A top Republican strategist slapped down fear that former first lady Michelle Obama could usurp the Democratic presidential nod from President Biden at the last minute.
“No — look, she hates politics. Read her autobiography,” Rove countered to Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.”
“She didn’t want her husband to run for the state Senate. She didn’t want him to run for the presidency. She’s not a political animal.”
Speculation has swirled, even among some prominent Republicans, that Democrats are looking for someone to replace Biden, 81, amid consternation about his age — as well as his steady stream of verbal flubs and flagrant mishaps.
Back in the 2020 presidential election cycle, some conservative detractors similarly floated a theory that Michelle Obama could swoop in at the Democratic National Convention and join the presidential ticket.
Rove, who served as former George W. Bush’s deputy chief of staff, argued that a hypothetical Michelle Obama candidacy would get overshadowed by concerns about her being a proxy for her husband.
“People would say that’s Barack trying to get a third term as president, and they wouldn’t go for it,” Rove contended.
“This is a weird obsession of the conspiratorial right — and it’s just lunacy, pure lunacy.”
Since her husband departed the White House in early 2017, Michelle Obama has remained a deeply popular figure in politics, particularly on the left.
Rove further hearkened back to the theories floating around in 2020.
“They thought somehow or another, Biden was going to be pushed aside by Obama, Andrew Cuomo was going to be the Democratic candidate, and his running mate was going to be Michelle Obama,” Rove recounted.
“She loves the life she’s got.”
While Rove isn’t too concerned about her staging a last-minute entrance into the 2024 arena, he’s also not entirely convinced that the election is a sealed deal for Biden.
“Something inside me says somebody is going to wake up on that side, Jill Biden or maybe his sister, Valerie Biden-Owens, and say, ‘You know, Joe, this is not the way for you to go down in the history books step aside and let somebody else be chosen at the convention,’” Rove surmised.
Biden has long held a toehold on the Democratic nod and easily crushed his longshot rivals in South Carolina, Nevada and the unsanctioned New Hampshire contests.
On Wednesday, spiritual author Marianne Williamson dropped her bid.
Contested conventions are exceedingly rare in the modern era. The Democratic National Convention is set to take place from Aug. 19 to 22.
“Joe Biden thinks he is the only person who can beat Donald Trump in the Democratic Party. He may be the only person who can lose to Donald Trump in the Democratic Party,” Rove added.
“I just think the Democrats are not going to allow this to continue.”