Genevieve Cook, an ex-girlfriend of President Obama, shares some intimate details about their relationship in a new book about the Commander-in-Chief.
Barack Obama: The Story, by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Maraniss, is the most thorough account of the President’s life not written by Obama.
Vanity Fair published excerpts Wednesday. While The Story contains no sordid, shocking tales of impropriety, it portrays Obama as extremely ambitious.
Obama’s autobiography Dreams From My Father, while generally true, makes him look less calculating and motivated by his own career, in other words.
Barack Obama: The Story also goes into much greater detail about his early life, including romantic relationships, such as that with Genevieve Cook.
Using Obama’s writings and ex-girlfriends’ diaries, Maraniss paints a picture of Obama as an intense, conflicted and sometimes brooding intellectual.
It was that intelligence that drew Cook to Obama after a chance meeting at that East Village apartment gathering, according to Maraniss’ book.
The future President, who in 1983 was a recent graduate of Columbia University, began chatting up the assistant teacher at a party that Christmas.
Obama apparently earned Cook’s endorsement, as they went on a date just days later and she spent that night at his tiny Manhattan apartment.
While sitting on an orange beanbag chair, the two bonded over the time each spent in Indonesia as youths, then exchanged phone numbers.
Cook remembers that Barack Obama also used to spend Sundays in his room wearing a sarong, drinking coffee and solving crossword puzzles.
She described the room as a “a mixture of smells that so strongly speak of his presence, his liveliness, his habits … running sweat, Brut spray deodorant, smoking, eating raisins, sleeping, breathing.”
And while Cook wrote about Obama’s “sexual warmth,” she felt he sometimes kept her at arm’s length … and when she said “I love you,” he often responded “thank you” rather than “I love you, too.”
Barack first met his future wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, in 1989.
Follow the link for Vanity Fair’s full excerpt from Maraniss’ book.