As election season kicks into high gear, we'll be hearing more personal information about both potential candidates for the United States Presidency. Just like they did four years ago, all types of accusations and claims will be made in an attempt to specifically damage the image of President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama. If you thought these types of discussions would be reserved for questions about the President's origin of birth or more questions about Rev. Wright and sermons from the past then you're wrong.
The latest attempt to damage the image of the Obamas is to paint the picture perfect, first couple as a not-so-perfect pair who once were headed for divorce. This all comes from a new unapproved biography on the President titled, The Amateur by Edward Klein. The book has been dismissed by White House spokespeople who have used words like "fiction" and "nonsense" when addressing it.
In the book, Klein claims that eight years into the Obama's marriage Michelle had divorce papers drawn up after issues resulting from the future President's loss in a political race. The race against Democratic Congressman Bobby Rush in a primary on Chicago's South Side wasn't even close. The book paints a picture of a depressed and defeated Barack Obama who received no sympathy from his wife Michelle because he refused to listen to her warnings on taking on Rush. The primary race would also leave them in debt according to the book. According to Klein, Obama was near suicidal and not allowed by Michelle to run for the US Senate in 2004 (a race that he would later win) until he had paid back debts from his previous unsuccessful run.
With all of the different smear tactics that will be used against the President in upcoming months, I must say that we're cool with this one. Positioning the first couple as a pair who've had issues in the past but have overcome them doesn't make them look weak, it makes them look stronger. Not only does it make them appear stronger but for married couples like us it makes them look normal.
Anyone who's been married for a length of time can tell you that challenges come over the course of your marriage. How you're able to weather the storm and confront those challenges shows your character as a couple.
Perhaps the purpose of this portion of the book is to show that if those problems existed in the past then the couple may not be as strong as we think. From the work that we do we can say that this is not necessarily the truth either. We've spoken to thousands of couples over the past 5 years on the web and in person and what we've learned is that overcoming challenges can actually make your relationship stronger. Overcoming these types of issues can give you a new appreciation for your marriage and for each other.
If the Obamas haven't been the perfect couple for the almost 20 years that they've been married, we love that, because no couple is perfect. Other married people don't believe in perfect couples because they know that it takes hard work and perseverance to take it the distance. Married couples realize that a successful marriage takes compromise, resiliency and a determination not to give up even when giving up seems like the only option.
A marriage that's lasted just shy of 20 years takes two people who not only love each other, but are willing to work together for the greater good of their relationship and their family through both good times and bad. From the outside looking in, we see a genuine love that we haven't seen in quite some time in the White House. We see a husband and wife who seem to not only like each other but love each other. We see public displays of affection, quality time through date nights and an effort to be engaged parents (or as engaged as you can be when you're the leader of the free world).
If Mr. Klein wants us to stop loving what Barack and Michelle Obama stand for as a couple his efforts have backfired because he just made us love them even more.