The most powerful friendship since Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong-un is back, baby: First Lady Michelle Obama has apparently been on vacation at Oprah's Maui mansion in Hawaii for days. In fact, Mobama is apparently enjoying herself so much (who wouldn't) that she stayed behind with Oprah after the president and the girls flew home from the family's Christmas break in Oahu, Hawaii. Cue rumors of drama.
According to TMZ's political reporters (that is not a thing), Oprah's neighbors aren't happy that SWAT teams, security checkpoints, and road closures are "crippling" the area — but what do you expect when the most influential woman in America teams up with the First Family? Fox News was quick to jump on the bandwagon:
TMZ reports that the increased security around Oprah’s home has become a nuisance for her neighbors, as road closures and security checkpoints have been created to protect the first lady.
The owner of Goble's Flower Farm, near Oprah’s home, told TMZ a security checkpoint has blocked his business, making it impossible for customers to shop there.
Other business owners tell the gossip site that they can’t receive deliveries from their suppliers, and employees are arriving late to work because of the security measures.
It's been a long and storied friendship for the Oprabamas. You can trace the friendship back to 2006, when Oprah jumped on Obama's then-underdog campaign for President and secured, by some economists' estimates, the Democratic primary and a million votes.
As Obama's campaign gained traction, Oprah popped up again and again in public appearances supporting the then-candidate. As Vanity Fair put it at the time: "Oprah Winfrey has more influence on the culture than any university president, politician, or religious leader, except perhaps the Pope." When it came to the press, Oprah didn't hold back.
And what I saw with Barack Obama was something that was transcendent and I felt transformational for me as a human being and for this country. And I only pray in the deepest part of my being that America will rise to this moment. And I feel that what he was able to offer us as individual citizens and as a united country was something that we have never seen before. I really, I think it's the most powerful thing I've ever experienced. I often wondered what it would be like to sit and listen to Lincoln speak or Roosevelt speak or what it would have been like to have been old enough to understand what Martin Luther King was saying 45 years ago today. And what [Obama] did brought that home in a way that I could never have imagined.
Once Obama won the presidency, cracks started to appear in the Orpah-Obama friendship. At least that's according to journalist Edward Klein — whose credibility has been a little contested, to say the least — and who wrote the book The Amateur: Barack Obama In The White House. The bestselling book (pretty ridiculously) alleged that Oprah had tried to step into an advisor position for Obama, had flirted madly with the President, and apparently tried to become a First Lady in her own right before Michelle turned on her former friend.
This "rift" is best illustrated by this quote from the book, helpfully picked out by Jezebel in a brilliant put-down of the whole damn thing.
Michelle mentioned that the White House cooks made the best pie in the world. But she didn't offer Oprah or Gayle any.
Thanks to Klein's numerous tabloid follow-ups, full of "insider sources" bitching about Michelle's possessive nature and Oprah's desire to get close to the president — because of course two women and one man can't all be friends! Who told you that?! — rumors have flown about an Oprabama feud ever since.
Even though they seem perfectly friendly in this 2011 interview.
And back in October, Oprah allegedly flat-out "refused" to publicly support Obamacare and help out her old friends. Though in November, when the president awarded an emotional Oprah the Presidential Medal of Freedom, they seemed perfectly jovial and thrilled to see one another. Clearly a cover-up.
Somewhere, Klein is telling anyone who will listen that he's trying to look down her dress.
Anyway, rift or no rift — and we're inclined to believe that Oprah Winfrey would never pull a Marilyn Monroe, thank you very much — Michelle and Oprah are certainly going strong. The First Lady turns 50 on Friday, and while POTUS (or at least his aids) are in D.C. planning her official party, Michelle is spending the last few days of her forties relaxing in Hawaii with Oprah. Like you do.
So that's it. No cracks, just good old-fashioned female friendship. Can we all just stop the cat-fight rumors now?