Edward Klein made quite a few headlines with his tell-all "The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House" in 2012. But his new book, “Blood Feud,” expands things, dishing on what he claims is a jealous relationship between the Clintons and the Obamas — and why the prickly pals, for lack of apparently no warmer term, may make the 2016 presidential campaign quite a roller coater ride.
The following are few excerpts from the book that releases this week from Regnery, via the New York Post.
Seems Michelle Has a Special — Um, How Do You Say It? 'Pet' Name? — for Hillary
On most evenings, Michelle Obama and her trusted adviser, Valerie Jarrett, met in a quiet corner of the White House residence. They’d usually open a bottle of Chardonnay, catch up on news about Sasha and Malia, and gossip about people who gave them heartburn.
Their favorite bête noire was Hillary Clinton, whom they nicknamed “Hildebeest,” after the menacing and shaggy-maned gnu that roams the Serengeti.
Bill and Barack: No Love Lost
“I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived,” Bill Clinton said to friends on one occasion, adding he would never forgive Obama for suggesting he was a racist during the 2008 campaign. [...]
The animosity came to a head in the run-up to the 2012 election, when Obama’s inner circle insisted he needed the former president’s support to win. Obama finally telephoned Bill Clinton in September 2011 and invited him out for a round of golf.
“I’m not going to enjoy this,” Bill told Hillary when they gathered with a group of friends and political associates at Whitehaven, their neo-Georgian home on Embassy Row in Washington, D.C.
From left, first lady Michelle Obama, U.S. President Barack Obama, former president Bill Clinton, and former secretary of state and first lady Hillary Clinton take part in a wreath-laying ceremony in honor of the late president John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery on November 20, 2013. (Image source: AFP/Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)
“I’ve had two successors since I left the White House — Bush and Obama — and I’ve heard more from Bush, asking for my advice, than I’ve heard from Obama. I have no relationship with the president — none whatsoever,” Clinton said.
“I really can’t stand the way Obama always seems to be hectoring when he talks to me,” Clinton added, according to someone who was present at the gathering and spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Sometimes we just stare at each other. It’s pretty damn awkward. Now we both have favors to ask each other, and it’s going to be very unpleasant. But I’ve got to get this guy to owe me and to be on our side.”
During the golf game, Clinton didn’t waste any time reminding Obama that as president he had presided over eight years of prosperity, while Obama had been unable to dig the country out of the longest financial doldrums since the Great Depression.
“Bill got into it right away,” said a Clinton family friend. “He told Obama, ‘Hillary and I are gearing up for a run in 2016.’ He said Hillary would be ‘the most qualified, most experienced candidate, perhaps in history.’ His reference to Hillary’s experience made Obama wince, since it was clearly a shot at his lack of experience when he ran for president.
“And so Bill continued to talk about Hillary’s qualifications . . . and the coming campaign in 2016. But Barack didn’t bite. He changed the subject several times. Then suddenly, Barack said something that took Bill by complete surprise. He said, ‘You know, Michelle would make a great presidential candidate, too.’
“Bill was speechless. Was Barack comparing Michelle’s qualifications to Hillary’s? Bill said that if he hadn’t been on a mission to strike a deal with Barack, he might have stormed off the golf course then and there.” [...]
To change the subject, Hillary asked Michelle if it was true, as she had heard, that the first lady was thinking about running for the Senate from Illinois.
Michelle said that she was warming to the idea, though she had yet to make up her mind.
Bill shot Hillary a look of incredulity.
'I'm Not Listening, I'm Not Listening...'
The two men went back and forth over the subject of where the money for Obama’s campaign organization had come from and how to allocate funds for the 2016 presidential election. Bill raised his voice. So did Obama.
As Bill Clinton went on about his managerial experience, Obama began playing with his Blackberry under the table, making it plain that he wasn’t paying attention to anything Clinton had to say. He was intentionally snubbing Clinton. Others around the table noticed Obama thumbing his Blackberry, and the atmosphere turned even colder than before.
Hillary changed the subject again.
“Are you glad you won’t have to campaign again?” she asked Obama. “You don’t seem to enjoy it.”
“For a guy who doesn’t like it,” Obama replied tartly, “I’ve done pretty well.”
“Well,” Bill said, adding his two cents, “I was glad to pitch in and help get you re-elected.”
There was another long pause. Finally, Obama turned to Bill and said, sotto voce, “Thanks.”
After the dinner, and once the Clintons had been ushered out of the family quarters, Obama shook his head and said, “That’s why I never invite that guy over.”
(H/T: New York Post)