Obsessed: It’s 2024 and Conservatives Still Can’t Stop Worrying About Michelle Obama

Molly Riley/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.The Conservative Political Action Conference, the largest right-wing convention in the country, kicked off this morning’s show with an all-star lineup. There were members of Congress like Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Florida) and Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama), a Republican lieutenant governor from North Carolina, and a former director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
And then there was a panel slugged “Catfight: Michelle vs Kamala.”
For 25 minutes, a panel of right-wing media figures including Breitbart’s Matt Boyle and Townhall’s Kurt Schlichter warned the audience that Democrats are hatching a nefarious scheme to oust a “senile” Joe Biden in favor of installing former First Lady Michelle Obama as the party’s presidential nominee at the convention this summer. “They could make the switch and they could position Michelle as the reluctant candidate who really didn’t want to do this but needs to do it to save her country,” predicted Monica Crowley, a former Fox News contributor who served as assistant secretary for public affairs at the Treasury Department during the Trump administration. “She only would have to run for 10 weeks to November 5.”

Two years ago @CPAC, I was the very first person to publicly raise the possibility of the Dems running Michelle Obama instead of Biden in 2024.
Here’s my update from moments ago: https://t.co/68AunPYOBj
— Monica Crowley (@MonicaCrowley) February 22, 2024

The evidence for this scheme, she claims, could be found in the fact that Michelle Obama’s father once served as a Democratic precinct captain in Chicago, which was why, she claimed, the Democrats had decided to hold its convention in that city. This is also a place where “the communists” could ignore their own convention rules and anoint Michelle as the presidential nominee.
The idea that Democrats would swap Biden for Michelle at the convention at the last minute is a conspiracy theory that has been bubbling up in the far corners of MAGA World for at least two years. But it’s been gathering steam this week in the wake of the Democratic freak-out over the Special Counsel’s report that noted problems with Biden’s memory and the public debate over whether he could be replaced at a contested convention in August. On Wednesday, failed GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy appeared on the Benny Johnson show and predicted that Michelle would be the nominee.

Vivek predicts Democrat Presidential nominee:
“I personally think it’s going to be Michelle Obama.” pic.twitter.com/dMVjTojpBb
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) February 22, 2024

Radio talk show host Larry O’Connor elevated the debate by suggesting during the panel that the former first lady is, in fact, a man, to cheers from the crowd, a racist anti-trans trope that was in keeping with the morning’s theme. Sen. Tommy Tuberville had appeared earlier to rail against trans athletes in women’s sports, even claiming that he was supported by Caitlyn Jenner, with whom he claimed to speak regularly.
The four panelists were unanimous in their agreement that Vice President Kamala Harris was a terrible candidate. They seemed to believe that Obama, however, represented a real threat to Trump’s election. “Because she’s a woman of color, she’s considered iconic,” Crowley said. “We need to be prepared for the worst-case scenario because she poses the most threatening challenge to President Trump.” She suggested that the Obamas would work with the “Deep State” to “make some sort of move.”
“They want Obama 4.0 and 5.0,” she declared. “The only way they can guarantee that is by having Michelle in the White House.”