Valerie Jarrett, who served as a senior adviser in the Obama White House, said in an interview with The Hill this week that there is “no chance” Michelle Obama will decide to be Joe Biden’s running mate.
The Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee has signaled that he plans to name a woman as his pick for vice president and said in January he would like the former first lady to fill that position, according to the New York Post.
Jarrett said Tuesday she was sure Obama wouldn’t take the job, however.
“The reason why I’m being so unequivocal is that there just simply has never been a time when she’s expressed an interest in running for office,” Jarrett told The Hill. “She’s not demurring here. She’s not being hard to get. She doesn’t want the job.”
A magic bullet
Michelle Obama’s name has been mentioned as a magic bullet to improving Biden’s electability. With a bestselling memoir and a new children’s show on PBS that premiered this week, she may even be more popular now than since her husband left office in 2017.
The former first lady has also worked on get-out-the-vote efforts recently, but Jarrett said there is a “difference” between her ambitions and her husband’s.
“There is a difference between being a public servant and being a politician, and she has no interest in being a politician,” Jarrett told The Hill. “Her husband was interested in being both. She’s only interested in the service component.”
Speculation continues to be fueled, however, including by the former vice president himself. According to CBS Pittsburgh, Biden said Monday that while he doesn’t think Obama “has any desire to live near the White House again,” he would “take her in a heartbeat” as his running mate.
Other women on Biden’s shortlist, according to The Washington Post, include Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, also a Democrat.
These women don’t hold a candle to Michelle Obama’s popularity, but all of them seem more willing to take the job.
Except for Whitmer, all of them are former presidential candidates, so it is uncertain whether any would add much momentum or excitement to Biden’s campaign — but it badly needs both. An ABC/Washington Post poll conducted last month showed that only 24% of Biden’s supporters were “very” enthusiastic about his candidacy, while 53% of Trump’s supporters said the same about the Republican incumbent.
Looks like Uncle Joe has his work cut out for him.