January 13, 2012 5:35am PT by Erin Carlson
Michelle Obama Disputes Jodi Kantor's Book (Video)
Michelle Obama disputes her portrayal in Jodi Kantor's unauthorized biography of the presidential marriage as a reluctant in her high-profile role, and creating tension with White House staff.
"I guess it’s more interesting to imagine this conflicted situation here and a strong woman,” Obama told Gayle King, co-host of CBS This Morning, in an interview.
"But that’s been an image that people have tried to paint of me since the day Barack announced (his presidency) -- that I'm some angry black woman."
Kantor's book, The Obamas, has made headlines for casting a spotlight on the First Lady's relationship with her husband and confidante. (The two kept secret a 2009 Halloween bash hosted by Johnny Depp out of fear of backlash during a recession. Now, thanks to Kantor, the cat's out of the bag.)
She said she wouldn't read the book, and hopes "that over time, people get to know me. And they get to judge me for me.”
Obama, who counts former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel as a friend, shot down reports in Kantor's book of alleged friction between herself and Emanuel, among other key members of the Administration. "I don’t have conversations with my husband’s staff. I don’t go to the meetings," she said. "I don’t have -- I mean, our staffs work together really well. I can count the number of times I go over to the West Wing, period."
Disputing her portrayal as being unhappy in her position, Obama said: "I love this job. It has been a privilege from day one," noting her only anxiety stems from making sure First Daughters Malia and Sasha "come out of this on the other end whole."
During a live chat on the New York Times' Facebook page on Wednesday, Kantor -- who writes for the paper -- defended her reporting, posting: "(J)ust to be clear, 'The Obamas' does not say that Mrs. Obama is an angry black woman, in those words or by implication. (Nor does it say that she and Rahm Emanuel clashed directly.) For five years, I've been working on portraying her in an accurate, human, well-rounded way."
Watch the clip of King's interview below: