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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  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • Thank you anon.mous

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

  • Kayla

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

    • TypicalBlackWoman…

      ^^^Thank you.

  • 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

    • 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.

    • minna k.

      TM, you really need to stop being so funny!

    • 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.

    • 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.



  • 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. . .

    • 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.

    • 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