Vanity Fair has published several excerpts from the book “Barack Obama: The Story” written by David Maraniss. The fragments were gathered from Genevieve Cook, Barack Obama’s ex-girlfriend, who used her diary to dish on her relationship with the future President of the United States.
Genevieve Cook met Barack Obama in 1983 at a Christmas party in Manhattan’s East Village. According to her diary, the two saw each other for the first time when they crossed their paths in the kitchen. Young Obama was wearing a pair of jeans, a T-shirt and a leather jacket at that time.
Even though he was a fresh graduate of Columbia University, Obama had high hopes for his future and was already thinking of a plan to fulfill his ambitions. In fact, Genevieve described him as a very sober adolescent. He was very warm and friendly, but at the same time very distant, so people rarely knew what he was thinking about. An excerpt from May 25, 1985 proves that Genevieve was even questioning Obama’s capacity to fall in love with her because he always rejected the idea of getting too emotionally involved.
Cook did not exaggerate the description of the President in any way. As a matter of fact, Barack used the same words to talk about himself in the memoir “Dreams From My Father” where he confesses that he was struggling to find his unique identity. Political analysts noticed that Obama was charming, yet very distant ever since he arrived at the White House. Some even compared him with “Star Treck’s” Mr. Spock because of his aloof traits.
Judging by her written accounts, Cook was very surprised to see that Obama was behaving like an elderly person even though he was only 22 years old. Understanding him was difficult; therefore, Genevieve wrote on February 25 that she often felt anger towards her then-partner for his incapacity of being more emotional. When she told him that she loved him, Obama would reply ‘thank you’ as if he was surprised, too, that someone loves him.
Among many other aspects that she discusses in the diary, Cook tries to delineate the perfect woman for Obama unknowingly predicting his marriage with Michelle Obama. She wrote that the President seemed to need “a very strong, very upright, a fighter, a laugher, well-¬experienced—a black woman”.