MICHELLE OBAMA’s shock friendship with an ex-US President could have a massive impact on ensuring the UK moves beyond its current divided nature, an expert has revealed.
Janet Street-Porter believes that the way past ensuring more people in the UK get on is following the ex-FLOTUS’ openness to embracing people regardless of political background. The UK has been divided ever since 2016’s EU referendum. At the vote 17.4m people voted for the UK to Leave the EU.
But the vote created large divisions with the country.
Writing in the Independent, however, Ms Street-Porter feels Michelle can be influential in seeing those divisions stopped.
She wrote: “Michelle Obama would be a good role model.
“As a woman of colour married to the most powerful man in the US, she routinely encountered prejudice, hypocrisy, and bullying.
“She was criticised by her husband’s political rivals even though she held no public office.”
Ms Street-Porter cited Michelle’s willingness to embrace being friends with her husband Barack’s Republican rival George W Bush.
She added: “A famous photograph, taken at a museum opening in Washington in 2016, shows the pair hugging.
“According to Michelle, they regularly sat next to each other at state funerals and public events, using these meetings to swap stories about their families. From these encounters a friendship grew, based on common ground.
“According to Michelle: ‘Our values are the same. We disagree on policy but we don’t disagree on humanity.
“‘We don’t disagree about love and compassion.’”
She concluded that she “couldn’t think of a better motto” to ensure divisions are scrapped.
It comes after Michelle’s former boss revealed the unforgettable interview she had with the ex-First Lady that landed her the job on the spot.
The future First Lady at the time met Valerie Janette at an interview for a role in the Chicago mayor’s office in 1991.
Ms Jarrett, who became a senior advisor to US President Barack Obama, revealed in her book her encounter with a young Michelle.
She wrote in ‘Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward’ how a resume came across her desk from Michelle Robinson, who was 26 at the time and already engaged to Barack.
The successful interview at the Mayor’s office sparked a decade-long working relationship that would take all three to the White House and beyond.
Ms Jarrett outlined how she reviewed lots of resumes, so if one stood out to her, it’s already a good sign.
Writing in her book Ms Jarrett described her first meeting of Michelle: “I called Michelle in for an interview, and when she walked into my office, I was immediately struck not just by her appearance—tall, strikingly beautiful, simply dressed, with her hair pulled back and barely a hint of makeup—but also by her composed demeanour.
“She had a firm handshake, made direct eye contact, and exuded a confidence that I had rarely seen in anyone so young.”
The author described how Michelle let her resume speak for her and instead told Ms Jarrett about her background growing up in a working-class neighbourhood on the south-side of Chicago.
Michelle also told her interviewer about her father and his work as a “blue-collar worker with the city’s water department”.
Ms Jarrett added: “As she described his involvement as a precinct captain in ward politics and his love for this city, it was clear the loss of her father a few months earlier was still fresh and painful.”
Michelle and Ms Jarrett also shared experiences about the “drudgery of law firm life”.