As many of us watch Michelle Obama's new documentary, Becoming, on Netflix, it's interesting to think about the possibility of having Michelle back in the White House. Becoming, both the book and documentary, shows us that Michelle is capable of anything and everything. She's motivated, incredibly smart, kind, and a force to be reckoned with. While it would be a dream if she could run for President of the U.S., we know Joe Biden is already doing so.
But can Michelle Obama be Vice President?
The idea of having former First Lady as our VP seems a little House of Cards-y (minus the sabotage and murder), but it nonetheless makes us feel hopeful. Michelle seems primed for the job, and even Biden himself said that he'd "take her in a heartbeat," adding, "She's brilliant. She knows the way around. She is really a fine woman. The Obamas are great friends." The Democratic nominee has also stated before that he will choose a female VP.
There's also no rule saying Michelle Obama can't become a VP if she already served as First Lady. Barack Obama, on the other hand, would have a tougher time, since the 22nd amendment states that presidents can only serve two terms in the White House as President or Vice President (technically there's a loophole, because the U.S. Constitution says that the person can't be "elected" more than twice, and VPs aren't elected, they're chosen, but that's another story).
But does Michelle Obama want to become VP?
Unfortunately, Michelle has stated numerous times that she has no interest in pursuing a political career. In her book, she wrote, "I'll say it here directly: I have no intentions of running for office, ever." And in an interview with Conan O'Brien on his podcast, she explained that she feels like she sacrificed enough of her life and wants to be able to live the life of a normal person. She also commented that she'd rather lead and help people in a way that doesn't constantly shield her from them.
She said, "And so I don't know as much as I would want to, to be in a position of leadership, to kind of know what are you feeling? Because you can't experience life behind a tinted window in a car. So we sacrificed that, and that's not a complaint, but if I'm going to be a leader I've got to be in there. I've got to be able to be in there overhearing people's truths, and really being able to see their pain without it being filtered through the veil of me." And she really has a point. She can actually do much more outside of the White House.
Those close to her echoed her statement. "I think I have as much of a chance of dancing the Bolshoi Ballet in 2020 as the likelihood of her running for office," David Axelrod, former Obama chief strategist said to Politico in 2018. A friend and advisor named Valerie Jarrett told CNN, "Let me be very clear. It will never happen. She has committed her life to public service. And she's going to use her incredible platform to be a force for good, but not in politics."
And if that doesn't convince us, let Biden do so: This past April, even Biden stated, "I don't think [Michelle Obama] has any desire to live near the White House again." Michelle has made no mention of the Biden's sexual assault accusations, so that doesn't seem to be a factor (at least, publicly so) in her decision. Regardless, it seems like Michelle made this call a long time ago.
While we're bummed Michelle won't be our VP (or President) anytime soon, we're looking forward to who Biden does pick as VP should he win.