President Joe Biden has said he will seek a second term, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson have said they will challenge him for the 2024 Democratic nomination. But social media posts falsely claim that the party “just confirmed Michelle Obama will be its nominee.” There is no evidence that the former first lady is a candidate.
As the Democratic and Republican parties gear up for the 2024 presidential race, there have been official announcements from three noteworthy Democrats seeking the party’s nomination and seven announced Republican candidates.
As of May 12, the Democratic candidates for president include President Joe Biden, anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and author Marianne Williamson, who was also a candidate in 2020.
The Republican candidates include former President Donald Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, businessman Perry Johnson, radio host Larry Elder, Texas pastor Ryan Binkley and political commentator Vivek Ramaswamy. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to run for president, but has not yet announced his candidacy.
The full list of candidates who have filed can be found here.
The major parties determine their presidential nominee through a process of state primary elections and caucus meetings. During each national convention — held after the primaries and caucuses are over — delegates select the party’s nominee.
The Democratic Party is scheduled to begin the nominating process with the first primary election in South Carolina on Feb. 3, 2024. South Carolina replaced Iowa — which has been the first state since 1972 — in an effort to give Black voters an early voice in the selection process.
The posts cite a May 3 article published on the conservative Western Journal website under the headline, “TWJ Founder: The Democratic Party Just Confirmed Michelle Obama Will Be Its Nominee and Nobody Noticed.”
A reel on Facebook shared a screenshot of the article’s headline.
Despite the headline, the Western Journal item, which is labeled “commentary,” didn’t confirm that Obama will be the nominee or is even being considered for the Democratic presidential nomination. It quotes the website’s founder, Floyd Brown, as saying that he thinks Obama will be the nominee. The commentary piece even notes that the former first lady “has insisted that she has no interest in running for president.”
The social media posts do not indicate that the Western Journal article was an opinion piece, not a news story.
We found no evidence that Obama has announced or is considering a run for president, let alone that she will be the Democratic Party’s nominee.
Even though Michelle Obama has ruled out running for president, the Western Journal is not the only media outlet to speculate about her as a presidential candidate. The Hill, a Capitol Hill news outlet, published a commentary on March 14 saying that the former first lady would be a strong Democratic nominee.
Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.
Associated Press. “Democrats could strip Iowa of opening spot in 2024 campaign.” 5 Aug 2022.
Ghosh, Sayan. “Michelle Obama provides clear answer on her possible US presidential run.” WION. 17 Nov 2022.
Herlihy, Brianna and Lawrence Richard. “Michelle Obama for president in 2024?” Fox. 7 Mar 2023.
Huston, Warner Todd. “TWJ Founder: The Democratic Party Just Confirmed Michelle Obama Will Be Its Nominee and Nobody Noticed.” Western Journal. 3 May 2023
Jacobs, Ben. “The Democratic Party’s completely rewritten primary calendar, explained,” Vox. 25 Apr 2023.
Matthews, Merrill. “Michelle Obama would be Democrats’ best chance to win in 2024.” The Hill. 14 Mar 2023.
“National conventions.” USA.gov. Accessed 12 May 2023.
“Presidential primaries and caucuses.” USA.gov. Accessed 12 May 2023.
“Presidential candidates, 2024.” Ballotpedia. Accessed 12 May 2023.
Quinn, Melissa. “Who’s running for president in 2024? Meet the candidates — and likely candidates — vying for your vote.” CBS. 9 May 2023.
Stern, Marlow. “Michelle Obama Tells Oprah She’ll Never, Ever Run for President.” Rolling Stone. 25 Apr 2023.