Book Highlights Michelle Obama and White House Tensions

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Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — A new book about the first family shows the evolution of Michelle Obama.

The book, The Obamas written by New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor, will be released on Tuesday and delves into the evolution of the First Lady and her struggles to forge a role in her new position.

In an excerpt published by the New York Times on Friday, Michelle Obama is said to have been reluctant to move immediately into the White House and preferred instead to wait until the children’s school year ended. This and other incidents served to paint the First Lady as a reluctant participant in her new role.

The Obamas declined to be interviewed for the book though the author interviewed over 200 former and current aides and staff.  Reports of tensions between Michelle Obama and the White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel as well other members of the president’s inner circle revealed a less than cohesive unit than appeared to the public. Emanuel reportedly offered to resign after Michelle Obama expressed annoyance at advisors’ handling of the health care legislation.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz responded to the book saying: “This is the author’s take, reflecting her own opinions, on a remarkably strong relationship the President and First Lady – both of whom share an unwavering commitment to each other, and to improving the lives of Americans. The book, an over dramatization of old news, is about a relationship between two people whom the author has not spoken to in years. The author last interviewed the Obamas in 2009 for a magazine piece, and did not interview them for this book.  The emotions, thoughts and private moments described in the book, though often seemingly ascribed to the President and First Lady, reflect little more than the author’s own thoughts.  These second-hand accounts are staples of every Administration in modern political history and often exaggerated.”

The author portrays Michelle Obama eventually embracing her new role and becoming active in several causes including combating childhood obesity.

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