The “Veepstakes,” as it’s known, runs far and wide in the weeks after a nomination appears to be wrapped up and the presumptive nominee gets to work on the first big campaign test: Selecting a Vice President. The individual tapped to serve in the number two position can do a lot to broaden a candidate’s appeal, but there are some possible names that would broaden it much further than others.
There is one name however, that would float above the others. A name that Biden said he would “take in a heartbeat” if she would consider the option. When speaking with KDKA in Pittsburgh, Biden was asked about the possibility of former First Lady Michelle Obama joining his 2020 ticket:
Joe Biden says he would take Michelle Obama to be his running mate for the 2020 presidential election.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee told KDKA’s Jon Delano that the former first lady would be a strong addition as VP if he thought she would accept the nomination.
“I’d take her in a heartbeat,” Biden said on Monday. “She’s brilliant. She knows the way around. She is a really fine woman. The Obamas are great friends.”
“I don’t think she has any desire to live near the White House again,” Biden added.
Would Michelle Obama accept a nod as Vice President? Back in October of last year, we highlighted a poll that demonstrated how wide the former first lady’s appeal truly was as Democrats were still searching for a nominee to battle President Trump:
However, when adding Michelle Obama into the mix, the numbers go sideways and give the former first lady 26% of the vote, with Warren and Biden tied at 20%.
That’s not huge for Mrs. Obama, but it does speak to her popularity among Democratic primary voters. If she was up in the thirties or forties, it might be evidence of a very, very weak Democratic field. Perhaps it’s less about Michelle and more about having any Obama back in the White House for Democrats.
Back in August, filmmaker Michael Moore went on the record with his belief that none of the Democratic candidates in the current field have what it takes to beat President Trump. Moore’s solution? Draft Michelle Obama and let her destroy Trump.
As noted in the quote, liberal filmmaker Michael Moore has been a big fan of Michelle Obama for years, stating on several occasions that she would be the only candidate capable of competing against President Trump given her star power, general popularity, and political connections.
Perhaps the downfall for Biden in this potential scenario would be the continued reality of being outshined by his vice president. Michelle Obama is arguably “bigger” than Joe Biden in terms of her name recognition and global popularity. Biden would be playing second fiddle to yet another Obama even though his name would be at the top of the ticket.
The other more likely scenario is that Michelle Obama simply wouldn’t be interested in taking what amounts to a demotion to serve as the second in command under Biden’s administration. She has much more influence from the outside, free from the requirements and limits of working inside the government. She and her husband are working on entertainment deals and producing documentaries for Netflix, it’s hard to see her leaving that life to go back into public service and spend months on a grueling campaign trail and then serve four or more years in the White House.
Biden is smart to say he’d take her in a heartbeat, she’d be a boost for his campaign, but a boost perhaps in the wrong direction which would highlight his own weaknesses as a candidate. It is very likely that Michelle Obama will be on the campaign trail in 2020, stumping for Joe Biden, but will be doing so alongside President Obama, not as Biden’s potential Vice President.