In the latest issue of Vanity Fair, the magazine features an excerpt of a new book about President Obama that aims to shed more light on his past, particularly his love life. The book, Barack Obama: The Story by David Maraniss shares intimate details from two of the President’s former girlfriends.

Despite many hoping to find the sordid details of a wild young man complete with drug use and rampant sexual promiscuity, what we see is a man in search of himself and his identity who spends a lot of time thinking about his place in the world and rereading an old copy of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Sort of a young, less-assured version of the President we see today.

In one particularly interesting journal entry from his ex-girlfriend Genevieve Cook, an Australian woman three years his senior, we learn how a 20-something Obama described his perfect woman. Despite being in love with each other, it was clear to Cook that she wasn’t his ideal woman.

From Vanity Fair:

Early in Barack’s relationship with Genevieve, he had told her about “his adolescent image of the perfect ideal woman” and how he had searched for her “at the expense of hooking up with available girls.” Who was this ideal woman? Genevieve conjured her in her mind, and it was someone other than herself. She wrote, “I can’t help thinking that what he would really want, be powerfully drawn to, was a woman, very strong, very upright, a fighter, a laugher, well-­experienced—a black woman I keep seeing her as.”

When the pair eventually broke up in 1985 after an unsuccessful (and temporary) bout of living together Cook wrote:

Barack leaving my life—at least as far as being lovers goes. In the same way that the relationship was founded on calculated boundaries and carefully, rationally considered developments, it seems to be ending along coolly considered lines. I read back over the past year in my journals, and see and feel several themes in it all … how from the beginning what I have been most concerned with has been my sense of Barack’s withholding the kind of emotional involvement I was seeking. I guess I hoped time would change things and he’d let go and “fall in love” with me. Now, at this point, I’m left wondering if Barack’s reserve, etc. is not just the time in his life, but, after all, emotional scarring that will make it difficult for him to get involved even after he’s sorted his life through with age and experience. 

Hard to say, as obviously I was not the person that brought infatuation. (That lithe, bubbly, strong black lady is waiting somewhere!) 

It looks like she was. He met Michelle four years later and the two have been inseparable ever since.

While I was slightly disappointed that there were no bombshell skeletons in President Obama’s relationship closet (but at the same time relieved), getting a glimpse into past romances made me wonder what my exes think of me. I wonder if they’d also kept journal entries or past emails and letters we exchanged, and if they would still speak of me in such positive terms as President Obama’s past loves.

If someone asked your exes what type of person you were when the two of you dated would you get glowing reviews or would they have a seriously, juicy (and dramatic) story to tell?

Lets talk about it!

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  • C

    I saw this somewhere

    Clearly Michelle was the better choice

    AS for exes….Once I pulled the plug, without warning, then I was usually the best thing ever, which at that point was too little too late and there was no going back no matter the pleading, attempted kidnapping(happened), or anger.

  • Dreaming

    Pfft! I don’t have any exes.

  • Jess

    what losers – omg. this is obvious just hate against black women and a jab at michelle obama. look white women, GET A LIFE.

    You’ve got a Black President married to a Black First Lady with 2 beautiful Black daughters. GET OVER IT!

    Most people don’t drag up every ex-girlfriend, date or fling after someone has been married.

    We alll dated all kinds of riff raff before we found the right person to marry or be in a long term loving relationship with – check it white chicks – you were not, and aint the women for Barack.Black president + Black wife equals insecure white women coming out of the woodworks.

    GET OVER IT. This Black man loves his Black wife and left the rest of the jump offs and the hoes in the dirt, and leave it like that.


    • Dreaming

      But President Obama isn’t Black. He’s Black AND White. He’s biracial.

    • pink

      Jess: First of all President Obama is not black…..he’s bi-racial. To say he’s black disrepects his mother because she was white. Secondly when you are Leader of the Free World/President…..Everything about you is fair game. You life is an open book. In my opinion the only thing that should be off limits is their kids. And that goes for anly president’s kids.

    • If he looks Black then he is Black.

      People will treat him the same way they will treat any other light-skinned Black man. Lets not forget that racism or race is largely based around what people see.

      If I didn’t know President Obama’s mom was white, I would not think he’s biracial.

      His skin is darker and his hair in “nappier” than rev. Wright’s for example. Is rev. Wright biracial?


    • Keke

      I thought he was African and white….Irish actually or something like that didn’t feel like googling it, but i’m just saying.

    • xoxo

      FYI: President Obama identifies as Black, specifically African-American and he has done so repeatedly and consistently and most recently on the last U.S. census. I can’t for the life of me figure out why people have a problem with this?! I

      And really…because he doesn’t identify as biracial (whatever that means) he is disrespecting his mother?!! Hmmm, say what now?!

  • lostluv224

    my exes would say I was emotionally detached but someohow still the most compassionate person they’ve ever met.

    spoiled rotten but one of the hardest working women they know.

    sarcastic as hell but always having thoughtful things to say

    lol these are some of the things I’ve heard..

    • Elle Michelle

      You sound just like me, LOL

  • Am I the only one who finds it in poor taste for his ex girlfriends to be coming out of the wood work, even if they have no scathing scandalous details to share? Even President Kennedy got enough respect than for people to out and out talk about his scandals while still living and in office. This is no Bill Clinton drama but to me, keep your mouth shut ladies. I’m sure there are many other lovers strewn about the world that can say they, too, once had a peice of The Head of State. But c’mon, the man’s married! Geez.

    • pink

      ms: Poor taste?? Everyone writes a book these days. It’s unrealistic to think that no one would ever write a book about this; in fact numerous people have already written books about the President. President Obama was well aware of this, and it’s been reported that he even gave a 2 hour interview in conjunction with this. As for Michelle….she not insecure and also is intelligent enough to know that these type things come with the territory. As the comparison to Kennedy; that was a different time in history. Now everything comes out early.

    • somewhiteclutchfan

      It seems pretty distasteful…why do this? People are curious for this kind of thing, but it strikes me as not right here. Nothing really bad said about him, but just in poor taste to bring up all these personal details years later. Plus he didn’t do anything wrong, no scandal or affair or anything like that.