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Michelle Obama breaks her silence on running for president in 2024

The former First Lady conveyed her unwavering support


In this screengrab, Michelle Obama presents the Social Justice Impact Award during the 52nd NAACP Image Awards on March 27, 2021.
Faye James
Senior Editor
6 March 2024
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Michelle Obama, the former First Lady known for her charismatic presence and influential role in Democratic politics, has once again clarified her stance on the 2024 presidential race, decisively stepping away from any speculation of her candidacy. 

Through her communications director, Crystal Carson, Michelle conveyed her unwavering support for the re-election of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, firmly anchoring her position outside the electoral arena.

"Michelle has articulated repeatedly over the years that she does not envision herself running for president," Crystal Carson relayed to NBC News. 

“She is wholeheartedly behind President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in their campaign for re-election." 

Michelle Obama on family's disrupted plans

This clarification comes amidst a backdrop of persistent rumors and hopes among certain Democratic circles, reflected in a recent Rasmussen survey indicating a preference for Michelle as a potential candidate over Vice President Harris among Democrats.

Despite the palpable desire for her leadership, Michelle has consistently expressed her reluctance to enter the fray of electoral politics. 

U.S President Barack Obama hugs the first lady Michelle Obama (2nd L) as daughters Malia (C) and Sasha look on after taking the oath of office in the Blue Room of the White House January 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden were officially sworn in a day before the ceremonial inaugural swearing-in.© Getty Images
U.S President Barack Obama hugs the first lady Michelle Obama (2nd L) as daughters Malia (C) and Sasha look on after taking the oath of office in the Blue Room of the White House January 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden were officially sworn in a day before the ceremonial inaugural swearing-in.

Her reflections on the weight of leadership and its impact on society reveal her deep engagement with political discourse, albeit from a non-candidacy perspective. "I'm terrified about the outcome of this next election because our leaders matter profoundly," she shared with Jay Shetty on his podcast 'On Purpose.' "The voices that represent us can shape our lives in ways we might not always acknowledge."

Her decision not to run is rooted in a profound understanding of the demands of political life and a candid self-assessment of her personal inclinations. 

Barack Obama takes the stage, with his daughters Sasha and Malia and wife Michelle at his side to celebrate his presidential win, at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, on Tuesday, November 4, 2008. © Getty
Barack Obama takes the stage, with his daughters Sasha and Malia and wife Michelle at his side to celebrate his presidential win, at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, on Tuesday, November 4, 2008.

In conversations with Oprah and on Netflix, she highlighted the intrinsic passion required for a life in politics—a passion she feels does not resonate with her core. 

"Politics is arduous, and it demands a level of desire and soulful commitment that I do not possess for the role," Michelle explained, adding that the mere suggestion of her candidacy is a topic she 'detests,' as she articulated in a 2022 BBC interview.

The first lady Jill hugs former first lady Michelle Obama during a ceremony to unveil their official White House portraits© Kevin Dietsch
The first lady Jill hugs former first lady Michelle Obama during a ceremony to unveil their official White House portraits

The speculation around her potential to join the electoral battle, especially as a counter to concerns about President Biden's age and vitality, gained momentum with the release of a report by special counsel Robert Hur.

The report, which described Biden as 'elderly' and 'forgetful,' inadvertently fueled discussions about the need for fresh leadership. 

However, Michelle's prior expressions of disinterest in political office had already set the stage for her response to such speculations.

Barack Obama and his wife Michelle depart the stage after Obama addressed supporters in his election night victory rally at Grant Park on November 4, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois© Getty
Barack Obama and his wife Michelle depart the stage after Obama addressed supporters in his election night victory rally at Grant Park on November 4, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois

The narrative took a personal turn when Jill Biden, in a campaign trail conversation with CNN, humorously dismissed the possibility of Michelle becoming a vice-presidential candidate. 

"I'd love it if Michelle would agree to it, but I think she's done with politics," Jill said, reflecting a sentiment that resonated with Michelle's public declarations, yet reportedly left Michelle wishing for a response that wouldn't categorically shut the door on future possibilities.

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