Rumors are swirling once again about the possibility that former first lady Michelle Obama, who has seemingly retained celebrity star status beyond just the Democratic Party base, may be considered as a last-minute emergency replacement as the party's presidential nominee in 2024, PJ Media reported.
That rumor, which persists despite Obama's repeated and routine denials of any interest in the presidency, has resurfaced again in relation to the sudden and unexpected departure from the White House of Domestic Policy Adviser Susan Rice, who previously served as a top adviser to former President Barack Obama and has reportedly remained as a close friend to the former president and first lady.
PJ Media noted that Michelle Obama was featured last week on stage during a Bruce Springsteen concert in Barcelona, Spain, during which she joined Springsteen's wife, Patti Scialfa, and the wife of Hollywood's Stephen Spielberg, Kate Capshaw, to play the tambourine and sing along with a song.
Bruce Springsteen brought Michelle Obama on stage.
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) April 29, 2023
Just one day after that occurred, it was discussed on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures" program by host Maria Bartiromo and her guest, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), with regard to its possible political implications in relation to Rice's exit from Team Biden just one day prior to Biden announcing his 2024 re-election bid.
Bartiromo laid out the timing of President Biden's announcement and Rice's departure and asked if it was just a "coincidence" as she introduced Gingrich as her guest, who immediately said, "I actually thought the most amazing video of the week for Biden was when he could not remember that he had been in Ireland.
"He said -- he’s stumbling around, 'Oh, what, where was it that I was at?' I mean, he seems to be steadily getting more forgetful. And that’s a pretty weak base on which to run for president," he continued, which prompted Bartiromo to point out that it isn't Biden's advanced age that concerns critics but rather the decline of his "mental capacity" that has people worried.
The Fox News host then said, "Do you believe that Susan Rice leaves the White House the day before Biden makes this announcement is a coincidence? I mean, I feel that this is very significant. I don’t know if she’s going to be managing somebody else’s campaign, if she’s going to run to challenge Biden -- what do you think’s going on here? But clearly, Democrats are divided on Biden’s reelection bid."
"Well, I think at a minimum, it probably is a sign that she said, 'Don’t do it,' and he said, 'I’m doing it anyway.' And I think she just didn’t want to be part of a Biden reelection," Gingrich replied. He then noted that he was "very struck when Mark Halperin on his Wide World of News ran the video of Michelle Obama on stage with Bruce Springsteen. She’s playing a tambourine. She recently had 9,000 people at an event with Oprah in Los Angeles."
"I think Republicans had better pay significant attention to Michelle Obama. I hadn’t believed that until I saw her on stage with Bruce Springsteen; now that -- you know, this is not a person who’s hiding," the former speaker added. "So, it’s conceivable that Susan Rice and others have begun to say they’re not going to be part of some kamikaze reelection campaign with a guy who can’t remember what he did yesterday."
The REAL reason Susan Rice fled Biden Administration may SHOCK you— is Michelle Obama RUNNING?! pic.twitter.com/h6X65iKEBS
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) May 1, 2023
Fox News reported in March on the continued speculation that, in the event that neither President Biden nor Vice President Kamala Harris was picked by Democrats to be the party's 2024 nominee, for whatever reason, former first lady Obama could be considered a top contender in the mix of possible replacement candidates.
That was largely due to her apparent staying power as a "celebrity" and "superstar" who embodies the "It" factor that causes ordinary Americans to swoon over her, much more so than any of the other relatively young Democratic politicians, including a number of governors and senators, who make up the Democratic Party's bench behind Biden and Harris.
That said, Obama has on multiple occasions made it rather clear that she has no desire whatsoever to be a full-fledged politician and no interest in taking on the tough job of the presidency after vicariously enduring eight years of it while her husband Barack served in that role from 2009-2017.