her party’s nomination,” Huckabee wrote on his website, according to the Daily Mail.
“Her PR machine, which has quietly percolated ever since Hillary lost, went full-tilt in September with the November 13 release of her book, Becoming. (One might ask, ‘Becoming what?’ I say, ‘Becoming a presidential nominee.’),” Huckabee concluded.
In an op-ed for Townhall, attorney Cliff Nichols details why he thinks Obama could be “plotting to take the White House in 2020.” “In politics, a more accurate reading of a person’s intentions is better often obtained by looking at what they are doing, rather than what they may be saying while they are doing it,” writes Nichols.
And she’s doing a lot.
Staying in the public eye
Obama campaigned hard for Democrats in the midterm elections and spearheaded a star-studded voter registration drive. She is currently on a speaking tour to promote her memoir “Becoming” — a tour that is selling out 20,000-seat arenas in major cities. Those cities are coincidentally located in key states in terms of the Electoral College, Nichols notes.
The tour isn’t anything to sneeze at either. Often referred to by adoring fans as “our Forever First Lady,” Obama is drawing Trump rally-sized crowds to her book tour events despite the high ticket prices, which run anywhere from about $600 to nearly $1,500.
Michelle Obama has also done well in the polls, despite her stated disinterest. A November poll on Democratic candidates put her second, just behind Joe Biden. And an Axios poll in November found that she would win over Trump by 16 points.
Ideal progressive candidate
Back in 2016, Nichols predicted that Michelle Obama, who checks off all the right boxes, “educated, black, liberal female,” could have been tapped at the last moment by the Democratic Party if Clinton had been indicted for the felony crimes she committed as part of her private email server scandal.
Michelle Obama as a candidate could conceivably unite all those who want to see a female president elected (regardless of qualifications); everyone who simply wants to replace the current occupant (Donald Trump); as well as those who remain at risk of exposure for misdeeds during the Barack Obama administration.
Actions vs. words
To be sure, Michelle Obama has stated on numerous occasions that she has no desire to run for office — she even wrote in her book, “‘I’ve never been a fan of politics, and my experience over the last ten years has done little to change that.”
But could she, as Nichols suggests, be subtly positioning herself to play the part of the “reluctant hero” who will swoop in at the last moment to save the party and prevent the “bad orange man” from governing the country for another four years? We’ll just have to wait and see.