Michelle Obama takes tips from Hillary Clinton on raising kids in public eye

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Chicago, Nov.12 : Incoming U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama has reportedly called up former First Lady Hillary Clinton for pointers on protecting her two young daughters from the media maelstrom at the White House.

"Michelle may not have loved the senator, but she always respected how the Clintons raised Chelsea," Politico quoted a person familiar with Clinton's end of the call, as saying.

An aide briefed on Obama's side of the chat said she was "grateful" for Clinton's "pointers" on "raising children in the public eye."

It's the latest phase in the ruling-class soap opera that is the Obama-Clinton alliance, where the two first families negotiate new personal relationships as Hillary Clinton wrestles with her own ambivalence about Michelle Obama's husband, a man she once ridiculed as too callow to govern, and then worked tirelessly to elect.

These tensions have created a somewhat schizoid relationship between Clinton and the Obamas - warm on personal matters, warier on political ones, and downright frosty on the still-unresolved issue of Clinton's mountainous campaign debt, which Barack Obama had pledged to help reduce.

The Clintons are reportedly disappointed that inspite of them pitching for Obama after the primaries, the much vaunted Obama fundraising operation hasn't reciprocated by planning new events or an Internet campaign to help Hillary Clinton pay off the 7.9 million dollars she owes to vendors. Clinton has already written off the 13 million dollars she loaned the campaign during the primaries, aides say.

A Clinton adviser said: "She killed herself for them, did a hundred events, went anywhere they pointed - so it's disappointing they aren't helping... But it's not a big deal at this point."

One former Clinton fundraiser took a more cold-blooded view. "In a few months, when he's really struggling, he'll come to her for support," he said. "That's when she should ask him for money."

An Obama spokesman didn't comment but didn't rule out a debt retirement effort down the road.

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