Eight reasons why Michelle Obama will not run for Senate

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Will she or won’t she run? No, we’re not talking about Hillary Clinton. This time, it’s Michelle Obama — for a U.S. Senate seat from Illinois.

It’s not the first time the topic has come up, but this question was thrown out there again on Thursday: Is Michelle running for the Senate?

Reuters’ Keith Koffler lays out all the reasons we could see the first lady’s name on the ballot come 2016, including:

1. She has star power.

2. She’s been wading “deep into the Washington political mud pit.”

3. She’s a superb speaker.

So, could the Obamas become yet another political dynasty, like the Clinton and Bush families?

Not so fast, says Lynn Sweet, the Chicago Sun-Times Washington Bureau Chief.

Here are eight reasons Sweet says Michelle Obama won’t run for Senate:

1. She has given every signal that she is not interested in running for office through the years.

2. She values her high approval ratings. Running for office is rough and would threaten to damage her valuable brand, and could serve to limit her other options after leaving the White House.

3. She would be one of 100 in the Senate. She tends more to the executive.

4. She rarely comes back to Illinois and when she does, it is just to Chicago. Downstaters have not seen her for years. Anyway, she does not like Chicago’s winters.

5. President Barack Obama and the first lady have not even committed to returning to Chicago after they leave the White House.

6. When Hillary Clinton was first lady, she began her “listening tour” around New York state more than a year before the 2000 election. Illinois has an early March 2016 primary — petitions to get on the ballot would be due in 2015. So she’d have to give up a lot of her final year at the White House to do this.

7. She values her flexibility. Becoming a senator would tie her down to one job and would keep her anchored to Illinois.

8. She is used to picking and choosing her shots and being in control of her time, which you can’t do as a member of Congress.

So there, that’s settled. Now we can all go back to speculating about Hillary’s political future.

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