First Lady Michelle Obama was “distressed” by how a tight circle group of "whiteIrish Catholic" families completely "locked up" power in Illinois according to a new book.
Author Jodi Kantor of the New York Times in her new book “The Obamas”, to be published this week, stated that Michelle “particularly resented the way power in Illinois was locked up generation after generation by a small group of families, all white Irish Catholic -- the Daleys in Chicago, the Hynes and Madigans statewide."
Michelle Obama particularly resented the Irish influence when working in Chicago City Hall for Mayor Richard Daley in the early 1990s Kantor writes.
She "disapproved of how closely Daley held power, surrounding himself with three or four people who seemed to let few outsiders in -- a concern she would echo years later with her own husband.” Kantor wrote.
When Valerie Jarret, herself African American, and Obama’s close friend was fired from City Hall by Daley, the Obamas were “horrified, their worst suspicions about the world confirmed." Kantor said.
Ironically, Daley’s brother Daley is now Obama’s Chief of Staff but will likely be replaced if there is an Obama second term.
Daley’s tenure at the White House has not been a happy one. He was effectively demoted in November when the White House announced that he would share many of his duties with long time Obama aide Pete Rouse.
On November 8th last year The Wall Street journal reported that “On Monday, Mr. Daley turned over day-to-day management of the West Wing to Pete Rouse, a veteran aide to President Obama, according to several people familiar with the matter. It is unusual for a White House chief of staff to relinquish part of the job.”
The Obama White House has been critical of the new book
"The book, an overdramatization of old news, is about a relationship between two people whom the author has not spoken to in years," White House spokesman Eric Schultz stated. "The author last interviewed the Obamas in 2009 for a magazine piece, and did not interview them for this book.
“The emotions, thoughts and private moments described in the book, though often seemingly ascribed to the president and first lady, reflect little more than the author's own thoughts. These secondhand accounts are staples of every administration in modern political history and often exaggerated."