Published this date as Op-Ed in Florida Today

Now that the 2018 elections are history, a field of Democrats is coming out with an array of wannabe candidates, all hoping they can upset Donald J. Trump. There may even be a couple of Republicans that will throw their hat in the ring, but unseating a sitting president from a second term, within party, is rare, unless we see a third-party candidate with enough draw to cause an upset, a la Ross Perot in 1992.

Regardless, this leaves potential voters with an arduous two-year future of news cycles and pundits working hard to convince us all who should be the next president. The Democratic field is wide open with at least seventeen national figures that are expected to give it a run, a handful of whom may have a slight chance of becoming a nominee, as per numerous pundits, newspaper articles and surveys in the last six months.

The obvious begins with Hillary Clinton, who is seemingly obsessed with that elusive moniker“first woman president” that she covets so much. As an odds maker, I’d give her 100 to one. Her time is up.

John Kerry, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, though laden with government experience, have two major strikes against them, starting with age: 74, 77 and 76, respectively, which would bring them into their 80s during their term if elected. Secondly, they are all white males, which is the newest cross to bear in American politics.

Democrats, in particular, are much more inclined toward identity politics, meaning it’s a good year for race, gender and sexual orientation to play a major role in selecting a candidate. If so, that would eliminate other white males, regardless of talent, such as Sen. Chris Murphy (Connecticut), Gov. Terry McCauliffe (Virginia), Gov. Andrew Cuomo (New York), Sen. Sherrod Brown, (Ohio), Gov. Steve Bullock, (Montana) and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Same with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and new phenomenon, U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

Among women, front runners appear to be Sen Elizabeth Warren, (Massachusetts), Sen. Kirsten Gillebrand, (New York), who are white, plus Sen. Kamala Harris (California) and entertainment tycoon Oprah Winfrey, a very powerful and popular black woman.

That leaves three men of color: Sen. Cory Booker, (New Jersey); former Gov. Deval Patrick (Massachusetts ) and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

So who will rise to the top?

None of them. The real power is quietly lurking behind the scenes waiting for the right moment to declare candidacy, one who could blow away the field and sail into a nomination. Not one of these 17, other than Oprah, has the power to win. Oprah, I suspect, really is not interested.

The answer is Michelle Obama. With a Law degree, female and black, and a popular first lady as her credentials, plus a Trump hating media who will likely fawn over her as a bright star, all the bases are covered. The Democratic Party will see that as a slam dunk, especially when she starts raising money. No one can say anything negative about her because she hasn’t done anything in a political role, right or wrong.

In reality, Michelle Obama’s reign would be imbued with presidential power from her husband, former President Barack Obama, who, in fact, would be awarded a de facto third term. Why else are we seeing Michelle and the ex-president continuing on with appearances in the public arena? Her book is written. It’s all about preparation.

The precedent for bypassing term limits has already been set. In 1968, George Wallace was outgoing governor of Alabama facing the end of his term limit. So, he offered his wife, Lurline, with no experience as a political leader, as candidate for governor. The people of Alabama wanted Wallace retained as governor. Lurleen Wallace, a neophyte, defeated four candidates, including two former governors, elected as proxy for her husband’s second term. She was governor in name only.

Barack Obama remains a young man with a mission. Michelle can make that happen.


MM from Georgia

How about Beto Sharpton (in either order). Rev. Sharpton could lecture us on how to stay out of jail and O’Rourke could remind voters of (overrated) JFK. It’s the big American facade. Whatever became of Tawana Brawley – remember her ?

Helen Bennett

I don’t think this country is ready for a woman president, yet. However, I hope you are right. And don’t think Michelle doesn’t have a mind of her own. She would be more than just her husband’s third term.

Tom Ault

Marshall, Sometimes I don’t like it when you are correct, and this is one of those times. I can’t think of a person I would like to see less in the presidency than Michelle Obama because as you stated she might have the titile, but that “Let’s give away America” husband of her’s would be running the show and our country into the next step to death.

I for one, would not vote for her in any way, shape, nor form. The nonsense about her being poor is a manufactured bunch of you know what. I know because I was poor from a single mother family (dad left when I was 10) and she doesn’t hold a candle to that situation.

Keep on writing my friend.

Mike Carr

Marshall, have to disagree with you 100% on this one. Keeping an open mind though I really don’t think there are enough idiot voters out there to elect someone with ZERO experience AND who lost her law license. Oh wait………


Michelle might like the attention and flattery, but she hated the White House; I don’t think she’ll go for it. Furthermore, Trump could decimate Michelle. Warren would be a better choice for the Dems; she hates Trump, and she’s proven she can take whatever he dishes out.

Joseph Pesce

Hi Marshall,
You have covered all the bases with potential candidates, but I would have to disagree with your emphasis on Michelle Obama’s political weight. When we look at the eight years of Barack Obama, we will see Michelle tied to it. She has said so many things that mirror her husband’s hate against white males. I don’t see how she could garner support from the “crossover crowd”.

Kamala Harris truly worries me as a potential candidate and we would be looking at another Obama Presidency in the form of a Female radical. She probably has more potential than Michelle Obama.

I don’t think you can dismiss a white male Democratic candidate. Whoever they choose out of the lot you have gathered each has a litany of weaknesses that our incumbent president can expose.


P.S. The Dems might stand a better chance if they get Michelle in as their vice presidential candidate as opposed to presidential.


It will be an interesting race for sure. I think Eileen is correct, Michelle should be a vice president first.

Jan Siren


I don’t think that any one presidency sets the stage for a female candidate to run. As far as the vice presidency is concerned, that’s just a red herring: the VP should, under the US Constitution, be fully qualified to take over the office of president from Day One – not gradually learn how to do it by peeping over the shoulder of the sitting president. I doubt that Michelle Obama has become any more qualified than, for example, Eleanor Roosevelt did in her time. The rough and tumble of party politics is the traditional path to the White House, althoug Eisenhower (somehow) managed to avoid that- but then he had other qualifications, as we recall.

It’s only those who haven’t taken part in party politics who think that any one Democrat is a shoo-in for the nomination.

Charley Greene

Saw your column today and was dumb struck. Michelle Obama as next president ? Horrors ! It would just put Barack back in for 4 more years of transforming the U.S.A. into a muslim country. It would demoralize the “right” To add more misery how about the evil witch of Benghazi as V.P.
Tell me I’m dreaming or better yet having the nightmare of my life.


Wow, very well thought out & logical. I hope you are wrong but I bet you are right.