Laura Ainsworth, Staff Writer
Every now and then, when new developments pointed to Michelle Obama being on the ticket for 2020, I’ve written to sound the alarm once more. The last time was March 6, which seems like a thousand years ago. At that time, I said that she would be installed, “either as a last-minute substitute for him [Biden] or as #2 on the ticket, as he quietly fades away.” Since then, we’ve entered a whole new era, with a pandemic that has devoured all our attention, caused us to do the unthinkable and shut down the entire economy, and also completely changed the process of running for President (and all elective offices) this time around.
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At least a couple of years ago, I was sure Michelle Obama would somehow end up on the Democrat ticket --- for President. It was in February of 2019 that I felt it was necessary to start putting out the warning that she would be the nominee, that this was a foregone conclusion no matter what kind of make-believe show the Democrats put on. I won’t go back over the myriad reasons this seemed inevitable, but I will tell you why it seems like even more of a given today.
First with the obvious: In the past few months, even though the 77-year-old Biden stumbled his way to the top spot on the ticket, his mental decline has been even more marked. True, the coronavirus has made it easier for the Democrat Party to keep this confused, rambling, apparently senile man under wraps, as there will be no personal appearances, no town halls, apparently not even a convention. I doubt most Democrats seriously think that if he wins, decisions of any consequence will actually be made by him. But they’ll vote for him anyway, because 1) they hate Trump with the fire of a thousand suns, and 2) he’ll be bringing back the Democrat power structure, which is this time even farther to the left.
The real attention now is going to be on the choice for VP, who one way or another will have the real power if they win.
In January, an Iowa man asked Biden if he might consider former President Obama for the Supreme Court. “Yeah, I would, but I don’t think he’d do it,” Biden answered. “He’d be a great Supreme Court justice.” The man then asked, “The question is, which Obama?” The room predictably exploded with applause and various other warm expressions of approval.
"Well, I sure would like Michelle to be the Vice President,” Biden said with a laugh. “They’re both incredibly qualified people, I mean, and they’re such decent, honorable people.”
The buzz started immediately, with the INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES writing that “Michelle Obama recently sparked rumors that she could become the next Vice President of the United States.”
Just a week ago, a report in the WASHINGTON EXAMINER said, “Former first lady Michelle Obama is back in play big-time as a favorite to be Joe Biden’s running mate.” It went on to say that according to OddsChecker.com, gambling markets have seen a surge for Obama.
"Michelle Obama has been the most backed person in the market, accounting for almost 32 percent of all bets,” the firm reports. (On the other hand, I don’t know how much weight should be given to that, as another name “surging” a bit recently has been the extremely frightening and power-mad Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.)
On March 8, John Fund at NATIONAL REVIEW broke down the reasons she might or might not do it. “Stranger things have happened in politics,” he said, “and in the age of Trump, they often do.” He pointed out some of the inducements: She wouldn’t have to endure the marathon campaign for President (and since he wrote that, it’s become clear there won’t be much campaigning at all). She reportedly doesn’t like mingling, but there will be no hand-shaking now; she could just “appear” at events before the adoring crowds. (I would add it looks now as if there will be no events and no crowds.) She wouldn’t have to do fundraising. Malia and Sasha are college-age now, and the media would continue to treat them with deference.
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There’s also the inducement of Biden appointing Barack Obama to the U.S. Supreme Court. Yes, we have precedent for this: William Howard Taft in the 1920s.
Cut to yesterday (Tuesday), when CNN.com reported that in an interview with Pittsburgh’s Jon Delano, Biden said of Michelle, “I’d take her in a heartbeat. She’s brilliant. She knows the way around. She is a really fine woman. The Obamas are great friends.”
The article goes on to say there’s no one who could help Biden’s ticket more than Michelle O. “Period.” But it expresses major doubt as to whether she would agree, citing what she has said previously about running for office, which I will say means exactly nothing. As the article muses, “...it’s impossible to totally rule out the possibility of Michelle Obama agreeing to be the Vice Presidential nominee. Why? Because if Biden asked her and told her that if she said ‘yes’ they would have a greatly increased chance of ending Trump’s time as President, it is theoretically possible that she might be swayed by that argument.”
CNN also cites her criticism of Trump in a 2019 interview with Gayle King: “...what saddens me is what it’s doing to the country as a whole. What we have to be really conscientious of is what kind of country we’ve leaving for our children and grandchildren.” That, of course, would be the media-reinforced theme of her candidacy: bringing the nation together after this time of great conflict (which, of course, is all because of Trump, not the irrational hatred the left has for him).
Here’s another story from yesterday, at Yahoo News, in which we learn from Obama “family adviser” Valerie Jarrett that Michelle “really kind of transcends politics. “Obviously, she supports Vice President Biden bur doesn’t see herself as a political figure.” That’s what Jarrett told POLITICO, but don’t be fooled. It is not a denial.
The POLITICO article is what sparked me to write on this topic again.
About the only other real possibility was New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but my Magic 8 Ball says IT IS NOT TO BE. Cuomo did a radio interview with Sean Hannity a few days ago in which Sean really put him on the spot about running. The way that conversation went, I actually believed Cuomo (yes, seriously) when he said he is absolutely not leaving New York. Besides, Biden has committed to picking a woman, preferably a black woman, and I’ll bet Cuomo already knows Michelle is it. While we’ve been talking about infection rates and “flattening the curve,” they’ve been moving the chess pieces around.
Democrats know that putting Michelle on the ticket and winning with that is the one way to keep the Obama legacy from being entirely dismantled during a second Trump term. She could end up sliding neatly into the Oval Office without even having to campaign. If anything poses more long-term danger to America than the damn coronavirus does, this just might be it.