“The Amateur” Chapters 12 -14

Ed Klein

Ed Klein is a respected writer and editor. While he is being criticized by the left for this book and others he has written, the quotes in the book have not been debunked. There is much more to the book than what is summarized here and it is worth the read.

Chapter 12
Out to Lunch

William Daley, Mayor Richard J. Daley’s son, was hired to replace Rahm Emanuel. He is experienced and personable but barely kept the job for a year. He oversaw the budget failure and the degrading fight over the debt ceiling.

Jarrett enhanced her image by blaming Daley for failing to protect Obama during the budget battle.

Bill Daley and VP Biden were opposed to the HHS mandate that would force their hand with the Catholic hierarchy over contraception. Valerie Jarrett and Sebelius favored the plan. Daley arranged a secret meeting between Obama and NY Archbishop Timothy Dolan who said the policy violated religious freedom.

WH sources said Obama was uncomfortable with the meeting. Jarrett, who was never told of the meeting, expressed her anger to Obama. The rift over the mandate ended up as a win for Jarrett and it was Daley’s last battle. He resigned in January of this year. Embarrassingly, Obama appointed an obscure budget director, Jacob Lew, as the interim Chief of Staff.

Obama’s administration was still amateurish and in disarray.

One aide to the Republican House leadership said that presidents do come into the WH too arrogant but he said that Obama is so beyond that. “Not only is he self-assured, the smartest guy in the room, but in his estimation all he has to do is state something and the scales will fall from you eyes. Despite the storyline people create, that he is a thoughtful, non-ideological compromiser, he has a distinct leftist ideology and can’t make a decision that takes him out of his comfort zone.”

The same aide gave examples of Obama’s style. He said that Obama would say he was giving in on nuclear power so the Republicans had to pass cap and trade, meanwhile, Obama hadn’t done anything about nuclear power except say he supported it.

The same aide cited other similar examples and said that Obama becomes furious if challenged. He gives a death stare. The administration is the most opaque he has seen.

WaPo’s CEO Scott Wilson said that Obama rarely spends time coddling donors and his relationship with Democrats on the Hill is frosty. Except for leftist SEIU leader, Andy Stern, who visited the WH more than 50 times, most Obama donors have been given the heave-ho.

Part III
With Friends Like These

Chapter 13
Oprah’s Sacrifice

Oprah became a political supporter of Obama at some personal expense with her favorability ratings going from 74% to 66% and her unfavorable ratings going from 17% to 26%. She was willing to risk it to elect the first black president.

Her endorsement netted Obama over a million votes by some estimates. She gave him credibility as a true black.

A month after the election, things changed from Obama taking her calls at a moment’s notice to ignoring her.

When she went to interview Michelle Obama for O Magazine, she was made to go through mid-level clerks. Michelle’s advisers, Valerie Jarrett and Desiree Rogers, appeared to be the problem.

Oprah had ideas about redecorating the Lincoln bedroom and how Michelle could put zing into WH events. All of this made her a threat to Jarrett. Jarrett began to knock Oprah and told Michelle to keep her distance. Michelle was convinced easily. When Oprah told Obama he was overexposed on TV and Michelle disagreed, Obama followed Oprah’s advice.

Michelle felt Oprah’s wealth made her a poor adviser. She was also jealous. Her jealousy is notorious and giggled about behind her back. Michelle told Gayle King, Oprah’s magazine Editor, that if she found out her husband was running around, she wouldn’t keep quiet about it.

When Oprah finally got her interview, Oprah and Gayle were not treated as anything special. There was no ride from the airport, they had to wait at the security gate, and there was another long wait in the Yellow Oval Room for Michelle to appear.

Michelle bragged about the WH pies during the interview, but didn’t offer any to Oprah or Gayle. She offered them almonds. That is how the interview continued. Michelle directed her answers to Gayle instead of Oprah, making them both uncomfortable.

Months later, Oprah offered to help Michelle with her anti-obesity campaign and have Michelle tell Oprah’s viewers about weight and exercise from the WH. The long-awaited response was, “That wouldn’t fit into the First Lady’s schedule.”

Gayle sent a letter to Michelle expressing disappointment at the treatment and apparently that was met with scorn by Michelle who stated that Oprah just wanted to cash in. Michelle was quoted by her staff as saying, “Oprah, with her yo-yo dieting and huge girth, is a terrible role model. Kids will look at Oprah, who’s rich and famous and huge and figure it’s okay to be fat.”

Oprah was angry when she heard because she certainly didn’t need more money and fame.

Michelle agreed to an Oprah interview in 2011 to get her endorsement but sat with her arms folded in a defensive posture for most of the time.

Chapter 14
Snubbing Caroline

The Kennedys were split in their support over Obama and Hillary Clinton with Ted Kennedy and Caroline praising and supporting Obama. The family was and is very divided in general.

Caroline worked hard for Obama and wrote a letter asking to be an education adviser. She was ignored. She tried to meet with Obama and was spurned, even when he vacationed a stone’s throw from her summer home in Martha’s Vineyard.

Ethel Kennedy was treated the same way and even stopped speaking to her son Bobby because he wouldn’t support Obama over Clinton.

Kennedy loyalists at the WH were going back to Caroline and telling her Barack and Michelle were saying rotten things about the Kennedys, ripping them apart, even criticizing the way the Kennedy women dressed.

Caroline, a big liberal, was never invited to WH events. Caroline was particularly annoyed when the media compared her mother with Michelle, comparisons she called “odious.” Now Caroline refers to Obama with comments like, “I can’t stand to hear his voice any more. He’s a liar and worse.”

Caroline was invited to the 50th anniversary of the WH Historical Society dinner solely because of her mother’s role in remodeling the WH. Michelle was very cold to Caroline who was not even invited to the Family Quarters where she lived and played as a child. Caroline has no one else to support for the 2012 election so the Obamas don’t have to be nice to her.

The following video is from Klein’s book about Ted Kennedy. He doesn’t seem as appalled as I am that Ted liked Chappaquiddick jokes. After Ted drove his car and Mary Jo Kopechne into the waters off Martha’s Vineyard, he not only didn’t call the police, he met with his lawyers and then took the ferry towards home. Mary Jo was alive in the submerged car for some time and it is not known if she could have been saved had he gotten her help.

Ted Kennedy was called the “Lion of the Senate.” I think “Liar of the Senate” would have been more appropriate. I never could understand the appeal of this man.