Obama's Betrayal of Oprah - Trouble in Paradise?
Obama’s Betrayal of Oprah Winfrey
Ed Klein’s blockbuster new best-seller about President
Barack Obama chronicles Obama’s shocking betrayal of Oprah Winfrey,
disclosing how Oprah helped him win the presidency and then was “frozen
out” of the White House after the election.
Klein’s just-released book skyrocketed to the No. 1 spot
on The New York Times best-seller list in its first week in publication
and has remained there. In “Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House,”
Klein offers surprising, behind-the-scene details about the relationship
between Obama, first lady Michelle, and the TV talk superstar.
When then-Sen. Obama released his book “The Audacity of
Hope” — it was Oprah Winfrey who endorsed the book, airing a full hour
of her show with the rising star. The book became an instant best-seller
— and Obama not only became a millionaire overnight, he also was on his
way to national stardom and political success.
And during the heated Democratic primary in 2008 pitting
Obama against Hillary Clinton, Oprah took on great risk by endorsing
Obama over Hillary.
As Klein notes in "Amateur" – Oprah’s endorsement "represented a calculated risk for the queen of daytime television.”
He added, “It was one thing for her to recommend a book
but it was quite another to back a political candidate. She worried that
her audience would resent her becoming a partisan for a political
In fact, Oprah’s endorsement played a big role in winning
over parts of Middle America for Obama, according to The New York
Times. Two university economists estimated that her support was worth
more than 1 million votes and decided the primary election.
As it turned out, a sizeable portion of Oprah’s audience
took offense at her backing of Obama and stopped watching her show.
After she hit the campaign trail during the primary campaign, Oprah’s
favorability ratings slid from 74 to 66 percent, while her unfavorable
ratings jumped from 17 to 26 percent.
Despite using her goodwill and capital, Klein details Obama’s shocking betrayal of Oprah.
Quoting sources close to Oprah, Klein offers a blow-by-blow account of how Obama’s wife and top staff turned on the TV star.
After Obama won the White House, Oprah was “largely
frozen out of the White House” by senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and
Obama’s wife Michelle, because they viewed Oprah as a potential threat
to their power.
Jarrett advised Michelle to “distance herself” from Oprah
and cut her out of the White House inner circle, suggesting Oprah
“didn’t know her place” or “was a bad influence.” Oprah was trying to
become the de facto first lady!
As far as Michelle was concerned, Oprah’s billions and
her elite lifestyle disqualified her as an adviser to Obama, who had no
use for wealthy people except as a source of campaign contributions.
Plus, Michelle is very jealous, a source told Klein, and
“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.”[On this point, given the track record of Democratic presidents in the White House (e.g. FDR, JFK and WJC), who can blame her?]
When Oprah and Gayle King — her magazine’s
editor-at-large and longtime companion — arrived at the White House for
an interview with Michelle, they “were made to wait at the security gate
like ordinary visitors,” Klein recounts.
Oprah stunned Michelle by asking whether she and the
president were still fighting a lot. Michelle collected herself and said
the arguing had been a “growth point” in their relationship.
When Michelle announced she was going to devote herself
to fighting childhood obesity, Oprah offered to help and suggested
Michelle appear on Oprah’s TV show to discuss her campaign. Oprah was
told “that wouldn’t fit into the first lady’s plans.”
After the rebuff, sources told Klein that Oprah raged:
“Michelle hates fat people and doesn’t want me waddling around the White
Michelle was quoted as telling 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 okay to be
Michelle believes Oprah has been getting too close to Hillary Clinton, whom Michelle calls “a snake.” [OMG - trouble in paradise?]
"Amateur," based on more than 200 interviews of some of
Obama’s closest friends and advisors, offers the most revealing account
of the man and his presidency.
Klein, himself a former New York Times editor, has become the target of media attacks.
See Votes by State
News & Politics