Having learned nothing from the Hillary Clinton fiasco, some Democrats apparently want to double down and have Michelle Obama be Joe Biden’s running mate, just in case someone might miss the campaign’s clear ‘restoration’ theme.
Michelle Obama has repeatedly vowed never to run for office. She even put it in writing, in her best-selling 2018 memoir: “I have no intention of running for office, ever.”
That hasn’t stopped long-time Democrat activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton from praying Barack Obama’s wife might change her mind, as he told Politico. The paper even described many Democrats as “dreaming of a restoration of sorts.”
The irony is, of course, that running Biden is already a sop to the restoration crowd. His entire argument during this campaign has been that he was Obama’s right hand for eight years, and would bring those times back. That’s literally how he came back from what seemed like a hopeless position to win the South Carolina primary and have every other candidate eventually bend the knee, including archrival Bernie Sanders.
Technically, this puts him ahead of Clinton, who in 2016 wasn’t able to overcome Sanders until the actual party convention, in July. Yet the Democrats’ obsession with who Biden will pick as his running mate is a tacit admission the 77-year-old will at best be a figurehead president. Obama insinuated as much in his endorsement of Biden last week, which somehow still ended up being about himself.
Further evidence of this concern is the obsession within the party and its media allies with Biden’s pick of a running mate, the person who will literally be a heartbeat away from the presidency if they win. Much has been made of Biden’s pledge to pick a woman, for example, with everyone from failed presidential contenders Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris to failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and Michigan’s iron-fisted governor Gretchen Whitmer throwing their bonnets in the ring.
On Monday, Biden actually fanned the flames of hope among those rooting for Michelle Obama, saying in a TV interview that he would “take her in a heartbeat” (there’s that phrase again) if she were willing.
“She’s brilliant. She knows the way around. She is a really fine woman. The Obamas are great friends,” Biden said, but added, “I don’t think she has any desire to live near the White House again.”
Longtime Democrat strategist David Axelrod told Politico he would be “beyond shocked” if Michelle Obama decided to run, describing her as a “conscript to politics” who has “no patience for the artifice, nastiness and lust for power” that comes with the territory.
Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett said that Ms. Obama can do more for the Democrats’ cause from outside politics and that Biden has “an embarrassment of riches from which to choose.”
Yet CNN’s Chris Cillizza argues that “There is no single person in America Biden could pick as his VP that would increase his chances of victory more than Michelle Obama. Period.”
What is it with Democrats and dynasties, anyway? First it was the Kennedys, then the Clintons, and now the Obamas. The party that ostensibly believes in the inexorable march of progress and the impossibility of turning back the clock keeps trying to do just that.
In doing so, they offer Americans not a genuine choice, but rather a distorted echo of Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ message, the same one they keep angrily denouncing.
By Nebojsa Malic