Barack Obama, in his upcoming memoir, reveals some behind-the-scenes insights into his life at the White House, including problems in his marriage and how the stress of the job increased his smoking habits.
The 768-page volume, entitled "A Promised Land," due out November 17, focuses on Obama's early political career through his first term in the White House. But the book also contains some stories of human interest, including the former president's struggle to quit smoking.
Obama admits that he sometimes smokes eight, nine, or ten cigarettes a day and looks in the memoir for a "discreet place to smoke in the evening," a copy of which was obtained from CNN.
And he credits his eldest daughter Malia for getting him to quit, writing that she "frowned" after "smelling a cigarette on my breath".
He said he chewed nicotine gum "incessantly" in order to quit.
During his presidency, there was endless speculation as to whether or not Obama had given up the habit of what he had promised his wife Michelle before campaigning for the president.
In his upcoming memoir, Barack Obama admits he smoked eight or nine cigarettes a day in the White House until his daughter Malia caught him – pictured above in the Oval Office with his eldest daughter in February 2015
In his book, Obama also talks about the toll the presidency has taken on his and Michelle's marriage
Barack Obama smoked outside his family's hut in Kenya, Africa in 1987
Obama started smoking as a teenager and talked about his struggle to quit smoking.
"As a former smoker, I struggle with it all the time," the then president admitted during a press conference in 2009. "Did I fall off the car sometimes?" Yes. Am I a daily smoker, a constant smoker? No, I don't do it in front of my kids. I don't do it in front of my family. You know, I'd say I'm 95% cured, but there are times when I screw it up, ”he said.
"A Promised Land" will be released on November 17th
He was never caught smoking on camera during his tenure at the White House, but there were indications of his habit.
During Obama's trip to Germany for a G7 meeting in 2015, a spokesman for then Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi posted a photo online of Obama holding a pack of cigarettes in his hand.
The White House said at the time it wasn't like that.
During the August 2011 debt crisis, Obama was photographed in the Oval Office with what appeared to be Nicorette gum on his desk.
In his memoir, Obama also writes about how life in the White House has affected his marriage.
Malia Obama was 10 and Sasha Obama was seven when her father became president. He and Michelle were married for 16 years when they became the first couple.
Obama hints at frustrations his wife is experiencing in the White House fishbowl life.
"Despite Michelle's success and popularity, I still felt an undercurrent of tension within her, subtle but constant, like the faint rumble of a hidden machine," writes Obama. “It was as if all of her previous sources of frustration, limited as we were within the walls of the White House, became more focused and animated, whether it was my 24/7 absorption of work or the way politics were ours Family exposed to control and attack, or even a tendency for friends and family members to treat their role as secondary. & # 39;
Obama adds that there were nights next to Michelle in the dark. I would think of those days when everything felt lighter between us, her smiles were more constant and our love less strained, and my heart suddenly contracted at the thought that those days could not return. & # 39;
During Obama's trip to Germany for a G7 meeting in 2015, a spokesman for then Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi posted a photo online of Obama holding a pack of cigarettes, but the White House didn't say so at the time
President Barack Obama at the start of his term in the White House with daughter Malia Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Sasha Obama in the White House Green Room September 1, 2009 – Malia was 10 years old and Sasha was 7 years old when her father joined President was elected
President Obama at the end of his term at the White House with Malia, Michelle, Sasha and their dogs Bo and Sunny in the Rose Garden of the White House in April 2015
President Obama is writing his own historic election – he and his family will be seen at his inauguration on January 20, 2009 – which has created racial tension in the country
In her memoir, Michelle Obama revealed that she and her husband had been in marriage counseling in the early days of their marriage
The book is the first of two parts to come from the former president – part of a $ 65 million deal he and Michelle Obama signed with Penguin Random House. The earlier first lady book & # 39; Becoming & # 39; sold millions of copies in 2018 and had high expectations for her husband's book.
In her memoir, Michelle Obama also discussed war issues, revealing that the couple had gone to Chicago for marriage counseling prior to their term in the White House at the start of their marriage when Obama was in state parliament.
While promoting her book, Michelle Obama told ABC News, "I know too many young couples who struggle and somehow think something is wrong with them."
"I want them to know that Michelle and Barack Obama – who have a phenomenal marriage and love each other – are working on our marriage and getting help with our marriage when we need it," she said.
In his book, Barack Obama also talks about racial relations in the United States and writes that it was his own historic election as the nation's first black president that sparked part of the current division in the country.
"It was as if my presence in the White House had triggered a deep-seated panic, a feeling that the natural order had been disrupted," writes Obama in the book received by CNN.
Donald Trump, he claims, sensed the mood in the country and used it to win the White House in the 2016 election.
“This is exactly what Donald Trump understood when he started making claims that I was not born in the United States and was therefore an illegitimate president. For millions of Americans who were terrified by a black man in the White House, he promised an elixir for their racial fear, ”he writes.