Should Michelle Obama run for president in 2020? | The Tylt
Should Michelle Obama run for president in 2020?
Many in the Democratic party are clambering for Obama to run of the presidency in 2020. In addition to her consistently high approval rating, Obama brings with her a moral fortitude and aspirational tenor that so many are seeking from elected officials in the next election. Per The Hill:
As the country appears more splintered than ever, Obama’s aspirational tone gives the former first lady a high moral position within the party and American life. It is a similar tone Obama employed during her time as first lady, when she largely attempted to leave the political jabbing to her husband, focusing on children's health and nutrition issues as well as assisting military families. And it is one that will likely remain untarnished in the Obama post-presidency because of her adamance in not running for political office.
Even as she tries to remain above the political fray, Obama will likely become one of the most sought-after surrogates for Democrats trying to defeat Trump in 2020. The then-first lady was an active participant in 2016, though it wasn’t enough for Clinton.
Obama remains popular. A Zogby Analytics poll in May suggested she would start out with an advantage over Trump, with 48 percent approving of her her compared with 39 percent for the president. A yougov.com poll in April showed a 90 percent favorability rating among Democrats.
“When she speaks, she doesn’t come from a political background. She doesn’t come from a place of polling numbers,” said Michael Starr Hopkins, a Democratic strategist and veteran of former President Obama’s 2008 campaign. “There’s a very authentic message that comes from her and people trust her.”
In their analysis of potential presidential candidates, FiveThirtyEight listed "whether they released a book during this campaign cycle" as a strong indicator of whether someone is planning a presidential run. In that case, Obama's decision to release her book right after the end of the midterm election cycle seems to hint the former First Lady is considering running.
That said, though, FiveThirtyEight's Perry Bacon Jr. notes that he does not believe Obama is planning to run. But you never know!
Obama, however, finds herself lacking on the main qualification for running for president—she has no interest in holding the office. Despite her obvious talent for leadership, her charisma and her inspirational speeches, she says she is uninterested in politics as a whole. Per Glamour:
"The reason why I don’t want to run for president—and I can’t speak for Oprah—but my sense is that, first of all, you have to want the job,” Obama said at the 39th Annual Simmons Leadership Conference in Boston Thursday.
She went on to candidly explain that just because a woman (or anyone) is intelligent, charismatic, and eloquent doesn't mean she should be the next President. "And you just can’t say, ‘Well you’re a woman, run,'" she said. "We just can't find the women we like and ask them to do it, because there are millions of women who are inclined and do have the passion for politics."
Obama certainly doesn't feel that way, despite giving beautiful speeches and being an incredible role model. "I've never had the passion for politics," Obama said. "I just happened to be married to somebody who has the passion for politics, and he drug me kicking and screaming into this arena."
Obama has acknowledged many of her talents make her seem well-suited for the presidency, but she insists these skills do not make her the perfect candidate everyone wants her to be. Per the Hollywood Reporter:
[A]ccording to the Harvard Law School graduate, basing an individual's political wherewithal on their ability to move an audience is problematic. Winfrey, who has since insisted she has no plans to become president, was also looked at as a potential candidate after she delivered a powerful oration this past January, while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes.
"Just because I gave a good speech, I'm smart and intelligent doesn't mean I should be the next president," Obama said. "That's not how we should pick the president. That’s been our problem. We're very shortsighted about how we think about selecting the commander in chief."