Michelle Obama: Barack has hit boiling point
By Tim Shipman in Raleigh, North Carolina
Barack Obama is struggling to contain his anger and frustration over the constant barrage of questions about his character and judgment, his wife has revealed.
Michelle Obama lifted the lid on the irritation felt by the leading Democrat candidate for the White House at the way anti-American outbursts by his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, have dogged his campaign.
He is said to be itching to turn all his fire on John McCain, the Republican candidate, who is benefiting most from Mr Obama's protracted tussle with Hillary Clinton.
Mrs Obama told a rally in Durham, North Carolina, on Friday that only her husband's desire to change US politics had helped him to control his feelings: "Barack is always thinking three steps ahead – what do we need to do to make change."
Her husband was thinking "I can't let my ego, my anger, my frustration get in the way of the ultimate goal," she said.
"Barack has been characterised as many things that have nothing to do with who he is."
Senator Obama has known the Rev Wright for more than 20 years, but he was forced to end their friendship last week over repeated claims by his pastor that America was to blame for the 9/11 attacks and for spreading the Aids virus.
New polls show the affair may have derailed Mr Obama's chances of sealing a double win in Tuesday's North Carolina and Indiana primary elections, which might have ended Mrs Clinton's hopes.
Instead, in just a week, Mrs Clinton has reversed a narrow Obama lead in Indiana and is closing fast in North Carolina, where Mr Obama had hoped for a convincing win.
A poll on Saturday found 58 per cent of voters believe his de-nunciation of the Rev Wright was merely an act of political expediency.
The Rasmussen survey found 56 per cent of voters thought it likely that Obama shares some of his pastor's anti-American views.