There have been persistent rumors and speculation among some that former first lady Michelle Obama will be substituted in at the last moment by the Democratic Party to replace President Joe Biden as the 2024 presidential nominee.
Former President Donald Trump, however, is not among those entertaining that theory and recently said he can't foresee anything like that involving Obama actually happening, according to The Hill.
Yet, Trump does buy into the possibility that Biden will ultimately not be his party's nominee, nor that Vice President Kamala Harris will have the nomination "handed" to her without a fight first against other plausible candidates to replace Biden.
The former president recently sat down for an interview with The National Pulse at his Mar-a-Lago resort in South Florida and, toward the end, was asked if he believed that President Biden would be the Democratic nominee in 2024.
"I don't know, I don't imagine he gets through the starting gate, but maybe," Trump replied and proceeded to denigrate his successor as the "most incompetent" and "most corrupt" president in U.S. history.
Asked if not him, then who, Trump said, "I don't know. There'll be a fight. I don't think Kamala gets it handed" to her, but rather that "all of the sudden everybody would start jumping in -- she'd have to earn it. It'd be very hard to earn."
As for Michelle Obama, the former president stated and repeated, "I don't see that, no." However, when the name of California Gov. Gavin Newsom was mentioned as a possible Biden replacement for the nomination, Trump acknowledged, "Yeah, probably, I think so."
The Hill noted that Trump's downplaying of the Michelle Obama replacement theory differs from other prominent Republicans who do lend credence to the notion that President Biden will be supplanted by the former first lady, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
The New York Post reported last month that Cruz, on his podcast, hypothesized, "So here’s the scenario that I think is perhaps the most likely and most dangerous. In August of 2024, the Democrat kingmakers jettison Joe Biden and parachute in Michelle Obama. I view this as a very serious danger."
He noted that the Democratic National Convention will be held in Obama's hometown of Chicago and surmised that the party could use its superdelegates, who are unpledged and able to vote for whoever they want as the nominee, would play a role in installing the former first lady as Biden's replacement.
Sen. Cruz also speculated that the "powers that be in the Democratic Party" could intervene even sooner to oust Biden and clear space for "a free-for-all" battle among up to 10 potential candidates, including several who unsuccessfully ran against Biden in 2020.
That includes most prominently VP Harris, Gov. Newsom, Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Still, Cruz said, "Michelle Obama, because she was first lady, has the ability to kind of parachute in above all four and say, 'Hey we’re not picking among any of you. You guys can all fight it out next time.'"
"I think in terms of a solution that unifies Democrats. There ain’t nothing like that," the senator added, though he also admitted of Obama, who has repeatedly rejected suggestions she should run for office, "I also think Michelle is not all that eager to run for president."