First lady not 'angry black woman'

2012-01-11 21:58

Washington - First Lady Michelle Obama in an interview broadcast on Wednesday shrugged off portrayals of her as an "angry black woman," and dismissed a new book describing tense relations between her and top White House aides.

The Obamas, the controversial new book about their first term in the White House, describes a "distant and awkward" relationship between the first lady and the president's aides - especially former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

"There's a notion that I'm sitting in meetings and having conversations and conflict," she told the CBS This Morning programme.

"I guess it's more interesting to imagine this conflicted situation here and a strong woman. But that's been an image that people have tried to paint of me since the day Barack announced - that I'm some angry black woman," she said.

"I just try to be me. And my hope is that over time people get to know me. And they get to judge me for me."

The first lady also said that she has a warm relationship with Emanuel, who after leaving the White House was elected mayor of Chicago, describing him as being among "our dearest friends".

"Rahm and I have never had a cross word. He's a funny guy," Obama said.

She added that contrary to the book's account of battles with her husband's aides, she rarely interacts with them.

"I don't have conversations with my husband's staff. I don't go to the meetings," Michelle Obama said.

Between staffs

"Our staffs work together really well. If there's communication that needs to happen, it happens between staffs. My chief of staff talks to his chief of staff," she said.

The first lady said that while President Obama gets the best advice on difficult issues from his advisors, he also has her ear.

"I talk very candidly to my husband about how I feel," she said.

"If I didn't agree with something, I would talk to my own husband about it," Michelle Obama said, adding that she considers herself the president's "biggest ally" and "one of his biggest confidantes".

"But he has dozens of really smart people who surround him," she added.

Cantor reportedly interviewed more than 30 current and former Obama employees but did not sit down with the first couple themselves for the book, described Michelle Obama's difficult transition to White House life.

But the first lady told CBS that she had not read the book and did not intend to.

"I don't read these books because you know, it's a game in so many ways," she said.

"I mean, who can write about how I feel? Who? What third person can tell me how I feel - or anybody for that matter?"

Read more on:    michelle obama  |  us  |  books

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.