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New book on Obamas says there were clashes between Michelle and aides

The White House says 'The Obamas' by Jodi Kantor "reflect[s] little more than the author's own thoughts."

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Another incident Kantor writes about is a 2009 White House party with an “Alice in Wonderland” theme created to celebrate Tim Burton’s movie. In the book, Kantor says the Halloween party that was decorated by Burton and featured an appearance by Johnny Depp was not publicized because the White House staff was worried what the public would think about such a lavish party in a time when America was struggling economically. Kantor says the White House took care not to mention Burton and Depp’s participation.

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Schultz says the celebration was a party for military families and students from Washington and that the White House did not attempt to conceal Depp and Burton’s involvement.

“If we wanted this event to be a secret, we probably wouldn't have invited the press corps to cover it, release photos of it to Flickr, or post a video from it on the White House website," said a statement from Schultz. "Even Johnny Depp’s fans knew about it and posted on their website. Just goes to show you can't believe everything you read in books these days.”

A Johnny Depp fan website posted at the time that Depp and Burton were attending the event, and at least one newspaper had an article at the time saying that the director and star were at the party, according to Politico.

Kantor’s book also states that Michelle Obama has said in the past that she was unhappy with the White House’s treatment of some of the president’s initiatives, including his health care reform. Emanuel said he would resign when articles appeared in the media about his displeasure with the health care initiative, says Kantor's book. The president would not accept his resignation, but later on, Michelle Obama “made it clear that she thought her husband needed a new team,” Kantor wrote.

Emanuel told the Chicago Sun-Times that he and his wife are "proud to call [the Obamas] friends."

"[I have a] great relationship with the president and First Lady," he said.

Kantor’s book depicts Barack and Michelle Obama as frequently wanting to escape the pressures of White House life but as caring parents to their two daughters.

In his statement, Schultz stressed that the Obamas had not been interviewed for the book.

Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.

Join the Monitor's book discussion on Facebook and Twitter.


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