Poll: Michelle Obama would lead Kirk in hypothetical Senate race

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Kirk suffered a stroke in January and has been mostly out of the public eye since then as he works toward his recovery. Last month, he took part in a charity event at Willis Tower in Chicago, climbing 37 floors inside the iconic building. It was his first public appearance since the stroke.

If Michelle Obama decided to run, she would have one high-profile backer. Rep. James Clyburn said Tuesday she was "exactly" what Washington needed.

“I’d love to see her get more into politics because it would be a breath of fresh air in D.C.,” the South Carolina Democrat told Newsweek. “She’s honest and straightforward, which is not what you see in Washington much. She is exactly what we need around here.”

The first lady has denied interest in seeking political office. In April, asked if one day she would seek the White House herself, Obama replied, "absolutely not."