Outwardly, they put on a show of unity — but privately, the Obamas and Clintons, the two power couples of the Democrat Party, loathe each other.
“I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived,” Bill Clinton said to friends on one occasion, adding he would never forgive Obama for suggesting he was a racist during the 2008 campaign.
The feeling is mutual. Obama made excuses not to talk to Bill, while the first lady privately sniped about Hillary.
On most evenings, Michelle Obama and her trusted adviser, Valerie Jarrett, met in a quiet corner of the White House residence. They’d usually open a bottle of Chardonnay, catch up on news about Sasha and Malia, and gossip about people who gave them heartburn.
Their favorite bête noire was Hillary Clinton, whom they nicknamed “Hildebeest,” after the menacing and shaggy-maned gnu that roams the Serengeti.
The animosity came to a head in the run-up to the 2012 election, when Obama’s inner circle insisted he needed the former president’s support to win.