Obama’s Ex-girlfriend, Genevieve Cook, Reveals Difficulty in Loving Him

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Vanity Fair magazine has published an excerpt from Washington Post reporter David Maraniss’ upcoming biography of the president entitled “Barack Obama: The Story.” (Regular Fix readers know how excited we have been/are about this book, which goes on sale next month.)

The six page excerpt focuses on two of Obama’s early girlfriends. One, named Alex McNear, Obama met at Occidental College before he transferred to Columbia. She came to New York for a summer, the start of a long-distance, letter-based relationship in 1982.

Maraniss got a hold of many of the letters they exchanged — many more literary than romantic.

Here’s Obama on the poet T.S. Eliot, in one of letter to McNear:

“Remember how I said there’s a certain kind of conservatism which I respect more than bourgeois liberalism—Eliot is of this type. Of course, the dichotomy he maintains is reactionary, but it’s due to a deep fatalism, not ignorance.”

In December 1983 Obama met Genevieve Cook, the daughter of a prominent Australian diplomat, at a party. While he told Maraniss that he was speaking of Cook in “Dreams of My Father” when he wrote, “There was a woman in New York that I loved. She was white … Her voice sounded like a wind chime,” Obama says he compressed several girlfriends into one in the book (as he noted in his memoir’s introduction).

Read the rest of this story on the Washington Post

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