Will Michelle Obama ever run for president?

Posted October 31, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama campaigned together Thursday, speaking at an event in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to sway independent swing state voters in favor of the Democratic nominee.

But as Time’s Sam Frizell reported, those in attendance may not have realized that it was Clinton who was running for president.

“It was Michelle Obama who had the last word at a rally on Thursday afternoon after being introduced by Hillary Clinton,” according to Time. “The First Lady took more time to speak than Clinton did, and it was the First Lady who received longer and more effusive praise from her partner on stage.”

Obama has become one of Clinton’s top campaign surrogates in recent weeks, given her high approval ratings. According to Gallup, Obama has a 64 percent favorability rating, higher than Bill Clinton and Melania Trump.

The current first lady has also received positive remarks for some of her speeches, including one she gave in New Hampshire and for her talk at the Democratic National Convention.

Obama’s popularity is so high that some actually want her to become president, according to TIME.

“The whole Obama family, the whole Obama package is just so appealing and engaging,” Ben Hitchcock, a sophomore at the University of Virginia, said to Time. “I saw Michelle stumping for Hillary the other day, and I was thinking, 'Let’s elect her.'”

Of course, this isn’t a new idea, as this past summer there was a lot of speculation that the current first lady would make a bid for the White House in the future, especially after her DNC speech, according to The Washington Post.

But Obama has long denied the theory, according to CNN. Her first time denying these claims came in April 2012, when she told an audience at the “Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day” event at the White House that the presidency is a really hard job, one that she’s already worked alongside her husband. She said she planned to move on to a new frontier after the Obamas leave the White House, CNN reported.

Obama has reiterated these words over the last four years. Her last attempt to quell rumors came in March 2016, when she said, "I will not run for president. No, nope, not going to do it,” CNN reported.

President Barack Obama has similarly denied the idea, according to The Hill. At a Town Hall event in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in January 2016, he told a crowd that his wife doesn’t plan to follow in his footsteps.

“Let me tell you, there are three things that are certain in life: death, taxes and Michelle is not running for president,” he added. “That I can tell you.”

So why doesn’t Michelle Obama want to run? After all, she has high popularity ratings, just like her husband, and it seems younger voters want her in the White House.

Well, Kate Andersen Brower, a former White House correspondent and author of "First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies," said the answer is really simple.

“She doesn’t want to,” she told Fortune. “She doesn’t like politics in general. She doesn’t like the games that are played in Washington.”

Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.


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