Is this the clearest indication yet that Michelle Obama is planning to play some sort of role in the 2024 election?
The former First Lady sat down with podcaster Jay Shetty for an hour-long conversation that dropped on Monday, in which she talked about why she is “terrified” about the outcome of the next election.
On Tuesday’s show, Megyn was joined by Victor Davis Hanson, author of the forthcoming book The End of Everything, to discuss why Obama is reentering the national conversation now and what it could mean for November.
Michelle Obama Resurfaces
During an appearance on Shetty’s On Purpose podcast, Obama was asked about what keeps her up at night. The answer has made a lot of headlines because she brought up the 2024 election:
“And you wonder… where are we in this? You know, where are our hearts? What’s going to happen in this next election? I am terrified about what could possibly happen. Because our leaders matter, who we select, who speaks for us, who holds that bully pulpit, it affects us in ways that sometimes I think people take for granted. You know, the fact that people think that government, ‘Ahhh, you know, does it really even do anything?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh my God. Does government do everything for us, and we cannot take this democracy for granted.’ And sometimes I worry that we do.”– Michelle Obama, January 2024
Megyn said two things about Obama’s comments stood out to her. “Number one, all the things she’s talking about to kick it off are about rhetoric. ‘Who speaks for us?’ ‘Who has the bully pulpit?'” she noted. “That’s all her husband did. That’s all he had. He was a talented orator, so no wonder she’s touting that as like the thing we need in a president.” In reality, “we’d really like policies that make sense,” Megyn said of voters.
But Obama offered another telling line. “The second point is ‘the government does everything.’ ‘They do it all, everything. ‘That’s what we need,’” Megyn shared. “It’s like, that’s going to be her platform.”
The timing of her remarks is noteworthy when you consider The Washington Post report that came out over the weekend suggesting former President Barack Obama advised President Joe Biden sure-up his reelection campaign staff and messaging because of the threat former President Donald Trump poses.
Since her husband left office in 2016, Obama has only really spoken publicly when she has had a project to promote – until now. “She has nothing to promote – she has no book, she has no event – so that means she called them and said, ‘I have something to say,'” Megyn noted. “And she very clearly had something to say.”
The question, in Megyn’s view, is why the former first lady chose to say it now. “[Is it] to help Joe Biden or to help herself, to lay the foundation for her emergence on the national scene in some political way,” she asked.
Hanson said that expects Obama to “titillate or tease or suggest that she might be a public intellectual and comment,” but he doesn’t expect her to throw her hat in the ring. “When it comes to actually getting on the campaign trail, she doesn’t have the skills that her husband did,” he added.
In the case of the 2024 election, Megyn said that Obama doesn’t necessarily have to have that same skill set. “I do think she’s a powerful Democratic weapon, but she wasn’t powerful enough to stop Trump in 2016,” she concluded. “If she comes out as a candidate though, it’s a whole new ballgame because there’s no question she’s more talented than Joe Biden is politically. No question.”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Hanson by tuning in to episode 698 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.