Senator's fund-raising appeal: Michelle Obama may run for Senate

First lady Michelle Obama has said she has no plans to run for office after her husband leaves the White House.

Story highlights

  • Sen. Kirk implies in a fund-raising email the first lady may run for his Senate seat
  • Kirk ties the Obama "rumor" to 1999 suggestions Hillary Clinton would run for Senate
  • He asks supporters to help him "fend off a challenge from a Democratic opponent"
  • But even the President has said there's no chance Michelle Obama will ever run for office
Michelle Obama hasn't given any indication that she'll run for political office, but Sen. Mark Kirk is suggesting otherwise.
The Illinois Republican sent a fund-raising letter to supporters referring to the "press and rumor mills" that Obama may run for Kirk's Senate seat in 2016. The letter was first reported by the Chicago-Sun Times and confirmed by Kirk's office.
Kirk even compares Obama's potential run to speculation in 1999 over whether then-First Lady Hillary Clinton would run for the Senate. She eventually did.
So is Kirk looking for supporters to connect the dots?
Kirk also writes in the letter that he is "not one to believe rumors or engage in political gossip," but he takes "all potential threats seriously."
"Help me fend off a challenge from a Democratic opponent who will be backed by the national Democrat party as well as the home state political operation of the President," Kirk writes.
Capping off the letter, Kirk asks his supporters to open their wallets and drop $25 to $1,000 to help him stave off those types of "threats."
The first lady's office declined to comment on the fund-raising appeal.
While the "rumor mill" has been active for some time, Obama has explicitly said she has no plans for elected office.
Asked by ABC's Robin Roberts whether her next move will be political, Obama said, "No, it will not be political," and went on to say her next role will be "mission-based" and "service-focused."
White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, a close friend of the Obamas, flat out rejected the suggestion that Obama would ever run for political office.
"No. I'm absolutely 100 percent positive that will never happen," Jarrett said on NBC's "Meet the Press" in June.
That came less than a month after President Barack Obama himself said there was no chance.
"One thing I can promise you is that Michelle will not run for office," Obama said in an interview with ABC in May.