According to the new book, The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House, by Edward Klein, Michelle Obama was so angry in 2000 that her husband had run for a House seat and failed miserably that she prepared divorce papers against him. Obama had taken on Bobby Rush, a four-time incumbent on the South Side of Chicago, and lost by a margin of two to one.
Michelle Obama had warned her husband not to run, but he ignored her advice and ran anyway. After Rush destroyed Obama in the election, he called Obama “an educated fool.” Later, when Michelle Obama prepared the divorce papers, according to friends, her husband became so depressed that he was suicidal. Klein describes the situation at the time this way:
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.
The Obamas have acknowledged that their marriage has been in trouble before; in 2010 there were rumors of an impending divorce.