Former first lady Michelle Obama has absolutely no plans to run for the presidency in 2020 or any other elected office, according to a senior advisor to the Obama administration. Valerie Jarrett, who worked closely with President Obama during his time in the White House says that his wife, Michelle Obama has no plans to run for the job herself.
According to AOL, following widespread speculation that the wife of former president Barack Obama, Michelle will seek the Democratic nomination in 2020, former senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett has ruled out any possibility of Michelle Obama launching her own political career. Jarrett described Donald Trump’s victory against Hillary Clinton in last year’s presidential election as “gut-wrenching,” but said she is now looking forward and focused on finding a Democratic contender for 2020.
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However, when asked about the possibility of Michelle Obama being that contender in 2020, Jarrett expressed that the former first lady isn’t particularly interested in the job, saying that it would not be “fruitful” to discuss the matter with Michelle, who worked as a lawyer and later vice president at the University of Chicago prior to becoming the first lady.
“I will encourage her to be a force for good, she doesn’t need much encouragement for that, obviously she was an extraordinary first lady, but I don’t think she really wants to run for office,” Jarret said. “The former first lady appreciates that she has this extraordinary platform she has in the post-presidency, as does her husband.”
That being said, even if Michelle Obama has no plans to run for the presidency herself, according to the Washington Times, both she and her husband will remain active in politics.
“They’re young, they’re very popular, the president left office with very high approval ratings, as did she.” Jarrett continued, “And so how do you take that and galvanize the American people, citizens, to actually work to solve some of the big challenges that we lie ahead… I think both of them are committed to that.”
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In the same interview, Jarret herself confirmed that she has no plans to run for political office either. Jarret, who served as Director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and as a Senior Advisor to the President between 2009 and 2017 says that she is now focused on making a difference from within the private sector.
According to the New York Post, Jarret found herself in hot water earlier this month for agreeing to take a $30,000 speaking fee from a public university that’s already struggling financially. The University of Chicago was forced to shut down over the spring break, enforcing unpaid furlough days for staff because of an ongoing debate over its financing. However, Jarret accepted a speaking fee of $30,000 from the university in her hometown.
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Following an outcry over the hefty payment, Jarret agreed to waive her fee, saying that she wasn’t aware of the financial crisis.
“While keenly aware of the financial challenges in Illinois, we were not aware of the specific issues facing Northeastern Illinois University or that a donor would be paying for the speaking fee,” a spokeswoman for Valerie Jarret said on Tuesday. “Jarrett notified President Helldobler this morning that she will not be accepting a speaking fee for the commencement address. Jarrett looks forward to addressing the graduates and other members of the NEIU community next month.”
Jarret, much like other members of the Obama administration has given a number of paid speeches since leaving the White House in January.
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