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Michelle Obama disputes stereotype of 'angry black woman'

Michelle Obama says that claims in a new book about her relationship with the president and role in his administration are off base, and feed into the long-held view of critics that she is "some angry black woman" (see video below).

In an interview that aired Wednesday on "CBS This Morning," the first lady said she has not read "The Obamas," the new book by New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor. In fact, she rarely, if ever, reads any of the books that claim to have insight into the personal life of her and her family.

Among the book's claims is that Obama had doubts about Rahm Emanuel, her husband's first chief of staff, and that their relationship was "distant and awkward from the beginning." Obama said she in fact has "never had a cross word" with Emanuel, and that he and his wife are some of her closest friends.

Obama also disputed the portrayal of her as having a more hands-on role in the West Wing than the public would have known, and said she has rarely sat in on senior staff meetings or even visited the West Wing other than for official functions.

"I do care deeply about my husband. I am his biggest ally. ... I am one of his biggest confidants. But he has dozens of really smart people that surround him," she said. "That's not to say that my husband doesn't know how I feel."

People want to believe the claims because they feed into their preconceived notions, she said.

"I guess it's more interesting to imagine this conflicted situation here and a strong woman and -- you know? 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."

See the full interview below.

 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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