Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama might be friendly now, but they once shared a hefty helping of interpersonal animosity over mudslinging from the 2008 election. Michelle impugned the Clintons for Bill’s infidelity and for Hillary’s inability to control her husband. Hillary, in turn, made suggestions that she didn’t think Michelle was even female, and- here’s the kicker- she also started the birther movement.
Many people are surprised to hear that, but it was actually Hillary Clinton who first complained that Barack Obama was from Kenya and therefore had no legal right to run for president. This was confirmed in 2015 when Breitbart reported on the true origin of the birther movement.
Breitbart columnist John Nolte wrote, “New analysis removes any doubt that the anti-Obama Birther movement was started in 2007 and 2008 by Hillary Clinton, her campaign, and her Democrat supporters. […] other left-wing media outlets, like Politico and the Guardian, had traced the Birther movement back to Democrats and Ms. Clinton.”
He continued, “ Using the Internet Wayback machine, the Post‘s David Weigel took an in-depth look at the origins of the rumors that President Obama is a practicing Muslim who was not born in America. Weigel’s reporting contains the final pieces of a very disturbing puzzle.”
The Tea Party movement simply took the evidence that Clinton’s team provided and ran with it. That’s why they so often get blamed for starting that rumor. Which makes it both telling and unfortunate that Obama would use the IRS as a weapon against Tea Party members rather than the Clintons.
New York Times reporter Peter Baker has released an updated version of his book, “Obama: The Call of History.” The update includes a number of less than shining moments in Obama’s presidency. These include Obama’s ungraceful reaction to Trump’s victory and remarks to the effect that Hillary’s campaign was “scripted and soulless.”
The Daily Mail published some excerpts from the book last week, which include the following samples and Obama quotes:
“No one forced her to run a scripted, soulless campaign that tested eighty-five slogans before coming up with ‘Stronger Together’”.
“To Obama and his team, however, the real blame lay squarely with Clinton. She was the one who could not translate his strong record and healthy economy into a winning message. Never mind that Trump essentially ran the same playbook against Clinton that Obama did eight years earlier, portraying her as a corrupt exemplar of the status quo.”
“She brought many of her troubles on herself. No one forced her to underestimate the danger in the Midwest states of Wisconsin and Michigan. No one forced her to set up a private email server that would come back to haunt her. No one forced her to take hundreds of thousands of dollars from Goldman Sachs and other pillars of Wall Street for speeches.”
That’s some pretty ugly stuff coming from our 44th president. But it reflects the shock they felt at Trump’s victory. All of the polls had indicated that Clinton simply could not lose. They were so certain, in fact, that Hillary appeared to believe she didn’t even need to try. There have even been whispers that Trump was allowed to run because it was believed that he had no chance against Hillary. All of that proved extraordinarily wrong.
But Baker’s book goes even further. He writes:
“Despite being cordial in public he afterwards summoned Rhodes who told him that Trump ‘peddles in b*******’
Rhodes said, “That character has always been part of the American story. You can see it right back to some of the characters in Huckleberry Finn.”
Obama replied, “Maybe that’s the best we can hope for.”
As the weeks went by Obama went through ‘multiple emotional stages’, at times being philosophical and other times he ‘flashed anger’.
Obama told one aide, ‘I’ve got the economy set up well for him. No facts. No consequences. They can just have a cartoon’.”
If these scenes are accurate, they paint a picture of an outgoing president Obama, who was not as accepting of Trump winning the presidency as he publicly said. It also shows he didn’t think much of Hillary Clinton, thinking she lost the election that was pretty much handed to her. And no amount of public hugs, words of support and fake pictures of the two of them together will change that.