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/ Updated / Source: Associated Press
By Adam Edelman and Associated Press
Former first lady Michelle Obama slammed President Donald Trump in a new book out next week, blasting his birther campaign a maneuver “deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks” and writing that she tried to “block it all out” when she learned he had won the 2016 election.
In her memoir “Becoming,” set to come out Tuesday, Obama covers everything from growing up in Chicago to confronting racism in public life to her amazement at becoming the country’s first black first lady.
But a chunk of the book focuses on Trump.
Obama writes that she assumed Trump was “grandstanding” when he announced his presidential run in 2015, expresses disbelief over how so many women would choose a “misogynist” over Hillary Clinton, “an exceptionally qualified female candidate,” and recalled how her body “buzzed with fury” after seeing the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump brags about sexually assaulting women.
She also slammed Trump’s “birther” campaign questioning her husband’s citizenship, calling it bigoted and dangerous, and saying it put her family at risk of being harmed.
“What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? What if that person went looking for our girls?” she wrote, according to ABC News. “Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this, I’d never forgive him.”
Obama also accused Trump of using body language to “stalk” Clinton during an election debate. Trump’s message, according to Obama, in words which appear in the book in darkened print: “I can hurt you and get away with it.”
Obama writes that she assumed Trump was “grandstanding” when he announced his presidential run in 2015. She expresses disbelief over how so many women would choose a “misogynist” over Hillary Clinton, “an exceptionally qualified female candidate.” She remembers how her body “buzzed with fury” after seeing the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump brags about sexually assaulting women.
The former first lady, however, also gets personal in the book, disclosing previously-unrevealed details about her struggles in trying to conceive.
In an interview that aired Friday morning with ABC News, Obama explained how she experienced a miscarriage 20 years ago — saying she felt “lost and alone” afterward — and ultimately used in-vitro fertilization to conceive her two daughters.
“I felt like I failed because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were because we don’t talk about them,” Obama said. “We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.”
“We had to do IVF,” she said.
She also revealed that she and Barack attended marriage counseling as a young couple.
“I know too many young couples who struggle and think that somehow there’s something wrong with them,” she said. “And I want them to know that Michelle and Barack Obama, who have a phenomenal marriage and who love each other, we work on our marriage. And we get help with our marriage when we need it.”
The Associated Press purchased an early copy of “Becoming,” one of the most anticipated political books in recent memory. Obama is admired worldwide and has offered few extensive comments on her White House years.
In “Becoming,” Obama shares both pain and joy. She writes lovingly of her family and gives a detailed account of her courtship with her future husband, whom she met when both were at the Chicago law firm Sidley Austin LLP; she was initially his adviser. Secretaries claimed he was both brilliant and “cute,” although Michelle Obama was skeptical, writing that white people went “bonkers” any time you “put a suit” on a “half-intelligent black man.” She also thought his picture had a “whiff of geekiness.”
But she was more than impressed after meeting him, by his “rich, even sexy baritone” and by his “strange, stirring combination” of serenity and power. “This strange mix-of-everything-man,” when she finally let him kiss her, set off a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.”
But throughout her husband’s life in politics, she fought to balance public and private needs, and to maintain her self-esteem. She agonized over what she feared was a cartoonish, racist image. She remembered being labeled “angry” and, by the Fox network, “Obama’s Baby Mama.” At times, she feared she was damaging her husband’s 2008 presidential campaign, especially after conservatives seized on a line from one of her speeches — taken out of context, she notes — that for the first time as an adult she was “really proud” of her country.
As the first black first lady, she knew she would be labeled “other” and would have to earn the aura of “grace” given freely to her white predecessors. She found confidence in repeating to herself a favorite chant: “Am I good enough? Yes I am.”
“Becoming” is part of a joint book deal with former President Barack Obama, whose memoir is expected next year, that is believed worth tens of millions of dollars. The Obamas have said they will donate a “significant portion” of their author proceeds to charity, including the Obama Foundation.
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