Although former New York Times Magazine editor Edward Klein’s controversial new book, “The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House,” won’t be released until Tuesday, it’s already making waves in Washington and beyond.
The first bombshell claim from the book to make headlines was that former president Bill Clinton disdained Obama so much that he called him an “amateur” and urged his wife Hillary to quit her job as Secretary of State and challenge the president in the 2012 primaries.
On Sunday, an excerpt from “The Amateur” published in the New York Post alleges that First Lady Michelle Obama is exceedingly jealous, despises Oprah Winfrey and calls Hillary Clinton “a snake.”
A source “very close” to Winfrey claims that “Michelle is very jealous” and “doesn’t seem to trust Barack at all.” She allegedly has the women around the president watched and “wants to know about who he has an eye for and gets touchy with.”
Valerie Jarrett, one of the first lady’s closest advisers, is said to deeply distrust Winfrey as a “potential threat to her power.” Jarrett allegedly turned Michelle against Winfrey, who “was too close to the president” to the point where she was planning on redecorating the Lincoln bedroom.
Another source of tension between Michelle and Winfrey was the former’s snubbing of the latter’s offer to participate in the first lady’s “Let’s Move” anti-childhood obesity campaign. Winfrey allegedly reached out to Michelle, claiming she could spread the word about healthy eating to millions of children and families.
“That wouldn’t fit into the first lady’s plans,” the White House coldly replied, rebuffing Winfrey’s offer.
“Michelle hates fat people and doesn’t want me waddling around the White House,” Winfrey allegedly raged to O magazine editor Gayle King after the rejection.
King sent the first lady “a diplomatic note expressing Oprah’s disappointment,” which Michelle reportedly scoffed at.
“Oprah only wants to cash in, using the White House as a backdrop for her show to perk up her ratings,” the book quoted the first lady 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 OK to be fat.”
“The Amateur” alleges that President Obama convinced his wife to make peace with Winfrey in order to secure her endorsement for 2012. Michelle grudgingly agreed, appearing on one of the last episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show, “with her arms folded in a defensive posture across her chest.”
There is some reason to be skeptical of Klein’s claims, however. His last book about the president, “The Obama Identity: A Novel (Or Is It?),” contains one conspiracy theory after another and lends credibility to the ridiculous, disproven notion than Obama is a Muslim who wasn’t born in the United States. It was a big hit with birthers and their ilk, but no reputable publishing house would take on the project and so Klein and John LeBoutillier, the former GOP congressman he co-authored the book with, self-published.
According to ThinkProgress , Klein also has a history of publishing “demonstrably false” allegations about Obama as fact. He even promoted a ludicrous conspiracy theory that Bill Clinton raped Hillary while on vacation in Bermuda in 1979, an attack which allegedly resulted in Chelsea’s conception.
Even his fellow conservatives have dismissed Klein’s work as nonsense. John Podhoretz, the neoconservative editor of Commentary magazine, slammed Klein’s 2005 book, “The Truth About Hillary,” as “one of the most sordid volumes I’ve ever waded through.”
“Thirty pages into it, I wanted to take a shower,” Podhoretz wrote in the New York Post. “Sixty pages into it, I wanted to be decontaminated. And 200 pages into it, I wanted someone to drive stakes through my eyes so I wouldn’t have to suffer through another word.”
“Poorly written, poorly thought, poorly sourced and full of the kind of loaded language that is appropriate to a polemic but not an investigative work,” wrote Peggy Noonan in a scathing Wall Street Journal review.