December 25, 2016


USA TODAY poll: There's a clear Democratic front-runner for 2020 (Susan Page , 12/22/16, USA TODAY)

[T]he new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll has identified an overwhelming front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

It's someone entirely new.

Literally. Not an identifiable person. Just "someone entirely new." When that description was included on a list of possible contenders, 66% of Democrats and independents said they would be "excited" to see such a person jump in the race; just 9% thought he or she shouldn't run. That's an overwhelming yes-please-run score of 57 percentage points for, you know, whomever. [...

There is one Democrat who swamps the others in generating support. In response to a separate question, Democrats by 61%-32% said Michelle Obama should run for some sort of elective office in the future. The only problem: She's made it clear she won't. "It's not something I would do," she said flatly in an interview with Oprah Winfrey released Tuesday. Period.

Bad enough for the Democrats that the UR leaves the country in even better shape than GHWB did, which was so good that even Bill Clinton could survive himself.  Even worse, they have no one to run in 2020 other than Michelle, whose popularity would drop with every personal political position she defined.

MICHELLE OBAMA AND US : The tenure of a First Lady who leaves the White House as one of the most popular political figures in recent memory. (Amy Davidson, 12/24/16, The New Yorker)

Her success in the White House has had as much to do with her comfort with herself as with what might be her central precept: never believe that there is a room you have no right to walk into. It's a message that she has delivered in speeches at historically black colleges and in her mentorship of girls. It has also come across in her work, with Jill Biden, to support military families. As the stages got bigger, Obama's oratory became more dominant and yet, at the same time, more intimate. In one of her enduring speeches, given at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, she revisited her fears that the Presidency would change her husband. What she had realized, she said, was that power doesn't change who you are--"it reveals who you are."

In her case, it revealed, by way of "Carpool Karaoke," what it's like to drive around with a First Lady singing "Get Ur Freak On." Her cool seems effortless, though her control of it is precise. Her iconoclasm gains strength from its fusion with irreproachability. She has been cheerfully scrupulous about White House traditions and rituals, including such niceties as designing what will be known as the Obama China. The trim color is Kailua Blue, an homage to the waters off Honolulu, where her husband grew up. She brought out the new china for tea with Melania Trump, two days after the election. "Melania liked Mrs. O a lot!" President-elect Trump tweeted afterward. Indeed, Melania, in her Convention speech, had photocopied Michelle.

Posted by at December 25, 2016 10:59 AM