Michelle Obama is by far the most popular political figure in the US right now, despite the fact she is not actually a politician. As President Elect Donald Trump (also not a politician) was voted into power in November 2016, the hashtag #Michelle2020 shot up Twitter trends, as fans of the elegance, grace and dignity of the outgoing First Lady urged her to run for office at the very next available opportunity.
So as we mournfully prepare ourselves for four years of Melania’s awkward White House loitering, we take a look at just how realistic some of Michelle’s potential next steps actually are.
Michelle Obama The Talk Show Host
“Could she be bigger than Oprah, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hillary Clinton, and Ellen DeGeneres combined?” fawned Vanity Fair. “She has the style and poise of Jackie Kennedy but with the empathy of Oprah and the charisma of Julia Roberts.” And low, speculation started as to whether Michelle would go all Ricky Lake on us and indulge in her own talk show.
Likelihood? Pundits have already rubbished the idea, while Michelle herself told Oprah in an interview last year she’ll be steering clear of celebrity when she leaves the White House. “I want to open my front door without discussing it with anyone – and just walk,” she said.
Michelle Obama The Fashion Guru
Will Michelle Obama do a Sam Cam and set up her own fashion brand? New York University business professor David Yermack calculated that the former first lady’s endorsement of fashion products generated five times the profit of an ordinary celebrity endorsement. He also approximated that she boosted retail industry profits by $2.7billion in 2010.
Likelihood? While we’re sure Michelle will continue to support designers by wearing their clothing, she hasn’t expressed a desire to design herself – unlike Samantha Cameron, who has strong connections within the British Fashion Industry and worked in it many years before her husband became the Prime Minister.
Michelle Obama The Youth Champion And Activist
Michelle placed supporting young women at the top of her agenda during her years as FLOTUS. She ran two educational foundations, Let Girls Learn and Reach Higher. “As a first lady, a mother, and a human being, I cannot walk away from these girls, and I plan to keep raising my voice on their behalf for the rest of my life,” she said in 2015.
Likelihood? This is a dead cert. Her deputy chief of staff Melissa Winters recently outlined her plans to continue her advocacy work with a small team – including Winters – in DC to the Washington Post. “When she’s ready, our group will come together, and we’ll do strategy,” she said. “And we’ll talk about what does the first event for the new Michelle Obama look like. How do we want it to feel, and how does she want it to feel?”
Michelle Obama The First Female President
Those hashtags. Her popularity. Those rousing speeches. Is there any chance in hell we could be saved from the clutches of Trump by the first female President of the USA, Michelle Obama?
Likelihood? Sadly, not high. As Obama himself said last year: “There are three things that are certain in life. Death, taxes, and Michelle not running for president. That, I can tell you.”
Michelle Obama The Author
They say everyone has at least one book in them. So how many words could the former First Lady, most popular US political figure and powerful speech maker be able to put down on paper? And would she want to?
Likelihood? High. Winters also told the WP: “Probably down the line [there are] many books in her. I think she’d be a wonderful children’s book author. We haven’t set up a process for that, [but] down the line it would be a natural way to exhale from an experience like this.” She could stand to earn millions in advance of a publishing deal, too.
Michelle Obama The Lady Of Leisure
It’s been hard work, all this FLOTUS-ing. Surely its time for Michelle to take a well-earned break?
Likelihood? Definite. Whether she’ll be jetting back to Hawaii, off to Spain or simply retreat to her sprawling new DC home, Michelle will be taking time “acclimatise” back to being a private citizen again. “… We don’t have to put out an advisory if she’s going to go walk around a museum,” Winters added.