Can Obama become Biden's VP?

Can Obama become Biden's VP? Can Obama become Biden's VP?

March 9, 20202 min read

As the Democratic primaries narrow and it looks like the crown is Joe Biden’s to lose – the Veepstakes are heating up!

Speculation is rampant, and just about every pundit with an opinion is drawing up a list of who should be in, who should be out and what the best team to take on President Donald Trump needs to look like.

But there’s one proven duo that’s already battle-tested and unbeaten - Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Or in this case, it would be Joe Biden and Barack Obama.

It sounds crazy, but the idea is making the rounds. And it’s not just about if Barack Obama would want back in the game, but could he? 

“It’s complicated," says Brian Kalt, professor of law at Michigan State University.“The precise wording and drafting history of the 22nd amendment of the Constitution does allow for the possibility, but the spirit and the popular understanding of 22A doesn't.

"Because of the latter, and because there are so many other people Biden could pick, picking Obama would be a needless political risk—it would turn off voters who don’t think this can be done, as well as those who think that, regardless of whether it can be done, it *shouldn’t* be done. It would also embroil the campaign is distracting litigation."

So, according to our expert, the pain and courts costs isn’t worth the effort.

Though, there’s nothing preventing Michelle Obama from being on the ticket.  In fact, online betting markets are starting to place odds – and when there’s money, there’s always a chance.

Are you a reporter covering politics, then let our experts help with your questions and ensure your coverage is accurate.


Brian Kalt is a Professor of Law and a Harold Norris Faculty Scholar at Michigan State University. He is an expert in constitutional law of the presidency, and he’s available to speak with media regarding the idea of another Obama-Biden ticket and any other aspects of how the Constitution and laws play a role in elections. Simply click on his icon to arrange an interview.

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  • Brian Kalt
    Brian Kalt Professor of Law & Harold Norris Faculty Scholar

    Expert in constitutional law of the presidency, presidential pardons, impeachment, succession and the 25th Amendment.

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