Obama’s Ex-Girlfriend, Secret diaries of an Australian woman who was one of young Barack Obama’s girlfriends, show the warmth and trust of the future president in love, but also hint at his reserve and “coolness.”
Accounts of the 1980s romance between Genevieve Cook and a twenty-something Obama in New York were excerpted in “Vanity Fair” magazine from a forthcoming book called “Barack Obama: The Story” by author David Maraniss.
Cook, daughter of an Australian diplomat, remembered how “on Sundays Obama would lounge around, drinking coffee and solving the New York Times crossword puzzle, bare-chested, wearing a blue and white sarong,” Maraniss wrote.
The book also includes accounts from Cook’s diaries, which show how the romance grew and then cooled when the couple moved in together, according to excerpts published in Vanity Fair magazine.
“The S-EX-ual warmth is definitely there — but the rest of it has sharp edges and I’m finding it all unsettling and finding myself wanting to withdraw from it all,” Cook wrote.
The account by Maraniss shows the young Obama trying to make sense of the different cultural and racial strands of his life, as the son of a white American woman and a Kenyan father who spent boyhood years in Indonesia.
He comes across as cerebral, searching, perhaps pretentious, brooding but earnest, and as an outsider — traits, in one degree or another which another marked his lightning rise to the top of US politics two decades later.
In 1984 she commented in the diary: “Barack still intrigues me, but so much going on beneath the surface, out of reach. Guarded, controlled.” (AFP)