Michelle Obama prepared divorce papers to separate from Barack Obama in 2000 following his disastrous attempt to win a House seat in Chicago, according to a new book.
When he lost miserably the future First Lady was supposedly disgusted that her husband had ignored her warnings not to take on the four term incumbent Bobby Rush.
Their marriage – in its eighth year at the time – was ‘on the rocks’ with Mr Obama so depressed some of his friends feared he was suicidal.
The couple have admitted that in the past they did go through a rough patch but that they patched things up and grew closer together.
The Obamas have now been married for 21 years and have two children, Malia, 13, and Sasha, nine.
In ‘The Amateur’, Mr Klein’s unauthorised account of Mr Obama’s life and first term in office, he claims that Mr Obama was over ambitious in his attempt to take on House member Mr Rush for the black South Side seat in Chicago.
In a crushing blow, he lost by two votes to one prompting claims from Mr Rush that he was an ‘educated fool’.
Mr Klein writes: ‘After Obama’s humiliating defeat he was broke and deeply in debt and it looked as though he might be finished in public life.
‘During the dark days that followed his defeat, he turned to Michelle for comfort. But she was in no mood to offer him sympathy.
‘After all he had refused to listen to her warnings about taking on the formidable Bobby Rush. He had put his family in a precarious financial position. And he had dashed Michelle’s hopes of creating a stable and secure future.
‘As a result their marriage was on the rocks, and Obama confided to friends that he and Michelle were talking about divorce.
‘Michelle actually had divorce papers drawn up’, one of her friends told me’.
In desperation Mr Obama begged friends to help him open an office to stay in politics – but did not tell his wife for fear of her wrath if she found out.
The couple appear to have worked out their differences, however – Mr Obama ran for a Senate seat in Illinois and won it in, assuming office in 2005 and restoring his wife’s faith in him.
The Amateur also includes a number of other claims about Mr Obama, including an interview with his former pastor Jeremiah Wright which could ignite the debate about his religion.
During the ‘birther’ row about where Mr Obama was born he faced repeated accusations that not only was he born in Kenya, he was in fact a Muslim and not a Christian as he claims to be.
Asked by Mr Klein if he converted Mr Obama from Islam to Christianity, Mr Wright said: ‘That’s hard to tell.
‘I think I convinced him that it was okay for him to make a choice in terms of who he believed Jesus is. And I told him it was really okay and not a put down of the Muslim part of his family or his Muslim friends’.
Mr Obama was supposedly known as ‘Black Jesus’ by his former senior campaign adviser David Axelrod because of his messiah complex, Mr Klein writes.
He also had a run-in with Steven Rogers, a wealthy businessman who became the Gund Family Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
She was supposedly so territorial that she ‘drove a lot of Barack’s friends away’, Mr Klein writes.
The only reason they got married at all was that Mrs Obama ‘insisted’ upon it – because she wanted to ‘remake him’ as she wanted and not let him have an easy life.
The book claims that once her husband assumed office she began to wield power behind the scenes to such an extent that Mr Obama shares a ‘co-presidency’ with her.
Mr Klein also alleges that Mr Obama twice snubbed Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of former U.S. President John F Kennedy, and that he and Mrs Obama privately made disparaging comments about her family – and even their clothes.
He writes: ‘Caroline heard there was a lot of nasty s**** being said about the Kennedys by the president and Michelle.
‘There were catty remarks about how badly the Kennedy women dressed and how their houses were shabby and threadbare.
‘Caroline got the impression that most of this negativity was coming from Michelle, who didn’t want the Kennedys to be part of the administration for fear that they would have too much influence over the president.’
Among others who were also shut out of the White House were Oprah Winfrey who Mr Klein claims was given the cold shoulder for being too fat.
The title of the book comes from a supposed outburst last August by former U.S. President Bill Clinton who branded Mr Obama ‘an amateur’.
He also urged his wife Hillary to quit her post as U.S. Secretary of State and challenge Mr Obama for the Democratic ticket in this year’s elections, telling her: ‘Your country needs you! Your country needs us!’
The White House has denounced the book and said that Mr Klein has a record for making things up.
Mr Clinton has also denied he insulted the President.