In 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first former First Lady to run for president. Now, one political observer is suggesting that Michelle Obama could become the second.
Allan Lichtman is a history professor at American University who successfully predicted President Donald Trump’s upset victory in 2016, and he recently spoke to The Daily Caller about Obama’s chances.
According to Lichtman, Obama stacks up well against the other contenders. “She comes out extraordinarily well with the Democratic rank and file,” he began. “She has the charismatic potential.”
“She has the pizzazz the candidates don’t have. Bernie Sanders has pizzazz, but he’s like Trump. He appeals only to a narrow slice of the electorate. He’s not a Franklin Delano Roosevelt or a Ronald Reagan.”
Further, while it’s true that making a late entry into the primaries can be more difficult, Lichtman believes that it wouldn’t necessarily be a bar to success.
“There are rules that would prevent her from being nominated at the convention, but rules can be changed,” he conceded. “I think it’s a long shot, but I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility.”
Michelle Obama has repeatedly denied any intention of running for president, but the possibility would likely be welcomed by Lichtman, a decided anti-Trumper who argued that Trump’s presidency is “an existential threat to humanity” in his 2017 book, “The Case for Impeachment.”
Possible paradigm shift
At this point, Lichtman says that November is still “too close to call,” and that if Trump pulls out a second victory, then it could force Democrats to reconsider the type of candidates that they have been willing to nominate.
“Democrats for decades thought they had solved the electability problem. Nominate a safe, experienced, proven, centrist candidate,” the history professor said.
“Michael Dukakis in 1988, Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004, Clinton in 2016. Of course, what all those candidates had in common is they all lost. So traditional ideas of electability are not only meaningless, they’re misleading,” Lichtman said.
“I think you’ve seen the last of the old generation of Democrats. The Bidens, the Sanders, the Warrens, people 70 years and older will not be in contention in 2024,” he continued.
“You’re going to see a new generation of Democrats coming up,” Lichtman predicted. “Maybe Adam Schiff, I could see Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Julian Castro. The next generation that didn’t make it this time, I could see rising in 2024.”