The popular meme on the right is that Michelle Obama would join the race. There’s been zero sign of that and zero interest.
Also can you imagine Barack Obama returning to the White House as an accessory. Bill Clinton could do it. Barry wouldn’t.
But Obama Inc. did have a favorite candidate who never joined the race.
Barack Obama is nudging him to run. His inner circle is actively encouraging it. Obama world’s clear and away 2020 favorite is sitting right here, on the 38th floor of the John Hancock Building, in a nicely decorated office at Bain Capital.
Obama strategist David Axelrod has had several conversations with Patrick about running, and eagerly rattles off the early primary map logic: small-town campaign experience from his 2006 gubernatorial run that will jibe perfectly with Iowa, neighbor-state advantage in New Hampshire and the immediate bloc of votes he’d have as an African-American heading into South Carolina.
Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s close adviser and friend, says that a President Patrick is what “my heart desires.”
David Simas, Obama’s political director in the White House and now the CEO of his foundation, used to be Patrick’s deputy chief of staff and remains perhaps his biggest fan on the planet.
Obama himself—who is personally close to Patrick, and counts him among the very small group of people whom he thinks has actual political talent—has privately encouraged him to think about it, among others.
Obama veterans light up at the mention of Patrick’s name. In self-assurance, style and politics, they see the former Massachusetts governor as a perfect match, the natural continuation of Obama’s legacy.
Thus far Patrick had stayed out. That might be about to change. And that could change the election.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is considering making a late run for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to two people with knowledge of his deliberations, underscoring some Democrats’ deep uncertainty about the party’s current crop of contenders.
Patrick, a close friend and ally of former President Barack Obama, ruled out a presidential bid earlier this year but has since been talking with Democratic operatives and donors about launching a campaign. He has not made a final decision on whether to run, but he is expected to do so quickly, given fast-approaching deadlines to get on the ballot in key states.
What would an Obama endorsement be worth in this race? If Obama were to do it, Biden’s black firewall base disappears. The race then becomes a civil war between the Warren-Sanders wing and the Obama wing, and the white Left and black voters.
That ought to be interesting.
Patrick isn’t Obama. It’s easy to believe that if he just jumps into the race, without Obama, he’ll just disappear. And it’s unclear that Obama would gamble his influence by getting behind him out of the gate. But if he does, the primaries will get turned upside down.