First Lady Michelle Obama has been quoted as saying her life in the White House is “hell.” The full quote is: “It’s hell. I can’t stand it!”
It was French First Lady Carla Bruni. The quote is from her just-released autobiography.
(Courtesy of Daily Mail)
Michelle Obama thinks being America’s First Lady is ‘hell’, Carla Bruni reveals today in a wildly indiscreet book.
Miss Bruni divulges that Mrs Obama replied when asked about her position as the U.S. president’s wife: ‘Don’t ask! It’s hell. I can’t stand it!’
Details of the private conversation, which took place at the White House during an official visit by Nicolas Sarkozy last March, emerged in Carla And The Ambitious, a book written in collaboration with Miss Bruni.
However another book, an unauthorised biography about the French president’s wife, offers an insight into an apparently testy relationship between the two women.
Author Besma Lahouri refers to an alleged rivalry with Michelle Obama and says it has strained relations between the French and U.S. presidential couples.
‘[Michelle Obama] the only one in (Carla’s) eyes able to challenge her for the title of the world’s sexiest and most glamorous first lady’
As first lady, Ms Lahouri says, Bruni-Sarkozy’s obsessions have shifted away from rock stars to women she perceives as rivals.
One is Nicolas Sarkozy’s second wife Cecilia, who was divorced from the French president months after he took office and the second is Michelle Obama.
She is described in the book as ‘the only one in (Carla’s) eyes able to challenge her for the title of the world’s sexiest and most glamorous first lady’.
The book chronicles the minutia of the first ladies’ various meetings, suggesting that Obama’s alleged antipathy, or perhaps just indifference, to Bruni-Sarkozy has allegedly helped keep relations frosty between the French and U.S. presidential couples.
Ms Lahouri says Bruni-Sarkozy is ‘a chameleon’, someone who has ‘trained herself to be a formidable actress’.
‘She is a very foxy woman – I choose the word “foxy” over “clever”. In fact, very foxy.’
The investigative reporter says Bruni’s image of distant, well-heeled perfection has kept her at arm’s length from the French people.
At a time when the president’s popularity has plummeted, and he is being criticised for raising the retirement age and cracking down on Eastern European gypsy immigrants, having a more accessible first lady might soften his image, she said.
‘The French don’t know their first lady, and her worries seem to them very far removed from their own,’ said Ms Lahouri.
In the book Carla And The Ambitious, Bruni says one term for Nicolas Sarkozy as French president ‘will be enough’ for her husband and suggests he might take tips from his friend Tony Blair: ‘Why not start making money?’
According to a friend quoted in the book, the Sarkozys have been ‘impressed and inspired’ by Mr Blair’s fortune built up since he left Downing Street.
Miss Bruni also takes a thinly-veiled swipe at Princess Diana when talking about a visit to an African hospital full of Aids victims earlier this year.
She says she refused requests by French cameramen for a photograph of her carrying a baby in her arms ‘like Lady Di’, adding: ‘There’s something obscene in promoting yourself when you are giving of yourself.’
In the book, the Italian model, 42, accuses French government officials of trying to ‘kill’ her husband with too much work, and claims Mr Sarkozy lets himself be ‘bullied’ into complying.
Comparing herself to other leaders’ wives, Miss Bruni says: ‘I’m so different. I was a model. I sing, and I want to continue to sing. And on top of that you expect me to be subtle?’ And she admits: ‘I am a femme fatale, my dear.’
She also recounts a telephone row with Mr Sarkozy’s ex-wife Cecilia, who warned her that Mr Sarkozy had ‘not yet turned a new page’ after their marriage.
Miss Bruni replied: ‘Not only has he turned a page but he’s changed books altogether. And you are the only person on earth not to have noticed it.’