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In April, author and political commentator Michael Walsh predicted that Joe Biden would choose Michelle Obama as his running mate within a month or so: “[It] would be an unstoppable ticket, and potentially give the Obamas eight more years in the White House.” Walsh quotes Dick Harpootlian, South Carolina’s former Democratic Party Chair: “If she engages, God help Donald Trump, because she’s tough as nails and enormously popular.”
Mrs. Obama, Walsh wrote, “is the perfect vice presidential candidate, one who will … push progressive causes, and check all the social justice boxes” while sparking a massive African-American vote, a feat beyond Biden’s wildest dreams. But it’s mid-July, and Biden is still dithering. Or is he? In any case, the scenario Walsh lays out remains plausible:
* The party would enthusiastically unite around Mrs. Obama.
* MSM coverage would be universally adoring.
* Former president Barack Obama instantly becomes a valuable asset.
* With the Obamas breaking trail, Michelle and Biden handily defeat Trump and Pence on November 3.
* On January 20, Joe Biden is inaugurated.
* On January 21, the Bidens announce the that 78-year old president is resigning, as “he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
* Michelle becomes president.
* On January 22, President Obama names her choice for V.P.
In a July 4 blog post here at AT, Douglas Herz posted a partially concurring opinion. He suggests the search for a minority candidate is a sham designed to give Michelle time to make up her mind about running.
Perhaps. Or maybe the talk that Mrs. Obama is not interested in being V.P. or campaigning is a smokescreen to conceal the fact she has been on board with the notion for some time. If this is the case, why haven’t Biden and his handlers made the big announcement yet? Like Herz, I suspect that Biden’s search for a woman of color to share the ticket has been a charade from the get-go. Like Walsh and Herz, I think it was always going to be Michelle. None of the other possibilities matches her iconic status. Suppose the vetting of Harris, Demings, et al. is a dodge, meant to appear that Michelle wasn’t interested, and the rest of the wannabes are seriously being considered and so far found wanting. There would be no blowback if the others believed they really had a chance.
The extended dog and pony show allows Biden to hold back his announcement that Michelle is the one until the timing is right for the greatest effect. I’ve seen little speculation recently in the liberal media about Michelle joining Biden. For me, that’s a tell. When/if she’s finally unveiled, it will be a political supernova, with the news dominating the media until election day, and Oprah waxing rhapsodic, and Ellen DeGeneres shedding tears of joy, and all Hollywood erupting in approbation.
At a time when “white guilt” is the sin that must now speak its name, Michelle Obama is uniquely situated to assuage that guilt and endear herself to a vast swath of the white electorate who want to believe they are not fully responsible for the “systemic racism” they’ve been told is embedded in their personalities and in American culture.
Michelle smoothed her rough edges in the White House, and she has maintained a low profile since leaving. Independents uncomfortable with Slow Joe at the top of the ticket might be reassured by her steady presence and the implicit, pivotal role her experienced husband would play in the new administration. The likely spin: she’d rather remain a private citizen but accepts Biden’s offer as a way to give back to her country. How noble.
Some other consequences/advantages of a Michelle V.P. candidacy:
* Attention will swing away from Dementia Joe and focus on her. Biden can stay in his basement until Election Day.
* The black vote is hers, period, as well as a healthy chunk of independents and Latinos.
* Anticipating a win, rich backers will now go all in with Michelle on the ticket.
* Everyone knows that Michelle doesn’t like campaigning, so she will get little criticism for doing so little in the brief period between the big unveil in August and November 3.
* Debate Pence? Won’t happen. See, he’s a professional politician, and she isn’t. The left will accept this excuse, as will many independents. Biden will stand in solidarity with her by refusing to debate the charlatan Trump.
This is all assuming that Biden makes it to November 3 and the Dems don’t pull a Torricelli and replace Biden before the election because the polls are not telling them what they want to hear.
Could be Walsh, Herz, and I are dead wrong. But what if we’re not? Are Trump’s people preparing for this possibility?