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Obamas' Marriage Was Strained During 2000 House Race: Book

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WASHINGTON — For all the smiling photos of Barack and Michelle Obama, the couple went through a tough time in their marriage in earlier years, according to a new book.

"Renegade," by journalist Richard Wolffe, says the couple's marriage was strained by Barack Obama's unsuccessful 2000 run for Congress.

Wolffe writes that Michelle Obama "hated the failed race for Congress in 2000, and their marriage was strained by the time their youngest daughter, Sasha, was born a year later."

"There was little conversation and even less romance," Wolffe writes. "She was angry at his selfishness and careerism; he thought she was cold and ungrateful."

When Obama ran for the Senate in 2004, his wife still had mixed feelings about her husband's love of politics, and played no part in the campaign, the book says.

By the time Obama decided to run for president, the couple's two children were older and Michelle Obama was more supportive.

"We're going to be fine," the book quotes her as saying. "We just have to make sure the girls are fine. We're strong enough to take anything on and be OK at the end."

Wolffe covered the presidential campaign for Newsweek, and is a political analyst for MSNBC.

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