Book May Have Understated First Lady's Health Care Role

'Could have been more precise,' says author
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2012 2:23 PM CST
First lady Michelle Obama makes remarks after touring the Unity Health Care Upper Cordozo Health Center in Washington, Monday, June 29, 2009.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – In Jodi Kantor's headline-grabbing book The Obamas, she writes that Michelle Obama largely sat out the health care debate because aides worried it would hurt her image. "She did a few events, but they were small, and drew little coverage" Kantor writes. "Her support … became a mostly private matter." But Politico examined news clippings from the time, and found that Michelle's support was both quite public and widely covered, with Kantor's own New York Times calling her "one of the Obama administration's most visible surrogates on health care."

Asked about the discrepancy, Kantor says she stands by the thrust of her account. "As Robert Gibbs told me on the record, the White House was concerned about putting the first lady in the line of fire," she says. "But given the NYT story you mentioned, I could have been more precise." It's not the first fact Kantor's book has been called out on, but a BuzzFeed fact check found that most complaints were unfounded. (Read more Jodi Kantor stories.)

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