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Here's an attempt to put it on the record that I was the first to predict this: candidate Michelle Obama. No, I'm not daft enough to think that because Hillary Clinton ran for elective office, now all first ladies have to. I have however noticed some things, one of which is that Clinton's election in 2000 proved that first ladies can win in their own right.

I was thinking about this before Mrs. Obama's speech last night because, like probably most of you, I already knew she was a decent stump speaker, a useful skill for a politician. If she isn't confident, then she apparently knows how to do the same things a confident person would do.

What kicked off this line of thought was when Richard Wolffe, who had access to the Obamas as he worked on his books about the 2008 campaign and the administration so far, said she's even more competitive than he is. So if she's competitive enough to be a candidate, if she has some of the skills of a candidate as we've seen she does, why not Michelle Obama, candidate for --- something --- in 2016? But where would she run?

New York showed not just with Hillary Clinton, but with Robert Kennedy Sr., that they don't care whether their senators are from New York. Don't know if that applies to other offices. Any doubts that if there is a Senate seat without a Democratic incumbent, the New York Democrats would approach Michelle? Dick Schumer seems to be there for life, but Kirsten Gillibrand is on the long list of potential presidential candidates. If she ran and won, there would indeed be an open Senate seat, and this strategy of recruiting the first lady to run for office worked for the New York Democrats before. Though there are other places she might run.

Michelle's not the Obama from Hawaii, but given the Hawaiian she's married to, might Hawaiians would find her acceptably Hawaiian? I don't know how much Hawaiians care about how long a candidate has been in the state (though New York doesn't care, some places insist that you're not just born there, but several generations were born there), but I notice Sen. Daniel Inouye will be 92 when he's up for reelection in 2016. He might run again, or maybe Michelle ought to go house hunting in Honolulu.

Then there's Illinois, which is actually her native state. Illinois' Republican senator is up for reelection in --- oh look, 2016. Think an Obama could win as a Democrat in Illinois?

Somehow, I'm thinking there's a precedent for that.

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