In 2016, Hillary Clinton tried to become the first former First Lady – and in fact, first woman overall – to be elected President of the United States.
Clinton, herself a former U.S. Senator, lost that Presidential race to Donald Trump, but could another former First Lady mount her own historic campaign in 2024 and win?
Over the course of the past two Presidential elections, essentially ever since her husband was finishing up his own eight years in the Oval Office, Michelle Obama has been on the shortlist of dream candidates for the Democratic party.
Her own repeated assertions that she is not interested in running have done next to nothing to stem the hopes of some that she could still change her mind.
Now, Obama’s name is once again being bandied about amid uncertainty over the 2024 ticket, even though a Democrat currently sits in the White House on his first term.
President Joe Biden is already the oldest person to hold the highest office in the land, and he isn’t getting any younger. Biden would be 82 on Inauguration Day should he win a second term and be sworn in in January 2025.
Biden also remains a question-mark for the 2024 race after having pushed back his timetable to announce his intention to run for re-election to sometime this spring, foregoing a previous self-imposed February deadline.
Biden’s perceived hesitation is a point of anxiety for some in the party, with former President Donald Trump having already opened his third Presidential campaign last November. Even after his defeat in 2020, Trump remains a frontrunner for the Republican nod along with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
A new report in Politico lays out some of the concerns of Democrat higher-ups.
The report says Biden’s low approval ratings coupled with speech missteps are partly the cause of those concerns, with his advanced age being another.
Politico noted that one senator even questioned Biden’s stamina for a full campaign, something he didn’t have to bother with in 2020 with much of the country still locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also stated that the party’s top brass appears to be backing Biden because they see no other viable option in another potential battle with Trump.
“High-level Democrats are rallying to President Biden’s reelection, not because they think it’s in the best interest of the country to have an 82-year-old start a second term but because they fear the potential alternative: the nomination of Kamala Harris and election of Donald Trump,” the report said.
The behind-the-scenes turmoil and the lack of a clear non-Biden frontrunner are helping to keep Michelle Obama’s name on the mouths of top Democrats like former White House and Pentagon official Douglas MacKinnon.
MacKinnon suggested that if Biden chooses not to run, the Democrats could look to rally behind a “past superstar” to create excitement behind a candidate
Obama is significantly younger than a cadre of other possible suggestions, a big plus at a time when multiple polls are showing Americans want younger representation in the White House than either Biden or Trump.
Former Presidential nominee John Kerry is 79. Former Vice President Al Gore is 74. Hillary Clinton is 75. Grass roots progressive stars like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (73) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (81) are also over 70.
Michelle Obama is 59.
MacKinnon also suggested Obama has the “it” factor, and with having authored multiple books since leaving Washington at her husband’s side, she has remained in the public eye.
With all these factors a part of what’s shaping up to be a monumentally pivotal Presidential race in 2024, could this election cycle be the one where Michelle Obama herself pivots from “No, I won’t” to “Yes, we can”?