President Barack Obama’s former girlfriend Genevieve Cook probably didn’t think her journal entries would become public someday when she penned them more than 25 years ago, but there they are, folded into the pages of Washington Post reporter David Maraniss’ upcoming biography of the president, “Barack Obama: The Story.”
Vanity Fair magazine published a six-page excerpt Wednesday (May 2), which focuses on two of Obama’s former girlfriends, Alex McNear, whom Obama met at Occidental College before transferring to Columbia, and Genevieve Cook, the daughter of a prominent Australian diplomat.
Though she was his New York girlfriend, Obama says that it wasn’t Cook he was referring to in “Dreams of My Father” when writing, “There was a woman in New York that I loved. She was white … Her voice sounded like a wind chime.” He goes on to describe an incident in which this girlfriend “started talking about why black people were so angry all the time.” Obama says he compressed several girlfriends into one for the book, and Maraniss believes the incident happened later in Chicago.
Obama and Cook began dating in December 1983 and even lived together briefly before breaking up in May 1985.
“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,” she wrote in her journal. “Hard to say, as obviously I was not the person that brought infatuation. (That lithe, bubbly, strong black lady is waiting somewhere!)”
Will you read the book when it comes out June 19?