I know, it’s hard to believe how this angry, petulant Michelle Obama would be jealous of anyone, isn’t it?
It soon became apparent that something had gone wrong between Oprah and the new administration — or, more precisely, between Oprah and Michelle Obama.
The problem seemed to originate from two of Michelle’s advisers, Valerie Jarrett and Desirée Rogers, the new White House social secretary. They resented Oprah’s meddling in their bailiwick. Among other things, Oprah had a plan to redecorate the Lincoln bedroom. She also had ideas about how Michelle could put more zing into White House social events.
As the person who controlled access to the first couple, Valerie Jarrett saw Oprah as a potential threat to her power. If Oprah went unchecked, she would bypass Valerie and go directly to the president and first lady. What good was it being the gatekeeper if you couldn’t lock the gate when you wanted? And so Valerie set about turning Michelle against Oprah. Oprah was too close to the president . . . Oprah was acting like she was the first lady . . . Oprah didn’t know her place . . . Oprah was a bad influence . . . Valerie advised Michelle to “distance herself” from Oprah and cut her out of the White House inner circle.
IT didn’t take much to convince Michelle. As Michelle knew only too well, her husband had a compelling need to win the approval of strong women like Oprah. He seemed to be in awe of the talk-show host, sometimes giving her advice priority over Michelle’s. For instance, Oprah thought that Obama was overexposing himself on television and told him to pull back. Though Michelle disagreed, Obama listened to Oprah and restricted his TV appearances. As far as Michelle was concerned, Oprah’s billions and her elite lifestyle disqualified her as an adviser to Barack, who had no truck with wealthy people, except as a source of campaign contributions, and was a redistributionist at heart.There was another reason for Michelle’s negative attitude toward Oprah. “Michelle is very jealous, I would say unusually so,” said someone who was very close to Oprah. “Most people after years of marriage have trust and don’t follow their husbands around and check on them. Michelle 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. It’s been the buzz of the White House. Oprah has gossiped about it and giggled about how obsessive Michelle is. This is what she hears from her friends who work in the East Wing, and, believe me, she has some good sources.
ACCORDING to sources, Oprah told Gayle King that she felt like getting Michelle on the phone and really letting her have it. Oprah raged: “Michelle hates fat people and doesn’t want me waddling around the White House!”