Michelle Obama

Andrea Austria / Media Matters

Research/Study Research/Study

Right-wing media baselessly suggest that Michelle Obama will be a “last-minute Trojan horse” in the 2024 presidential election

OutKick’s Clay Travis: “I still feel like we'll get a bait-and-switch, I still feel like it may well be Michelle Obama who is the choice.”

Right-wing media keep pushing a false conspiracy theory that former first lady Michelle Obama is preparing a last-minute presidential campaign for 2024 in place of President Joe Biden, despite no indication she is planning a campaign and her many previous denials of interest in running for political office.

  • Right-wing media are spreading false claims of a Michelle Obama 2024 campaign

    • For years, right-wing media figures pushed claims that former first lady Michelle Obama will run for president. These false claims have been circulating since at least 2019, and they have continued to spread as the 2024 presidential primaries get underway. [Media Matters, 12/30/23]
    • Right-wing media are stoking the current buzz around a secret 2024 Michelle Obama nomination after sports betting site Oddschecker placed her odds for the presidency above GOP candidate Nikki Haley. The website, which has been described by OutKick as being “eerily accurate” in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, currently lists Trump as most likely to win the 2024 election. [OutKick, 1/16/24; Oddschecker, accessed 1/19/24]
  • Despite no indication of Michelle Obama preparing for a presidential run, right-wing media still claim that she could be a potential last-minute candidate in 2024

    • An opinion piece published in the New York Post urged readers not to be “shocked if Michelle Obama sneaks her way” into the 2024 presidential election. The article also alleged that her husband, former President Barack Obama, is “the orchestra leader” pulling strings behind the scenes. [New York Post, 1/17/24]
    • On X (formerly Twitter), YourVoice America’s Bill Mitchell posted, “Serious rumors are circulating that the Democrats are in negotiations to airdrop Michelle Obama in to replace Biden on the ticket.” Continuing, Mitchell said that her nomination “secures the black and suburban vote,” which “guarantees victory” over GOP frontrunner and former President Donald Trump. [Twitter/X, 1/20/24]
    • In response to the New York Post piece, Fox host Steve Doocy speculated whether the Obamas would “convince Joe Biden to step aside and Michelle Obama decides to run.” Doocy also alleged that Obama had previously polled top Democratic National Committee members on whether she should consider a presidential campaign. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/18/24]
    • OutKick host Clay Travis asserted that if Biden’s polling numbers don’t improve, the Democrats will “pull the ripcord at the Democrat National Convention and I think that they’re going to put forward Michelle Obama as their candidate.” Travis also claimed that Democrats will “run their game plan of abortion and democracy at stake” to win over voters. [OutKick, OutKick The Show, 1/10/24]
    • Travis also suggested there will be a “bait-and-switch” with Michelle Obama becoming the Democratic nominee against Trump. [OutKick, OutKick The Show, 1/16/24]
    • On Newsmax, host Eric Bolling speculated that “Michelle Obama is going to be that last-minute Trojan horse” nominated by the DNC. [Newsmax, Eric Bolling The Balance, 1/9/24]
    • Citing the New York Post article, Bolling later claimed that a presidential bid from Obama “could be possible, maybe even a reality, that seems more real every day.” [Newsmax, Eric Bolling The Balance, 1/18/24]
    • On X, longtime Trump ally Roger Stone urged readers to “watch for Michelle Obama to be drafted by the Democrats to replace Joe Biden.” [Twitter/X, 1/18/24]
    • On The Benny Show, host Benny Johnson suggested that “they’re going to kick Joe Biden out in the spring and they’re going to bring in Michelle, and they’re going to do this because all the states’ primaries will be over and there won’t be any Democrat infighting.” [The Benny Show, 1/9/24]
    • Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk declared that Michelle Obama and California Gov. Gavin Newsom are potential candidates to be nominated by the Democratic Party and said that the GOP needs to be “prepared to win” the election. Kirk also criticized GOP candidate Ron DeSantis’ performance in the Iowa caucus and claimed that DeSantis should “bow out before it’s too late.” [Real America’s Voice, The Charlie Kirk Show, 1/16/24]
    • The Epoch Times crafted a conspiracy theory that Michelle Obama could be announcing her presidential run in February. The article also posited that “it would be a fool’s game to ignore a candidacy for Mrs. Obama that would, in essence, be a fourth term for President Barack Obama, if you include his profound influence on the current one.” [The Epoch Times, 1/21/24]
    • Fox contributor Doug Schoen called Michelle Obama an “assertive” candidate during an appearance on Fox News’ The Faulkner Focus. Schoen claimed that he misspoke, and corrected himself by referring to Obama as a “potential candidate.” [Fox News, The Faulkner Focus, 1/17/24]
    • On Fox News’ Hannity, Schoen also claimed that Obama or Newsom are “the only ones who can win” the Democratic ticket in the 2024 presidential election. [Fox News, Hannity, 1/8/24]
    • RedState speculated whether “the Obamas miss their White House power enough to attempt to regain it — by Michelle running for president in November?”. The article also baselessly claimed that Barack Obama is Biden’s “puppet master.” [RedState, 1/18/24]