When Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election, he also won a long-running debate with his wife Michelle. Contrary to her fears, politics now seemed like a worthwhile, even noble pursuit. Together they planned a White House life that would be as normal and sane as possible.
Then they moved in.
In the Obamas, Jodi Kantor takes us deep inside the White House as they try to grapple with their new roles, change the country, raise children, maintain friendships, and figure out what it means to be the first black President and First Lady. Filled with riveting detail and insight into their partnership, emotions and personalities, and written with a keen eye for the ironies of public life, THE OBAMAS is an intimate portrait that will surprise even readers who thought they knew the President and First Lady.
Barack Obama's rise from an unknown Illinois politician to President of the United States was nothing short of meteoric an unprecedented career trajectory with equal amounts of unique opportunities and challenges. Here, New York Times correspondent Kantor mines her four-plus years of covering the President to craft a complex account of the Obamas' first years in the White House. Drawing from voluminous interviews with over two hundred staffers, friends, aides, cabinet members, and the Obamas themselves, Kantor deftly chronicles the public and private struggles of the First Family. Focusing more on the internal politics than a rote recital of policy changes and key events, her book examines how the couple navigated the Presidency, the White House, and Washington society. The Obamas' commitment to keeping things as normal as possible for their children was laudable, but as the couple soon found out, na ve and riddled with unforeseen political implications. What's more, according to Kantor, the couple's marital dynamics Barack as the calm, optimistic, focused leader who strove for collaboration, and Michelle as the skeptical perfectionist with little patience for political gamesmanship also created internal and political tensions. This is a fascinating look at the intricate dynamics of an ordinary marriage, an unusual home, and an extraordinary presidency. B&W photos.