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!

  • 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.


  • 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..

  • http://deleted ms_micia

    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.

  • 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.

  • Tonton Michel

    Feel bad for her, in love with someone you know doesn’t feel the same way about you and to be constantly reminded of that and what you wish could have been cause the dude is on freaking TV every damn day. That’s a tough one. On another note that pic is straight Mack material, got to get that hat.

  • 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.

  • Chic Noir

    While I was slightly disappointed that there were no bombshell skeletons in President Obama’s relationship closet

    Well I’m not. This is actually refreshing, a man who was/is not on a pump&dump mission.

    “his adolescent image of the perfect ideal woman” and how he had searched for her “at the expense of hooking up with available girls.”
    See this right here!

    This is something you read about the male character doing in a PRN. It’s so unreal to me that flesh and blood man esp an alpha flesh&blood man(hello secret service) would feel this way.

    Sometimes it seems like many modern men actually hate women.

    I know most men feel that we are inferior but I’m talking about something deeper here. I suspect that the disgusting “movies” *wink wink* are in some way a catalyst for those feelings.

  • Kayla

    For the last time President Obama identifies HIMSELF as BLACK!! If you don’t like oh well get over and get a life!!!

  • Aza Ma’at

    *in my super sarcastic tone* –>> Ummm…so he basically played the field, got into the panties of easy White girls, and then MARRIED a REAL women…sounds like a normal collegiate-aged Black man to me. LOL

  • Chic Noir

    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?


  •!/clnmike Tonton Michel

    To hear most tell it, yes, that is true except of course for that troubling ” MARRIED a REAL women” part, apparently you have better luck finding a unicorn getting it’s horn painted at a black owned nail salon.

  • marais morris

    what tickles me about the vanity fair article was reading that when ms. cook said to him, “i love you”, he responded with, “thank you.”

  • Not obsessed

    LOL! I know right, how does that get translated to ‘Obama in love’?

    Obama in live is with Michelle Obama obviously. ..

    There’s just this desperation to make Obama secretly obsessed with White women. He’s not, get over it. . .

  • Amber (The Urban Socialite)

    Hmm…my exes would probably say that I’m compassionate, loyal, a perfectionist and a tad bit spoiled.

  • Alexandra

    They’ve tried before; and tried and tried and couldn’t come up with enough to sabotage Obama’s image. I think he’s one of the few politicians of today that has a pretty clean background. Those photos are amazing too; he would’ve been a great model!

    My one-ex probably would have a juicy story to tell, but I don’t think I’d be ‘ready-to-shit embarrassed’ by it.

  • 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.

  • MIkela123

    “I told him I love you. He responded, ‘Thank you.’” Damn, that sh*t is hurtful.

    Doesn’t she have any pride?

    If one of my exes became world-wide famous, other than maybe sharing with a few close friends, I can’t imagine telling the world how much I loved him, and he couldn’t return my love. That’s so embarrassing.

    And all these corny anecdotes about feeling his “sexual warmth” but he was so distant, “withholding the emotional involvement she was desperately seeking.”

    Oh, but hold up, she still claims that their relationship was Obama’s “deepest romantic relationship of his young life.”

    Hmm, I wonder if he feels the same way?

  • binks

    Hmm…honestly I would get rave reviews for the most part. The relationships I was in never endly badly but just had a lot of missed moments and failed words. The only thing negative either could say is emotionally detached, reserved, not fully committed to an idea of a relationship and stubborn. But the president sounded like a normal 20 something year old

  • Elle Michelle

    You sound just like me, LOL

  • TypicalBlackWoman…

    ^^^Thank you.

  • minna k.

    TM, you really need to stop being so funny!

  • minna k.

    They’d say i was the best lover they’ve ever had. :)

  • 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?!

  • Jess

    OHHHH PLZ…they just have not been able to get obama on anything scandalous, no white women he’s cheating with, haterade to the fact that he’s married to a black woman, who has his 2 black babies, living large in the white house, surrounded by black women like the first grandmother and valerie jerrit. get over it people. obama loves black women and has made it no secret.

    as a 19 or 20 year old, many dated and dumped lots of losers, hanger-ons, groupies, and hoes before finding the one. he found his one and dumped the trash, quite literally (i mean, you can be absolutely nothing more than trash – and a pathetic loser – to come out whining about your ex-boyfriend 35 years later). get over it people. we know you hate the fact that the best black man in america, the most successful, married black and started a black family, but fake scandals will change nothing.

  • Jess

    @Not Obsessed: EXACTLY. Obama don’t give a flying flib about these white “women”, and i use that term loosely. These white women writing these books, just like the one they wrote about Michelle Obama, just can’t get over that fact that they aren’t the prize.

    Remember that the power base behind Obama’s presidential win were some extremely powerful and influential Black women, like Oprah. And the average Black woman’s vote was the final, influential catalyst to propel Obama into the White House.

    so the idea now is to show Obama with some random white chicks, in hopes that all he Black women will get mad and not vote for him, and boot him out of the white house.

    i was all ready to NOT vote for mr. obama simply because his foreign policy is bad. I admire and respect everything else he’s tried to do domestically, and if i could vote him in simply based on domestic policy i would, but his international record of violence is as bad as Bush’s. Which is sad because i really wanted to give Obama my vote.

    But now, these stupid people writing these trash books and the atmosphere of utter disrespect of the president’s family is enough to make me vote for him just to stick it in the face of these racist haters, no matter what his international policy is.

  • Jess

    exactly. don’t you love how she claims this was obama’s deepest relationship?how about asking him – and michelle! hah!

  • Jess

    sorry yall but the white women are trying to tear down the obama family, AND destroy his second run for the presidency. smdh. really pathetic.

  • C

    @Chic Noir

    OMG! Why did you have to go and get all extra deep.

    I agree about modern men and I also agree that *the disgusting movies* are a catalyst. Its funny though because its a kind of fear also…Love and hate because the attraction is so powerful for them.Old story though and Im too tired to hash it fully out.

  • anony.mous

    wonderful comment.

  • anony.mous

    i don’t have any exes. i’ve dated people, but no exes. my current boyfriend would probably say i am kind, intelligent, and put him in his place with a gentle firmness. i don’t know what that’ll turn into if we ever breakup…

  • HowApropos


    I totally agree about this agenda to make the President out to be another black man married to a black woman for ‘appearances’ and yet secretly desiring white women.

    I remember reading blogs and some bitter white folks were touting that mess to make themselves feel better because they’re so butt-hurt that the President is a biracial(black-identified) man.

    I don’t pity this woman, because she seems thirsty for attention. They were both young, and he was playing the field like most young people do while trying to find their place in this world.

    And I cannot see him with nobody else but with his Michelle. They complement each other so well and I doubt any other woman could come close.

  • Michelle

    I don’t think this book is distasteful or intrusive at all. In fact, I think it reveals the intellectual power, character, and (social/cultural) conscience of the man who is running our country.

    Barack Obama knew that his destiny would only be reached with a mate who could serve as his true complement – a black woman. He refused the unwritten contract that so many black men sign when they seek or gain access to success in the mainstream: marriage to a white women; he refused to marry a white woman to gain white approval. Or, as he put it in his book, he refused to “ingratiate” himself to white people.

    Michelle Obama is living testimony to Barack’s deep love of his African and American heritage and self-acceptance, as well as his insistence that slavery is dead: Michelle and Barack remind black people that we are free to love each other – period.

    There is hardly a stronger statement of support of black love than a white woman openly admitting she was denied access to it – and that it indeed was reserved for a black woman only.

  • Creoleyaya

    “The one” from college told me that I was not his “proverbial girlfriend” and that a relationship with me didn’t come close to his other relationships. Ouch! I still have the letters and read them from time to time:(

  • Creoleyaya

    “The one” from college told me that I was not his “proverbial girlfriend” and that a relationship with me didn’t come close to his other relationships. Ouch! I still have the letters and read them from time to time:(

  • Chic Noir

    Thank you anon.mous

    @C- Thank God I’m not the only one who noticed this.

  • purplekeychain

    Disgusted with myself for agreeing with Tonton, but I do.

    I hate when people use the phrase “Real XYZ”. White women are real, too, even if some (or all, based on your experience) are shady as hell.



  • pink

    Jess: Ooooooooh Pleeeeez; this women isn’t complaining….she just wrote a book about their relationship. The motivation for writing the book……money, $$$$$ ,moola, cash. And if most of us had the opportunity we would do the same thing

  • L

    Very good and insightful comment.

  • D Konstrukt

    The’d say I was a cheater.

  • pink

    Jess: #1 Your comments below are contradictory. Either ur going to vote for the President’s re-election or ur not #2 Even if Oprah, or any other celebrity (didn’t) openly endorse President Obama in the first election …tons of women black, white, and brown still would have voted for him #3 As I’ve stated before…..the motivation for writing the book is money…..nothing more…..nothing less

  • Knoah

    I remember dude I loved so much in college saying “YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS” :0| WTF was that all about? Well GREAT because 15 years later in the FUTURE as of now..THANK YA JESUS as he sells used cars and I am an exec. He is STILL HOLDING on to his hair (let it go the hairline starts at the crown of the head now). Now all of sudden he wants to try and DATE?? NO SIR! Go back to the model-esque chicks you longed for that are doing NOTHING now. He would probably say I was a cool chick but I was too demanding. Oh well…YES I kept a journal and I read it not to long ago…over a 100xs he was referenced and damn I got dissed too lmao (busta)…I also said I would stop messing with him like 50xs :0| WOW…

  • JC

    I think you are reading too much into it.

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