In his new book, “Blood Feud,” journalist Edward Klein gets inside the dysfunctional, jealous relationship between Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack and Michelle Obama — and how it could explode in 2016.
Outwardly, they put on a show of unity — but privately, the Obamas and Clintons, the two power couples of the Democrat Party, loathe each other.
“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 feeling is mutual. Obama made excuses not to talk to Bill, while the first lady privately sniped about 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.
‘Michelle could be president’
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, DC.
“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.”
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SOURCE: NY Post – Edward Klein