I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Michelle Obama would definitely win if she ran. But you can make a strong case that she’s the best hand Democrats have to play, Joe Biden included.
And in fairness to Rogan, even he hedges a bit on whether MObama would be a lock or not.
Joe Rogan predicts Michelle Obama would beat Trump in 2024: “If she runs, she wins”. pic.twitter.com/mnxamn2h1g
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) December 27, 2021
He continued after the clip cut off: “The only thing that would stop her is if she bought into some of these policies that are destroying businesses in America that are making people scared. If she somehow or another supported or showed any support for lockdowns and mandates and all this craziness that’s going on.” There’s no chance of that, though. Wherever we are with COVID in 2024, we’ll be waaaaaay beyond lockdowns and mandates. It’s not even 2022 and Democrats are already learning that voters are sick of restrictions.
What do we think of Rogan’s scenario, though? Obama/Harris versus Trump/DeSantis? Is that likely to happen?
Nah. I can’t believe Kamala Harris would have so little self-respect that she’d agree to play second fiddle for an entirely different presidential nominee. The only reason the prospect of a Michelle Obama candidacy exists in the first place is because Democrats doubt Harris could win. It’s a vote of no confidence in the VP. The only dignified move for Harris to make if she’s passed over for the nomination would be to head off into retirement with Joe Biden.
Which would suit Dems fine. No matter what they might say publicly, they’d be antsy about having a ticket consisting of two black women pitted against two white men. Pairing MObama with a younger white VP — Pete Buttigieg would be an obvious possibility — would make them more comfortable. Although having Barack Obama’s wife and a man married to another man on the same ticket won’t help the party cut into the GOP’s Saddam-Hussein-sized margins in rural areas.
I’m not convinced Trump would opt for DeSantis as his own VP either. He probably would, since that would be his base’s preference and he doesn’t like to disappoint his base. But Trump also dislikes sharing the spotlight and DeSantis would present more of a threat in that regard than other possibilities would. Trump might also feel obliged to put a woman on the ticket if he’s faced with a female opponent (or two female opponents). He understands keenly that he suffered in the suburbs last November among women especially; he may or may not also understand yet that he needs to do something to soften his image among swing voters after the “stop the steal” travesty. He may blanch at the idea of putting Nikki Haley on the ticket, but Trump thinks always and everywhere in terms of his own self-interest. If he ends up convinced that he stands a better chance of winning with Haley or Kristi Noem as his number two, that’s what he’ll do.
Especially if Democrats nominate two women, like, say, Obama and Amy Klobuchar, as the alternative.
But this is all pie in the sky. Michelle Obama has never signaled that she’s interested in running for office. Whenever she or Barack have been asked about it, they’ve made clear that she’s downright contemptuous of the idea. If the party had any viable alternative, it’s a cinch that she’d say no. But … what if they don’t have a viable alternative? What if they come to her and say, quite plausibly, that she’s the only thing standing between America and a second Trump term? Is there anything that can be said to move her off of “no”? It speaks volumes about how quickly Biden and Harris have fallen that this question is being posed earnestly before the end of 2021.