Doug Schoen, a political consultant on Bill Clinton’s 1996 and Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaigns, gained notice in conservative circles when he co-penned the 2010 WaPo op-ed, “One and Done: To be a great president, Obama should not seek reelection in 2012.” An outspoken and vehement critic of Obama, Schoen is now positing former First Lady Michelle Obama as the 2020 cure for all that ails Democrats.
Schoen remains a Democrat and stalwartly #NeverObama, but he says that he recommends Michelle as the last best hope for Democrats in 2020 in his role as an “analyst.”
Writing at the Hill, Schoen argues :
It cannot be overstated how eagerly the Democrats want to take back the White House in 2020.
The Democrats face many obstacles in this effort, but the greatest threat is the fierce internal divisions within the party.
Two of the leading prospective presidential candidates, Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), have begun national fundraising operations. Former Vice President Joe Biden has been busy building a national email list to communicate directly with his supporters, and Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) has already announced his presidential candidacy.
The Democratic Party does not just need a new leader, but a new policy agenda that is aimed at growing our economy, promoting traditional party values and doing more than resisting President Trump at every step.
. . . . This alternative plan requires a new, united opposition, led by a political leader with widespread popularity.The only person I can see accomplishing this would be none other than the party’s most popular political figure: Michelle Obama.
Michelle, Schoen argues, is popular with the American people and as such is a great option to unite the divided and flailing Democratic Party.
Let me be clear: This is not an endorsement. I have been, and still am, critical of Barack Obama’s presidency. Michelle Obama would not be my candidate, and I do not agree with many of the positions I believe she would advance. But as an analyst, Michelle Obama is clearly the Democrats’ best chance to reunite the party and win back the White House in 2020.
Michelle Obama is perceived as a strong, well-qualified leader with immense national popularity. Broadly, the polls show she is respected by the American people and by the near-entirety of the Democratic Party.
Although Michelle Obama has stated that she is not interested in a presidential bid, her appeal and support for her husband remain robust.
According to the January 2017 USA Today/Gallup poll, Michelle Obama left the White House with a 68 percent favorability rating, compared with 58 percent for President Obama and 61 percent for Vice President Biden.
. . . . Just last month, Public Policy Polling found there to be “significant yearning for a return to the days of President Obama,” with 52 percent of voters saying they wish Barack Obama was still president, and only 39 percent preferring president Trump.
In fact, in a series of hypothetical match-ups between leading Democrats and President Trump, Barack Obama’s 52 percent represents the highest level of support, outnumbering Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren in particular.
This data makes it clear that President Obama, or at the very least a candidate intimately associated with his tenure, would have a better chance at defeating President Trump than any of the 2020 hopefuls.
Michelle’s favorability rating, however, is based on her role as First Lady, not as a potential president.
Schoen concludes with the strong assertion that “Michelle Obama stands a cut above the rest as the only prospective candidate who can bring the party together, rebuild the Obama coalition, win back the Midwest and, thus, win the presidency.”
Should she seriously consider a 2020 run for the White House, the GOP ads practically write themselves. From her “hashtag diplomacy” to images of her sneering and snootily looking down her nose at anyone and everyone to her horrendously unpopular school lunch crusade, Michelle won’t wear well with the American public.
After all, who can forget:
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