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Kantor to discuss ‘The Obamas’ at the Marcus Jewish Community Center
by LaTria Garnigan
lgarnigan@neighbornewspapers.com
September 04, 2012 11:56 AM | 1828 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Having covered Barack and Michelle Obama since 2007, journalist Jodi Kantor starting seeing a question she did not think she had the answer to in a 1,600 word article. Her question was, “What’s happening to these people in the White House?”

Kantor will present her book, “The Obamas,” at the Marcus Jewish Community Center Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the center’s Page from the Book Festival events.

Released in January, the book follows the President and First Lady through the first couple of years of being in the White House, with in depth interviews from the couple themselves, along with staff, friends and family.

“When we met them in 2008, they were a regular couple from Chicago – very ambitious, very talented but they really had regular lives,” said Kantor. “And so, what was happening to them now that they were actually in power themselves? I thought that would be a question that would really be on all of our minds.”

With her experience in reporting on the couple, and having followed them early on the campaign trail before they reached the White House, Kantor revealed the Obamas have slightly become a bit more guarded than they were at first.

“There’s definitely been a change over time,” she said. “When I first started interviewing them, they would say things I don’t think they would say now. They’ve become better politicians.”

With that, Kantor added there is a loss. She said the First Lady displayed a down to earth sense of humor in 2007 and was often willing to say things that were mischievous, but she plays it much safer now.

Kantor reveals this is not a politically partisan book, but felt it was important to try to understand the President and First Lady in real and honest ways.

“The book really consists of behind the scenes stories told by the Obamas, and their staff and friends about what things have really been like in the White House and how the Obamas have coped with the job,” she said.

With political figures, there are often two extremes, there are the campaign advertisements that make them look perfect, and on the other hand there are critics who are trying to define them, added Kantor.

“And what I’m trying to do is come up with a more authentic alternative to all of those very manufactured images good and bad,” she said. “And really remind readers these people that we watch up there are human beings and the jobs they’re doing are incredibly challenging and even more complicated and interesting than we often see.”

Next up, Kantor will be in Charlotte, N.C. this week covering the Obamas campaign trail at the Democratic National Convention.

If you go
 What: book discussion with Jodi Kantor, author of “The Obamas”
 When: Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m.
 Where: 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody
 Tickets: $10 for members, $15 for non-members
 This event is open to the community. Seating is limited, reservations are recommended.
 Information: (678) 812-4005 or visit www.atlantajcc.org
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