According to Ed Klein, President Obama's White House is run by amateurs and those hungry for power. This easy to read book is lik...moreA WORK IN PROGRESS...
According to Ed Klein, President Obama's White House is run by amateurs and those hungry for power. This easy to read book is like a soap opera without the sex. I do admit that while reading, I feel like a rubbernecker that can't look away from a horrible accident. It is the juiciest gossip a conservative could hope to find. It also seems so believable; perhaps because I want to believe it.
While Klein interviewed many on the right and left, and the book contains a bibliography, I am researching the web for denials from the people involved. Some of the stories, quotes, allegations are from off the record sources...so they may be true or not. I like real names.
Here is an example of the fighting in the White House sandbox:
"Shortly after the 2008 presidential election, Oprah Winfrey traveled to Washington, DC, to nail down an interview for O, The Oprah Magazine with Michelle Obama. Oprah expected the president-elect and his wife to give her a reception fit for visiting royalty, and for the occasion, she took along Gayle King, the magazine’s editor-at-large and her constant companion."
"More than a year and a half had passed since Oprah announced that she was throwing her support behind Barack Obama in his primary race against Hillary Clinton. The endorsement had represented a calculated risk for the queen of daytime television. It was one thing for her to recommend a book or launch the career of Dr. Phil, but it was quite another for her to back a political candidate."
"As it turned out, a sizable chunk of her audience took offense and stopped watching her show. No sooner had Oprah hit the campaign trail, appearing beside Obama at one primary rally after another, than her personal favorability ratings began to slide, falling from 74 to 66 percent. Her unfavorable ratings suffered an even worse fate; they jumped from 17 to 26 percent."
Although Oprah picked up on negative vibes once Obama was elected (phone calls not returned; Oprah forced to communicate with the Obama's low level staff), "Oprah expected the president-elect and his wife to give her a reception fit for visiting royalty, and for the occasion, she took along Gayle King, the magazine’s editor-at-large and her constant companion."
"As the person who controlled access to the first couple, Valerie Jarrett saw Oprah as a potential threat to her power. If Oprah went unchecked, she would bypass Valerie and go directly to the president and first lady. What good was it being the gatekeeper if you couldn’t lock the gate when you wanted? And so Valerie set about turning Michelle against Oprah. Oprah was too close to the president... Oprah was acting like she was the first lady... Oprah didn’t know her place... Oprah was a bad influence... Valerie advised Michelle to “distance herself” from Oprah and cut her out of the White House inner circle."
"It didn’t take much to convince Michelle. As Michelle knew only too well, her husband had a compelling need to win the approval of strong women like Oprah...."
"There was another reason for Michelle’s negative attitude toward Oprah. "Michelle is very jealous, I would say unusually so," said someone who was very close to Oprah. "Most people after years of marriage have trust and don’t follow their husbands around and check on them."
"Michelle doesn’t seem to trust Barack at all. She insists on knowing his every movement and drops in on him at all kinds of odd times. It’s been the buzz of the White House. Oprah has gossiped about it and giggled about how obsessive Michelle is. This is what she hears from her friends who work in the East Wing, and, believe me, she has some good sources."
The book claims that Oprah then raged: “Michelle hates fat people and doesn’t want me waddling around the White House!"
According to the book Michelle told her staff: "Oprah, with her yo-yo dieting and huge girth, is a terrible role model. Kids will look at Oprah, who’s rich and famous and huge, and figure it’s OK to be fat."
According to the book: two of Michelle’s advisers, Valerie Jarret and Desiree Rogers, were unhappy with Oprah’s influence, saying she had a plan to redecorate the Lincoln bedroom. Oprah also "had ideas about how Michelle could put more zing into White House social events." Such things would never occur to me, so it seems unlikely to me that Oprah would, but then again, she is not shy about her opinions.
Sure they are smiling, but not genuine smiles, just the smirky kind and they certainly don't look so happy to be together in this picture:
On Rev. Wright: "After the media went ballistic on me, I received an e-mail offering me money not to preach at all until the November presidential election.”
“Who sent the e-mail?” I asked Wright.
“It was from one of Barack’s closest friends.”
“He offered you money?”
“Not directly,” Wright said. “He sent the offer to one of the members of the church, who sent it to me.”
“How much money did he offer you?”
“One hundred and fifty thousand dollars,” Wright said.
“Did Obama himself ever make an effort to see you?”
“Yes,” Wright said. “Barack said he wanted to meet me in secret, in a secure place. And I said, ‘You’re used to coming to my home, you’ve been here countless times, so what’s wrong with coming to my home?’ So we met in the living room of the parsonage of Trinity United Church of Christ, at South Pleasant Avenue right off 95th Street, just Barack and me. I don’t know if he had a wire on him. His security was outside somewhere."
I found the chapter about the Kennedys fascinating. Here is a sample: "Caroline Kennedy, who supported Obama over Hillary Clinton, about Obama 'I can't stand to hear his voice anymore. He's a liar, and worse.'"
The chapter "Valerie V. Rahm" left me laughing, but it is believable when you think of these strong controlling personalities gripped in a power struggle.
Don't miss the chapter on General James Jones, Obama's National Security Adviser for “19 torturous months” . It begins with a quote from his wife, Diane Jones, speaking about Barack Obama's inner circle: "They're a bunch of Chicago thugs." We already knew that, but it I don't mind reading it again. Klein borrowed from the book Obama's Wars to write this chapter.
Speaking of Gen. Jones, Klein says, "He’s served this country for decades as a trusted military man and as a trusted adviser to both Democrats and Republicans. As I write in the book, within months of his being appointed, he became a victim of a bunch of snarky, Obama-ites in the White House who resented the fact that he wasn’t a member of the inner circle."
Some verifiable quotes: Chris Matthews (MSMBC): I've been following politics since I was about 5. I've never seen anything like this. This is bigger than Kennedy. Obama comes along, and he seems to have the answers. This is the New Testament."
Evan Thomas (Newsweek Editor): "In a way Obama is standing above the country, above the world. He is sort of God. He's going to bring all the different sides together." Really? He seems polarizing.
This book takes place in Richmond, VA and compares the educational opportunities at two vastly different schools only 5 miles apart. Freeman High Scho...moreThis book takes place in Richmond, VA and compares the educational opportunities at two vastly different schools only 5 miles apart. Freeman High School (I have been there a multitude of times as a basketball ref and as a Homebound Teacher)is in western Henrico County and Thomas Jefferson High School (not only have I never been there, I don't even know exactly where it is) is in Richmond city.(less)