Last week, veteran White House pastry chef Bill Yosses made headlines for his surprise resignation. In a bizarre exit interview with the New York Times, Yosses commented that he no longer wanted to “demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs.” This week, the inner workings of the Obama White House are in the news once again with former White House assistant press secretary Reid Cherlin writing in an article for the New Republic that the first lady’s East Wing is the “worst wing” and Michelle Obama is demanding and hard to please.
“The most interesting thing there is you have a somewhat scathing, not horrifically scathing but a pretty scathing long article,” Stu said on radio this morning. “This is not the National Review writing this. This is a former deputy press secretary for the west wing. This is a guy who was paid to lie on behalf of the Administration. And there is trashing the First Lady. Pretty interesting.”
In the article, Cherlin quotes several unnamed former aides who described the First Lady as demanding. Furthermore, Cherlin explains the quest for perfection:
The First Lady’s offices run along a hushed corridor on the second floor of the East Wing, where the policy team occupies an office next to the calligraphers who write ornate invitations to the mansion’s many formal events. That the position of first lady has become embarrassingly anachronistic is no big revelation. But after the 2008 victory, there were hopes that Michelle Obama’s political appeal and charisma would enable her to transform it into something that reflected the role of modern women as equal participants in the political process.
Surprisingly, though, her first move was to declare that she wanted to play it safe. A few days before her husband took the oath of office, she gathered her small staff at the presidential transition headquarters in downtown Washington and outlined a distinctly narrow vision. “We don’t have to do anything,” she told her aides, according to people familiar with the meeting, “so anything we decide to do, we need to do really, really well.” She didn’t want to get in the way of the president’s agenda, she explained. She only wanted to be, as she would say often over the years, “value-added.”
“She kind of made the point early on that she didn’t want any mistakes,” Stu said. “[It] is odd because, you know, then she went on to do things like ‘Drink Up,’ a program encouraging people to drink more water to make them healthy, which has zero science behind it. You don’t need more water to make yourself healthy. Scientists say that you get enough water to keep yourself hydrated from the food you eat… [it’s]one of these, you know, dietary things that no one can even explain where it came from, let alone have evidence of it working.”
The White House has dismissed Cherlin’s article as hogwash. But it is certainly interesting to see several former staffers so willing to speak out against the Obamas.
“It’s no surprise she’s nasty to work with. I fully expected that. I would be blown away if it turned out she was the nice yet person in the world to deal with, because you could tell she’s not,” Pat concluded. “This is the way these two are. They’re so out of the mainstream of your average American person’s thought process.”
Read the entire New Republic article HERE.
Front page image courtesy of the AP