Michelle Obama ‘wanted Barack to become President AFTER Joe Biden’
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The former First Lady will be alongside Barack, as well as the likes of former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush, as they watch Mr Biden officially take office. After months of waiting, as well as baseless allegations of election fraud by incumbent President Donald Trump, Mr Biden’s wait to enter the White House is over. His inauguration today is expected to be watched by millions across the globe, with performances from Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez among the highlights of the ceremony.
But Mr Biden’s bid to become US President could have come sooner, after Michelle admitted that she wanted her husband to postpone his election bid to 2016.
Barack secured his place in history by winning two elections, in 2008 and 2012, alongside Mr Biden, who ran as Vice President.
The pair won over a string of key demographics as their pledges struck a chord with the US public.
Yet, had Barack followed his wife’s wishes, it could have been Mr Biden who secured a victory 13 years ago against then-Republican candidate John McCain.
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Writing in her 2017 memoir Becoming, Michelle said she wanted Barack to “defer his election ambitions until 2016” amid a fear that if he ran and lost her husband could quit politics altogether.
There were some concerns regarding Barack’s candidacy, as political experts questioned whether he had enough experience to govern one of the world’s most powerful nations.
Michelle was also concerned that a presidential bid could hinder his chances at building a relationship with his two children Sasha and Malia – who were five and eight at the time of his election campaign.
She wrote “if he’d lost, he’d move on from politics and find a different job”, citing a role as the “head of a foundation” as something that would interest him.
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Before his bid, Michelle said: “Just for once, I wanted him to be content with life as it was.
“I didn’t understand how he could look at Sasha and Malia, now five and eight, with their pigtailed hair and giggly exuberance, and feel any other way.
“It hurt me sometimes to think that he did.”
Had Barack ran in 2016, like Michelle wanted, it would have paved the way for another candidate, such as Mr Biden, to take over as the Democrat nominee.
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However, Mr Biden’s chances would have been severely hampered as Hillary Clinton was a close-run second in the Democrat primaries, as she just lost out to Barack.
Mr Biden had entered the race to be the nominee in 2007, but as his support dwindled, where estimates showed he picked up less than one percent of the vote, he ditched his bid by January 2008.
He also ran an unsuccessful quest for the presidency in 1988.
Mr Biden would be chosen by Barack, however, as his running mate.
Barack described the decision to pick Mr Biden as the “best possible choice, not just for me, but for the American people”, when he awarded the 78-year-old with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2017.
Previously, Michelle has spoken about her friendship with Mr Biden’s wife Jill, when the pair both supported their husbands during their eight-year stint in the White House.
In the aftermath of Mr Trump’s 2016 win, they reflected on their relationship, with Michelle describing it as “pretty automatic”.
Jill said the pair had “both been Senate spouses, but Michelle was in Chicago and I was in Delaware so we had never met”, explaining their bond was “instant” and from that first meeting “we knew we would be friends”.
The women both said they enjoyed spending time together on planes while travelling to events “drinking wine”, while Jill – who maintained her job as a teacher while her husband was Vice President – marked papers.
During an Entertainment Tonight interview, Jill added: “If we don’t maybe see one another for maybe a month because we’re both in different places, when we get together it’s like that friend you see like every couple of years – it’s like that. This is what this is.”
Mr Biden’s administration will make history today, as Kamala Harris becomes the first woman of colour to become Vice President.
The ceremony begins at 5pm.
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