Former President Barack Obama opens up for the first time about the sizable toll his presidency took on his marriage.
The 44th president writes in A Promised Land, which goes on sale on Nov. 17, 2020, that he discerned underlying tensions while he and wife Michelle and their children were living in a sometimes suffocating White House bubble.
“And yet, despite Michelle’s success and popularity, I continued to sense an undercurrent of tension in her, subtle but constant, like the faint thrum of a hidden machine,” Obama writes, according to excerpts obtained by CNN. “It was as if, confined as we were within the walls of the White House, all her previous sources of frustration became more concentrated, more vivid, whether it was my round-the-clock absorption with work, or the way politics exposed our family to scrutiny and attacks, or the tendency of even friends and family members to treat her role as secondary in importance.”
The two-time Ivy League graduate and best-selling author admits he wondered if his career in politics had caused irrevocable damage to his relationship with the former first lady.
“Lying next to Michelle in the dark, I’d think about those days when everything between us felt lighter, when her smile was more constant and our love (was) less encumbered, and my heart would suddenly tighten at the thought that those days might not return,” Obama writes in the book.
Obama also spoke about his former vice president and current President-elect Joe Biden. “I liked the fact that Joe would be more than ready to serve as president if something happened to me —and that it might reassure those who still worried I was too young,” he writes.