Relations between Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama are "fraught with hurt feelings and resentment", with America's First Lady "looking down" on the Democratic presidential frontrunner and her family, a newly published book has claimed.
Tensions between the two women date from the 2008 presidential campaign, when Obama's husband, Barack, defeated Clinton for the Democratic nomination and subsequently took the White House, writes author Kate Andersen Brower in First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies.
"The 2008 presidential campaign left deep and lasting scars on both the Clinton and the Obama camps, and they are still shockingly fresh," says the book, published yesterday by Collins.
Obama, 52, has never forgotten how Clinton ridiculed her husband's "hope and change" message in patronising tones, the author says.
She said Obama hoped the Vice-President, Joe Biden, would stand against Clinton in this year's Democratic primaries and win the party's nomination. After consideration, Biden decided against doing so.
"When Michelle Obama views the Clintons, I don't want to say she's looking down her nose at them - but she kind of is," a former Obama adviser is quoted in the book as saying. Her disdain had been fuelled by suggestions of misconduct levelled at the Clinton Global Initiative, established in 2005 by Clinton's husband, Bill. "It fits into the narrative about the Clintons that they come off as just trying to claw their way towards success and money," the book says.
In response to suggestions of misconduct and irregularities at the foundation, Bill Clinton in 2013 published an open letter stating that financial deficits reported in the media were misleading and due to the unique tax reporting requirements placed upon such bodies.
The book portrays Obama as loathing her role and reveals her testy relations with her husband's closest aides, including Rahm Emanuel, his first Chief of Staff, whom she accused of bullying her into campaigning.
Unlike Clinton, who was politically active during her husband's presidency, she had no interest in receiving policy briefings. In 2010, she allegedly told Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, wife of the visiting then French President, on the subject of being First Lady: "Don't ask. It's hell. I hate it."
The author says Obama hopes to write her own books when she leaves the White House and quotes aides as saying she looks forward to the day when she leaves to earn money through book deals and public speaking fees.