Michelle Obama recruits big names for voter registration campaign

November 8, 2019

Michelle Obama is recruiting pop stars and celebrity athletes to help “get out the vote” for Democrats next year. The bestselling author has revealed her new “voting squad” for 2020, which includes rich and powerful names like Selena Gomez, Megan Rapinoe, and Tom Hanks, according to The Hill.

“Last year, we went big. Millions of new voters made their voices heard for the first time. Now the stakes are even higher,” Obama said in a video released Thursday.

Michelle Obama’s “voting squad”

The line-up is part of Obama’s “When We All Vote” campaign, according to Breitbart. The former first lady founded the group in 2018 before the midterm elections as a “non-profit, nonpartisan organization” with a mission to maximize voter turnout — but its members suggest that it has a progressive orientation.

Obama is a co-chair of the organization, along with liberal celebrities like Hamilton writer Lin Manuel-Miranda and singers Janelle Monae and Faith Hill. The group’s board members also include Valerie Jarrett, who was once an adviser to President Barack Obama, and Tina Tchen, Michelle Obama’s Jussie Smollett-connected former chief of staff and a “diversity lawyer.”

Several of these celebrities have made critical remarks about President Trump. Miranda said that Trump will go “straight to hell” when he dies, according to the New York Times, and soccer star Rapinoe has publicly feuded with the president, according to RealClearPolitics.

In a video promoting the “voting squad,” Michelle Obama even obliquely suggests that the group’s mission is to remove Trump from office, saying that the “stakes are even higher” now than in the 2018 midterms. The video was released almost one year to the date before voters will go to the polls for a referendum on Trump’s presidency.

“That’s why I’ve been reaching out to some friends to expand my voting squad for the year ahead,” Michelle Obama said.

“It all starts with you”

Later in the video, a bevy of celebrities tells viewers to get the word out about registering to vote, presumably with the purpose of boosting Democrats’ voter rolls.

“It all starts with you,” they say. “You’re the only person that can have that conversation with your family and your friends and your girlfriends and even with your community to get them registered and ready to vote.”

For her part, Michelle Obama has faced continued speculation about presidential ambitions, but the former first lady has demurred when confronted on the topic. Still, some polls have suggested that Ms. Obama would be a competitive candidate if she entered the Democratic primary, according to The Hill.

Meanwhile, Republicans have suggested that the Democrats are worried they will lose to Trump in 2020 and that their impeachment push — and voter registration campaigns — can be explained by that fact. Nothing says democracy like rich liberals telling people to vote because Trump is bad, right?

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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.