First lady tried ‘to block out Trump win’
Former first lady Michelle Obama blasts President Donald Trump in her new book, writing how she reacted in shock the night she learnt he would replace her husband in the Oval Office and tried to “block it all out”.
She denounces Mr Trump’s “birther” campaign questioning her husband’s citizenship, calling it bigoted and dangerous, “meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks”.
In her memoir, Becoming, which will be out on Tuesday, Mrs Obama writes openly about everything from growing up in Chicago to confronting racism in public life to her amazement at becoming the country’s first black first lady.
She also reflects on early struggles in her marriage to Barack Obama as he began his political career and was often away. She writes they met with a counsellor “a handful of times” and she came to realise that she was more “in charge” of her happiness than she had realised. “This was my pivot point,” Mrs Obama explains. “My moment of self-arrest.”
She writes that she assumed Trump was “grandstanding” when he announced his presidential run in 2015. She expresses disbelief over how so many women would choose a “misogynist” over Hillary Clinton, “an exceptionally qualified female candidate”.
She remembers how her body “buzzed with fury” after seeing the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Mr Trump brags about sexually assaulting women.
She also accuses Mr Trump of using body language to “stalk” Mrs Clinton during an election debate. Mr Trump’s message, according to Mrs Obama, in words which appear in the book in darkened print: “I can hurt you and get away with it.”
Mrs Obama is admired worldwide and has offered few extensive comments on her White House years. She will launch her promotional tour at Chicago’s United Centre, where thousands have purchased tickets — from just under $30 to thousands of dollars — to attend the event moderated by Oprah Winfrey. While some have criticised the price as too high, 10 per cent of tickets at each event are being donated to local charities, schools and community groups.
In Becoming, Mrs Obama shares pain and joy. She writes lovingly of he would not recuse himself (step aside) from supervising the highstakes probe even though he has repeatedly denounced it in public as “going too far”.
A toppling blast of lust.
her family and tells of her courtship with her future husband, whom she met when both were at a Chicago law firm.
But she was more than impressed after meeting him, by his “rich, even sexy baritone”. “This strange mix-of-everythingman”, when she finally let him kiss her, set off a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder”.
But throughout her husband’s life in politics, she fought to balance public and private needs, and maintain her self-esteem. She agonised over what she feared was a cartoonish, racist image. She remembered being seen as “angry” and, by the Fox network, as “Obama’s Baby Mama”.
As the first black first lady, she knew she would be labelled “other” and have to earn the aura of “grace” given freely to her white predecessors. She found confidence in repeating to herself a favourite chant: “Am I good enough? Yes I am.”
Becoming is part of a joint book deal with Barack Obama, whose memoir is expected next year, that is believed worth tens of millions of dollars. The Obamas have said they will give a big portion of proceeds to charity.
Protesters at the White House.