It is finally out. There had to be a book about the First Couple of America, the loving couple and a united family, The Obamas, how was it possible that they did not have any skeletons in their cupboard. They had and it is all going to be out in a book in a week by US journalist and author Christopher Andersen.
Angry at being left at home to look after their first daughter, Michelle Obama was ‘at the end of her tether’ by 2000, furiously accusing her husband of not only putting his ‘political ambitions’ before his family, but also failing to earn enough to look after them properly.
Michelle even described her husband’s election to the Senate in their home state of Illinois as a ‘costly waste of time’ – when he could be earning ‘real money’ at a major law firm. At the time, she insisted, they were ‘as poor as church mice’, and she was ‘one very unhappy mouse’.
That wasn’t all. Michelle was also fed up with her husband’s personal habits, including his chain-smoking, his snoring in bed, and being ‘clueless’ when it came to running the He was, his wife maintains, not just ‘a fool’ but ‘a lazy fool’.
For his part, the normally laid back Obama, who would become the third youngest President in U.S. history, was deeply hurt, calling her complaints ‘unfair’ and short-sighted’.
She is ‘killing me with this constant criticism’, he told a friend.
Obama also maintained that he would always do whatever he was told when he was at home, and ‘never complained about the chores’ she gave him.
A graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, who’d worked for one of Chicago’s top law firms and the Mayor’s office, Michelle Obama was, in Andersen’s words: ‘Beautiful and brilliant and yet, like so many other young, working mothers, she was the one who was supposed to bear most of the parenting burden’.
Time after time Michelle Obama told her husband: ‘You only think of yourself. I never thought I’d have to raise a family alone.’
‘I didn’t sign on for this’ she added bitterly.
‘Michelle even went so far as to question whether, after eight years of marriage, their days as a couple were numbered,’ says Andersen.
For his part, Obama told his grandmother, Madelyn ‘Toot’ Dunham, who’d helped to raise him in Hawaii: ‘I love Michelle, but she seems so bitter, so angry all the time.’
He also admitted to a friend: ‘My wife was mad at me, and we had this baby . . . it wasn’t a high point in my life . . . There were lots of stresses and strains. ‘She was angry he never picked up his socks or underwear after dropping them on the floor, never did any housework, left wet towels on the bathroom floor and dirty dishes in the sink for her to wash. Every bit as annoying was his incessant smoking. Their home, she felt, ‘stank’ of smoke, the carpets had cigarette burns, and the ashtrays were always full – of course, her husband never emptied them.
On top of that she went to bed at 10pm – anxious to keep her job as a highly-paid lawyer working for a firm which helped the underprivileged, while he’d stay up until 2am.
Even when he got to bed he would snore, and he also suffered from early-morning halitosis.
‘I don’t want anyone to think it’s easy,’ Michelle Obama was to say: ‘We have a strong marriage, but it’s not perfect.’
Time after time the fashion-conscious Michelle accused her jeans-wearing husband of being a slob, while he retorted: ‘Why are you bothering me with this, when I’m out trying to change the world?’
According to friends, that made Michelle even angrier, because she felt she was just as intelligent and accomplished, and was trying to change the world in her own way – ‘so why did she have to clear up after him?’
On top of this the Obamas had been trying to have children – without success. By the summer of 1996, after four years of marriage, Michelle was ‘almost frantic’ about it, in the words of a friend. That didn’t exactly lighten the atmosphere in the Obama household.
With her husband away at the Illinois Senate during the week, Michelle Obama became increasingly lonely, until – in November 1997 – she discovered she was finally pregnant.
The arrival of the couple’s first daughter Malia, on July 4, 1998, didn’t help her relationship with her husband one bit. If anything, things got steadily worse.
His four or five days away at the State Senate only aggravated her feelings of being abandoned – while she also felt that his political career was nothing more than ‘a costly waste of time’.
For his part Obama felt aggrieved. ‘Whenever I could I pitched in,’ he told a friend. ‘All I asked for in return was a little tenderness.’
Instead, he got Post-It notes everywhere, with messages such as: ‘Please pick up after yourself. You left your underwear on the floor again!’
Michelle even took to leaving him lists of jobs he had to do – but ‘he never bitched about it’, according to another friend. It was into this feuding family that their second daughter, Natasha, was born on June 10, 2001 – and it was to be the crisis over her illness that was to save the couple’s splintering marriage.
The details given in above news are a proof that no one is perfect and even the Obamas are humans after all.