Obama's quit smoking promise secured Michelle's backing to run for presidency

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London, Jan 11 (ANI): US President Barack Obama might have never run for the presidency if he had not secured wife Michelle's backing by agreeing to leave smoking.

The Race of a Lifetime, a book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, gives the depth of Michelle Obama's opposition to her husband's White House run.

The authors also claim that Sarah Palin became so overwhelmed by her preparation for a disastrous TV interview that she smeared her make-up over her face, saying later that she wished she had never joined the McCain campaign.

The book claims Obama would never have run without his wife's backing. It was only after he promised to quit smoking, be home on Sundays and attend his daughters' parent-teacher meetings and music recitals that she finally swung behind his bid.

Even then, in January 2007, he had second thoughts. "Being Barack Obama [as opposed to President] isn't a bad gig," he told his chief adviser.

"Could Michelle have stopped him? Without question," Halperin told The Times in an interview. "She really was against it."

The book based on more than 200 interviews with the 2008 candidates and their staffs has already caused controversy in Washington, the paper reports.

It forced Senator Harry Reid to apologise to Obama at the weekend for describing him as a "light-skinned" African- American with "no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one". (ANI)

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