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An Open Letter by Supporters of Michelle Obama


August 5, 2020

Louis Gossett Jr. Academy-Award winning actor, GA; Melvin van Peebles, groundbreaking filmmaker, CA; Mack Wilbourn, serial entrepreneur, GA; Sidney Topol, World War II veteran, FL; Eugene Jarecki, award-winning filmmaker, NY; Thandi Tutu-Gxashe, TutuDesk, South Africa; Tito Jackson, businessman & civic activist, MA; Colette Phillips, Colette Phillips Communications Inc., MA; Patricia DeGennaro, foreign affairs analyst, NY; Steve Klein, communications strategist, GA; Bill Batson, artist & civic activist; Dawn Greenidge, businesswoman, FL; Christine Faria, entrepreneur, ME; Ari Dlugacz, foundation head, PA; Diane Downing, VP hotel & restaurant chain, NH; Scott Silverberg, attorney, NY; Travis Jones, corporate executive, GA; Eleanor Haller-Jordan, Think Tank founder; Angela Shaw, Democrats Abroad, France; Jerry Dunfey, Global Citizens Circle; Nadine B Hack, Democrats Abroad, Switzerland; Katharina Lange, leadership professor, Germany; Dorothee Baumann-Pauly, business ethics & human rights scholar, Switzerland

In this week when presidential candidate Joe Biden is making his Vice-Presidential choice, we call on him to invite former First Lady Michelle Obama to be his running mate on the 2020 Democratic ticket. Mr. Biden has casually suggested he would choose Ms. Obama “in a heartbeat.” We believe the moment has come for a formal invitation to be extended.

Michelle Obama is the most admired woman in the world. As a candidate, she has the power not only to assure victory over Donald Trump but to unite a bitterly divided nation and continue her life’s tireless work for the American people. As a leader, her stature and preexisting rapport with heads of state are unparalleled.

We know that, after eight years as First Lady, Ms. Obama is reluctant to return to Washington. She is in good company. In 1952, Dwight Eisenhower defeated Adlai Stevenson for the presidency in a landslide, after also demurring in response to efforts to draft him. What was true for Mr. Eisenhower then is even more true for Ms. Obama now. Our nation needs healing and urgent course-correction.

Highly qualified candidates are being considered. We will wholeheartedly support whichever of them receives the nomination. These are times of unprecedented peril for the American people and our democracy.

Americans face the pandemic of Covid-19 and a deeper affliction of the soul, led by one of the most divisive presidents in American history. The world too is in crisis, and, where America once led the way, she is now fast becoming a pariah state; her passport is unwelcomed in nations that were once faithful allies. Misled into dangerous denial, the U.S has been replaced by other countries as exemplars of crisis management.

When victorious, Joe Biden will bring to the job eight years of domestic and international experience as Vice-President and a long history of bipartisan cooperation as a U.S. senator. In the wake of a figure who has so woefully damaged America at home and abroad, he will signal a return to more responsible stewardship for the American people and the world.

Recent polls affirm this, but we cannot afford to take any chances. Mr. Biden must put forward the strongest ticket possible for a crushing landslide that not only unseats Mr. Trump but throws the un-American spirit of Trumpism on the ash heap of history. One that also strengthens the opportunity to win down the ticket and take back the U.S. Senate. This is why we encourage Mr. Biden to formally invite Ms. Obama.

We realize such an invitation is a sensitive matter for Ms. Obama, one to which she has given great thought and declined in the past. Of course, we honor whatever she decides now, but we would be remiss if we did not put forth the considerations that we feel underscore her singularity as a leader for this challenging time.


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