She’s the world’s most admired women, extremely personally popular here at home, and singularly well positioned to reassemble the Obama coalition for obvious reasons. A poll taken in February found her running one point behind Biden in the primary.
Could she take back the Rust Belt from Trump, though? Eh. Eh.
It may be true that no Democratic nominee would turn out voters from their own party like MObama would. But I’m guessing it’s also true that no Democratic nominee would turn out voters from the other party quite like she would either.
Plus, there’d be a momentous question attached to her candidacy: To what extent would she break from Barack’s policies? It’s unthinkable that she’d move left from ObamaCare, his signature achievement. If she promised four more years of Barack’s policies in every particular, how would progressives react to that?
Relatedly, one of the most arresting facts about the primaries is how few candidates want to attach themselves to Obama’s agenda even though he left office with a high approval rating and is easily the most popular politician in the party. Normally when you have an ex-president who fits that bill, the ensuing primary race is a battle to see which candidate can hug him the tightest. This time, the distinction of being the most Obama-esque candidate has essentially been ceded to Biden. You can’t fault the field entirely for that: Since Biden was O’s VP, it’d be difficult to supplant him as the most Obama-esque candidate in voters’ eyes. But even so, the speed with which they’ve run away from Obama’s policy legacy and towards more radical-left options on health care and immigration, just for starters, is bizarre considering O’s popularity with the voters they’re targeting. Joe Scarborough was ranting about it this morning on MSNBC:
“Just judging from what I’ve seen and what I’ve heard since that debate, a lot of the Democrats are pretty pissed off,” Scarborough noted, adding that his Democratic pals have relayed to him that “if you’re thinking you’re getting my vote by trashing Barack Obama’s legacy, you have another thing coming.”
After panel discussion deriding the recent trend of Democratic candidates calling out the repeating of “Republican talking points” for any critical or questioning comment, Scarborough finished “Give me a break! What’s wrong with you people? You’re going up against Donald Trump, and you’re talking about defending ObamaCare as Republican talking points? Who is advising you?”
Grandpa Joe himself echoed the point this afternoon. If these dummies want to hand him the title of “Obama’s heir” in an election contested almost entirely among former Obama voters, he’ll take it:
“I expected it,” Joe Biden says on attacks from 2020 rivals in last night’s debate.
“It kind of surprised me the degree of the criticism” of former President Barack Obama pic.twitter.com/17Ne7NBEDx
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 1, 2019
Nate Cohn, the NYT’s data guy, kept O out of it but echoed the basic point about the Democratic field drifting away from Obama-ism:
Whatever you think of it, it is really incredible that the Democratic debates have devoted so much oxygen to fairly unpopular policy questions like busing, ending private health insurance, giving health insurance to undocumented workers, and decriminalizing illegal immigration
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) July 31, 2019
What makes it even more bizarre, Cohn went on to say, is that Democrats *didn’t* run on a far-left agenda last fall, when they cleaned up in House races. Essentially they ran on defending Obama’s health-care legacy from Trump and Republicans, starting with preserving mandatory coverage by insurers of preexisting conditions. Now, nine months later, the top tier of the presidential race — except for Biden — has moved so far left in embracing Medicare for All that Trump might conceivably be able to run next fall on … protecting ObamaCare. Imagine.
Would Moore, a man very far to the left, accept a trade-off of further entrenching ObamaCare over the next four or eight years in return for a Michelle Obama presidency? Here he is last night on MSNBC.