News24

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?"

Comments
  • Graziella - 2012-01-12 01:18

    We are assertive, strong willed and opinionated and sometimes come as brash. You problem, not ours.......Must be our upbringing!

      Schalk - 2012-01-12 07:13

      My, but you are full of yourself.

      Graziella - 2012-01-12 07:53

      Should I have been "full of someone else"?

  • Graziella - 2012-01-12 08:06

    Why is important for the author of this book to assign her blackness to her alleged anger. Couldn't he have just said that the first lady is an angry woman. Does the pigmentation of a woman plays any part in her anger? Do the women of different races react differently say to a rude driver cutting infront of them, or a cheating husband, etc.

      Charlie - 2012-01-12 09:16

      Maybe if you read the article again you will notice that Barack, yes her husband, labeled her an angry black woman, not the author

      Graziella - 2012-01-12 10:46

      "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. Oh my goodness, another porkchop who is unable to decipher print. What did Obama announce, that his wife was an angry black woman (and who did he make this announcement to) or since he announced that he was running for the US presidency. The word "announce" refers to candidancy in US politics. It means the intention to run for office.

      Charlie - 2012-01-12 14:33

      No need to call names love, jou ma se porkchop

      Naledi - 2012-01-12 21:32

      I agree it's the only way other people can feel better about themselves by putting others down based on skin, hair, height etc, they say people use whats sacred to you to debase you to their level. The most sacred thing to black women is their blackness, so people will always attack that. people just cant accept that after 400 years of slavery and racism we can still be first ladies, Miss universe, CEO's, top selling musicians, top models and top TV personalities. Angry black woman or not, im still smarter, better, faster, have more rythm than you. Shame!

  • Nathi - 2012-01-12 09:37

    Isn't it amazing that it's "only" black women who get angry. I suppose Hillary Clinton was cool calm and collected when her hubby was in office, or even Mrs Bush for that matter...

  • Stephen - 2012-01-12 11:39

    Don't know about angry, but she's the hottest first lady USA has ever had.

  • Naledi - 2012-01-12 21:27

    I guess they removed the comment of that low self esteem white woman who said we are angry cause we want to be white. What people will say to make themselves feel better about their pathetic existence and uniteresting and uncultured lives. Shame!

  • George - 2012-01-13 08:59

    You go Graziella, show them!!

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