The Latest on Michelle Obama’s 2024 Decision
Michelle Obama told British media that she still isn’t over former President Donald Trump’s 2016 successful White House bid, while addressing longstanding rumors that she might be mulling a future presidential run of her own.
In an interview with the BBC that was published on Nov. 15, the same day on which Trump said he would be making a “very big announcement” that pundits expect will amount to a formal declaration he’s running for president in 2024, the former first lady said that Trump’s shock defeat of Democrat presidential contender Hillary Clinton six years ago “still hurts.”
She said Trump’s victory in 2016 made her question whether she and her husband, former President Barack Obama, managed to accomplish anything during his eight years in office.
“Did we make a dent? Did it matter?” she said. “And when I’m in my darkest moment, my most irrational place, I could say, well, maybe not. Maybe we weren’t good enough.”
Michelle Obama then questioned the degree to which her husband’s agenda was implemented while the pair were at the White House.
“Did everything get fixed in the eight years that we were there? Absolutely not. That’s not how change happens. But we laid a marker in the sand. We pushed the wheel forward a bit,” she said.
‘Historic’ but ‘Mixed’
Days before the 2008 election that saw Obama become commander-in-chief, he described his mission as “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”
Obama would later walk back this comment in a 2014 interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, in which he characterized his policies as being about “doing everything we can to expand the middle class” and to make sure that “in America, if you work hard, you can get ahead.”
Historian Victor Davis Hanson, however, argued in an op-ed in the National Review around that time that “there certainly is no question that Barack Obama wants to change the United States,” pointing to such shifts as greater dependency on government handouts, but not just as a way of reducing poverty but as a political tool.
Obama’s legacy as president, according to 10 historians interviewed by TIME, was “historic” in its symbolism as he was the first African-American president, but “mixed” overall.
Critics, like Dinesh D’Souza, author of number one New York Times bestseller “Obama’s America: Unmaking the American Dream,” have described the former president’s agenda as “national suicide.”
D’Souza argued that Obama pushed an agenda that mixed socialist economics with anti-imperialist foreign policy, seeking to redistribute wealth domestically as well as globally—away from the United States to other countries—as part of a globalist agenda to downsize America and cap its influence and reach.
Michelle Obama’s interview with the BBC came a day before the Nov. 15 launch of her new book titled “The Light We Carry,” in which she “shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today’s highly uncertain world,” according to a description on Amazon.
Asked by the BBC what question she most disliked being asked, she replied, “Are you going to run for president?”
“I detest it,” she added, insisting that she’s “not going to run.”
‘Take Back Our Magnificent White House’
The former first lady has on previous occasions said she wouldn’t run for president, including during a 2019 interview that came after Democratic activist and filmmaker Michael Moore said he wanted her to run in 2020.
“There’s zero chance,” she told a reporter with The National at the time, adding that there were “so many ways to improve this country and build a better world,” but that “sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office will never be one of them.”
“It’s just not for me,” she said.
Trump, meanwhile, has repeatedly teased a presidential run in 2024. Speaking at a rally in Ohio last week, Trump told supporters that he would be making a “very big announcement” on Nov. 15, a date that happens to coincide with the release of Michelle Obama’s book.
“This is the year we’re going to take back the House, we’re going to take back the Senate, and we’re going to take back America,” Trump said a week ago. “And in 2024, most importantly, we are going to take back our magnificent White House.”
While Trump’s prediction for the Senate has been a miss as Democrats are projected to hold their razor-thin majority, the Republicans are just one seat away from retaking the House.