Website Editor: Michelle Obama May Run for Senate in 2016

Image: Website Editor: Michelle Obama May Run for Senate in 2016

Friday, 06 Jun 2014 07:27 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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With more than two years remaining as first lady, there's speculation Michelle Obama may seek election as a U.S. senator, according to Keith Koffler, editor of the website White House Dossier.

"She’s raised her profile a lot, she’ll have pressure from Democrats to get in and pick up a GOP seat, and her own strong commitment to left wing values will help impel her to make the race to continue to 'make a difference'" he wrote in a June 5 post on the website.

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In a separate story he wrote for Reuters, Koffler notes that Mrs. Obama has been on the campaign trail for Democrats, creating "valuable chits she can call in should she run for office."

Republican Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk is up for re-election in 2016. If Michelle Obama enters the race and wins, she would have the unprecedented distinction of being both a senator and first lady for three weeks. Senators are sworn in at the start of the year and President Barack Obama doesn't leave office till Jan. 20, 2017.

Beating Kirk wouldn’t be easy, according to Koffler, who notes that Kirk is a popular politician who has been bravely recovering from a 2012 stroke. But Illinois is an historically blue state and "no Illinois Democratic candidate would bring the star power and nationwide fundraising capacity that Obama would," he wrote.

He cites a December 2012 Public Policy Polling report that showed a 51 percent to 40 percent lead in Obama’s favor.

"She would quickly become the most recognizable face in the Senate," according to Koffler. "Her fame and fundraising ability would command deference in a body that normally operates on seniority."

"She could represent the Democrats' best chance to pick up a desperately needed — and winnable — seat," Koffler wrote. "Democratic leaders' pressure on her to run might get intense."

Obama’s representatives did not respond to a request for comment on the matter, Koffler said.

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