Will FLOTUS succeed where Hillary failed?
Hillary Clinton‘s resounding loss has shot down to earth the dreams many of her supporters had of her becoming America’s first female president. Since she announced her candidacy, she has been touted as being the woman that will shatter the proverbial glass ceiling that prevents women from achieving their goals.
It was not to be. Mrs Clinton was soundly beaten at the polls by the improbable outsider Donald Trump. At 69, it is very unlikely that the former first lady, former senator and former Secretary of State would have another shot at making history.
Not since Jackie Kennedy has the world been enamoured with the spouse of an American president as it has been with Michelle Obama. The 52-year-old mother of two has captured the hearts of millions of people across the globe. She’s seen as the ultimate symbol of the modern woman, powerful and cool.
However, unlike Jackie Kennedy, her husband was not assassinated (obviously) and she has not been limited to just being a spouse: even she has shown an inclination for leadership roles.
A graduate of Harvard Law School just like Barack Obama, the two did not cross paths until she was chosen to mentor him when he was recruited as a summer associate at the law firm she already working. She has been reported to have been extremely focused on her career – perhaps that was why they didn’t start a family until six years after they had been married. As a matter of fact, by the time Barack was a Senator, her earnings as an Executive Director at the University of Chicago Hospital was almost double that of Barack’s.
As First Lady, she has spearheaded several initiatives to better American lives. She has founded exercise routines to fight obesity in American kids, she launched other initiatives to help young people attain higher education among other issues.
But her moment to truly shine did not arrive until she gave a speech on behalf of Hillary Clinton in July. That speech gave Clinton a huge boost in the polls and positioned Michelle to the level Barack was when he gave the speech that launched his own presidential campaign in 2006.
It was a defining moment in the campaign. It included a phrase that became a signature rallying cry for the Clinton camp to respond to Donald Trump’s unending barbs: when they go low, we go high.
After that speech, Michelle’s own popularity soared among Americans – higher than the candidate running for President (Hillary Clinton) and even that of her husband that has been president for eight years.
It got some people wondering, can Michelle Obama not run for office?
Anyhoo, @flotus for 2020! Go Michelle Go!
— Emma Kennedy (@EmmaKennedy) November 9, 2016
Please press fast forward to 2020 so Michelle Obama can fix things
— GOD ZION T. (@GDtotheTOP) November 9, 2016
So……we may have to start gearing up for Michelle Obama to run in 2020, can we get that campaign started now #Michelle2020
— IG: @TamiRoman (@TamiRoman) November 9, 2016
Michelle Obama wouldn’t even have to have a proper campaign in 2020. Walk on stage, say a couple words then bam she’d win
— Liv (@LivMawby) November 9, 2016
So should the world be looking forward to a Michelle Obama run in 2020? At least she is imminently qualified, she has a likable personality (unlike the defeated Clinton who people just do not like) and her younger daughter would be 18 and possibly a university student. Surely it would be an incredible achievement for her to become President four years after the expiration of her husband’s term?
Close, but not quite. On an interview she gave at the SXSW Festival in March this year, she declared that she was never going to run for elective position because of the spotlight her children have been in for the better part of their lives. ‘I’ve got two young people at home and being the daughters of a President – not so easy. They’ve handled it with grace and with poise but enough is enough.’
In another interview, her husband, Barack Obama echoed those same sentiments when he was asked the same thing, ‘She is as talented and brilliant a person as there is, and I could not be prouder of her, but Michelle does not have the patience or the inclination to actually be a candidate herself. That’s one y’all can take to the bank.’
As the Obama count down the days till they exit the White House, one thing Michelle knows for sure is that she will continue to serve the people she served as First Lady for eight years. She and her husband have stated that they would remain in Washington D.C. so that their younger daughter, Malia‘s schooling is not disrupted.
Michelle reaffirmed her commitment to the Let Girls Learn initiative, which helps underprivileged girls get an education. ‘I am so excited to continue working on this issue not just for the next seven months as First Lady, but for the rest of my life,’ she reportedly said. She has also vowed to continue to work on healthy eating initiatives and programmes to support the families of veterans.
That said, according an Al Jazeera profile, even if Michelle Obama does not run for public office, her fans believe she’s already a tour de force; a movement that only needs to say the word and be massively voted for.
Hopefully, America would survive the next four years under Donald Trump. If they require a superwoman to rescue them, Michelle Obama will be there to save them. Even Kanye cannot stop her if she chooses to run in 2020.
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