Editor's note: Sally Kohn is a progressive activist, columnist and television commentator. Follow her on Twitter @sallykohn. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
(CNN) -- It's not surprising there's speculation that Michelle Obama might run for the United States Senate — although one should note that at this point, that's all it is: speculation — made mainly in a Reuters article written by Keith Koffler, editor of the website White House Dossier.
The fact is, however, Michelle Obama is a highly effective and popular public figure and would make a gifted elected leader.
We should remember that before Barack Obama's presidency, Michelle Obama was perhaps even more of a superstar than her husband. An accomplished attorney, she was an assistant to the mayor of Chicago in the early 1990s, as well as an assistant commissioner of planning and development for the city.
After running the Chicago branch of the nonprofit Public Allies, which gets young people engaged in nonprofit and government leadership, Obama moved to the University of Chicago, eventually rising to be vice president of the university's extensive hospitals network.
In our unequal country where so many people are vastly and unfairly underpaid, income certainly isn't an accurate measure of talent. But it certainly is often a good measure of power. In 2006, Sen. Barack Obama reported a salary of $157,082. The same year, Michelle Obama's salary was $273,618.
As first lady, Michelle Obama has managed to be both iconic and accessible, a hard-to-achieve but quintessential balancing act for the greatest of political leaders. She has taken on the important issues of child nutrition and obesity, as well as the challenges facing our nation's military families. And on both issues, her unflagging leadership and unimpeachable achievements have been clear.
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But no doubt the speculation about Obama's next steps is partly related to this: Voters who enthusiastically supported her husband's campaign have been disillusioned by the messiness of governance, largely due to the unprecedented hostility of the Republican Party, but certainly made worse by President Obama's inability to outmaneuver his opponents either in rhetoric or in legislation.
All that hope and change can fizzle in the face of reality, but Michelle Obama still seems full of the same optimism that once drove voters to the polls. Moreover, those of us who often long to see President Obama be more confrontational, or even angry and aggressive, sometimes see more of that raw fighting spirit in his wife. Should she someday choose to run for office, Michelle Obama may prove an even more gifted politician than her husband, especially when it comes to dodging the incoming attacks and getting things done.
All the buzzing around Hillary Clinton's potential presidential run can't help but encourage the speculation about Michelle Obama, the prospect of another first lady running for the Senate and maybe, someday, a higher office. It's worth noting that Michelle Obama's approval ratings are higher than Hillary Clinton's were when she was first lady. Michelle Obama's approval ratings are also higher than her husband's.
The political stars might certainly be aligned: Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois is a Republican in the Obamas' Democratic home state and would be up for re-election in November 2016, just as the Obama White House would be drawing to an end.
Should Michelle Obama choose to run, she would be a formidable candidate in every way, from public speaking to fundraising to policy to media and more. But either way, just the fact that anyone is speculating sends a flattering signal to a beloved first lady who America would clearly like to keep in the public eye.
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Chain email: I knew they had both lost their law license, but didn’t know why until I read this.
This is legit. I check it out at https://www.iardc.org Stands for Illinois Attorney Registration And Disciplinary Committee. It’s the official arm of lawyer discipline in Illinois; and they are very strict and mean as hell. (Talk about irony.) Even I, at the advanced age of almost 65, maintain (at the cost of approximately $600/year) my law license that I worked so hard and long to earn. Big surprise.
Former Constitutional Law Lecturer and U.S. President Makes Up Constitutional Quotes During State Of The Union (SOTU) Address.
1. President Barack Obama, former editor of the Harvard Law Review, is no longer a “lawyer”. He surrendered his license back in 2008 in order to escape charges he lied on his bar application. A “Voluntary Surrender” is not something where you decide “Gee, a license is not really something I need anymore, is it?” and forget to renew your license. No, a “Voluntary Surrender” is something you do when you’ve been accused of something, and you ‘voluntarily surrender” your license five seconds before the state suspends you.
snopes.com: Barack and Michelle Obama's Law Licenses
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Mar 8, 2013 ... Did Barack and Michelle Obama both surrender their law licenses for ... such claims are based on misreadings of information about license ...
Why did the Obamas lose their law licenses? - Louisville Public ...
www.examiner.com/article/why-did-the-obamas-lose-their-law-licenses - View by Ixquick Proxy - Highlight
In 1993, when Michelle Obama “voluntarily surrendered” her law license, she ...... her law license up because she agreed to after committing insurance fraud.
Why did Obamas really lose their law licenses? Answer might ...
www.hillbuzz.org/ why-the-obamas-really-lost-their-law-licenses-answer-may-surprise-you -63641 - View by Ixquick Proxy - Highlight
Oct 9, 2012 ... According to people I know who worked with Michelle Obama when she was ..... surrendering her license or standing trial for Insurance fraud!
Bombshell: The Real Reason Barack Obama And Michele Lost ...
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Jun 21, 2012 ... 2 Michelle Obama "voluntarily surrendered" her law license in 1993. after a ... surrendering her license or standing trial for Insurance fraud! 3.
What happened to Michelle Obama's law license? - WorldNetDaily
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Aug 4, 2009 ... Why did Michelle Obama give up her license to practice law in 1993? ... Recruits receive a monthly stipend of up to $1,800, plus paid health ...
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Mar 29, 2013 ... Viral text claims President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama ... surrendering her license or standing trial for Insurance fraud! 3.
Why Barack & Michelle Both 'Surrendered' Their License to Practice ...
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Aug 29, 2012 ... 2 Michelle Obama "voluntarily surrendered" her law license in 1993. after a ... surrendering her license or standing trial for Insurance fraud! 3.
What happened to Michelle Obama's law license ? - Free Republic
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Aug 4, 2009 ... Why did Michelle Obama give up her license to practice law in 1993? ..... file at ARDC has a number on it that references to Insurance Fraud.
Bombshell Validated: Why Barack Soetoro And Michele Soetoro ...
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Jun 30, 2012 ... Obama Used Crack Cocaine And Has Admitted The Same! ... Michelle & Barry ~ The Social Distorters aka; Community Organizers. ..... gave her the choice between surrendering her license or standing trial for Insurance fraud!
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