Former first lady Michelle Obama believed the Tea Party was “scared” of her and her husband, according to former President Barack Obama.
In volume one of his newly released memoirs, the former president recalls a moment with the first lady when she saw a Tea Party rally on television in the White House.
“She seized the remote and turned off the set, her expression hovering somewhere between rage and resignation,” Obama wrote. “‘It’s a trip, isn’t it?’ she said. … ‘That they’re scared of you. Scared of us.'”
Details of Obama’s memoirs were obtained and published by CNN.
Obama asserted that the Tea Party movement, sparked by Sen. John McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, raised “dark spirits” within the Republican party.
“Through Palin, it seemed as if the dark spirits that had long been lurking on the edges of the modern Republican Party — xenophobia, anti-intellectualism, paranoid conspiracy theories, an antipathy toward Black and brown folks — were finding their way to center stage,” Obama wrote.
Donald Trump’s pursuit of Obama’s long-form birth certificate in 2011 only cemented in Obama’s view that the “fringe” of Republican politics had moved to “an emotional, almost visceral, reaction to my presidency, distinct from any differences in policy or ideology.”
Obama also noted that Michelle Obama struggled in the White House, describing her mood as “the faith thrum of a hidden machine.”
“It was as if, confined as we were within the walls of the White House, all her previous sources of frustration became more concentrated, more vivid, whether it was my round the clock absorption with work, or the way politics exposed our family to scrutiny and attacks, or the tendency of even friends and family members to treat her role as secondary in importance,” he wrote.