Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Today's Strange Conspiracy Theory: Obama for President?

No, not that Obama. He's not eligible to run for president anymore. It's his wife, former First Lady Michelle Obama. Ted Cruz appeared on Fox so that he could spend some time insulting the "Democrat Party" (very classy; can you imagine what the response would be if, say, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, appeared on MSNBC and insisted on using the phrase "Repugnican Party"?). Cruz also offered up this prediction:

I think the odds are very significant that next summer at the Democrat national convention that the Democrat party will jettison Joe Biden and will throw him off the ticket, and they will parachute in instead, Michelle Obama to be their candidate. I think they're gonna look to Michelle Obama as the savior to come in. And I think if that happens, that would be very, very dangerous. And every time I see a Democrat or one of their puppets in the press beginning to point out the problems with Joe Biden—every time that happens, the chances of that go up and up and up.

It's really quite rich that Cruz can go on Fox and complain about media outlets who are in the bag for a political party.

Cruz isn't the only one to be talking this way. Or tweeting this way, at least. Sarah Palin's 15 minutes of fame would appear to be up, such that she can't even get booked for an appearance on the Wasilla Junior High daily student announcements. But she's still got her X account, so she joined in on the conspiracizing, and wrote: "I still say it'll be Michelle O'. Biden's out." Because apparently Michelle Obama is... Irish?

Palin was actually responding to a different conspiracy theory, one that says that: (1) Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will resign; (2) Kamala Harris will be appointed as her replacement; (3) Gavin Newsom will be appointed as HER replacement; (4) Joe Biden will find some excuse to resign; and (5) the Democrats will thus run Newsom as their candidate, and as an incumbent in 2024. As an added alleged bonus, Newsom would be eligible for election to two full terms in addition to serving the balance of Biden's term.

We've been pondering it all day, and we can't really grasp what's going on here. Republicans are pretty good at coordinating their talking points, which might well explain how Cruz and Palin could end up with the same basic idea. But whether this is centrally orchestrated, or it's just Republicans freestyling, we struggle to understand what this kind of talk accomplishes. Is it a way of trying to hint to voters that even Democrats have given up on Biden? Is it a form of wishcasting, where Republicans construct elaborate fantasies that begin with the understanding that Democrats really and truly hate Biden and are looking for ways to be rid of him? We don't know.

What we do know is that Michelle Obama has said, over and over, that she has zero interest in running for president. That is not likely to change. Meanwhile, each item in the sequence of events that produces incumbent President Newsom is a longshot. All of them happening is simply not plausible, since Feinstein is not interested in giving up her post, Harris is not interested in giving up hers, and Biden is not interested in giving up his. The only person in the whole equation who might be game for the scheme is Newsom.

Anyhow, it was a relatively slow news day, and this talk is an interesting puzzle, so we thought we'd pass it along. (Z)

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