About 36 years ago, Alexandra McNear was Barack Obama’s girlfriend as she was a student at the Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.
And now the world gets a glimpse of their romance via several love letters that the former president penned to McNear.
The romance and letters are back in the headlines thanks to David J. Garrow’s new book entitled Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama.
In it, the author claimed that Michelle Obama’s husband first met McNear in 1979 while at Occidental College.
Two years later, Mr. Obama was transferred to Columbia University in New York.
In mid-1982, McNear and Obama found each other while in the Big Apple, and they started dating.
McNear said she is the one who reached out to Obama, and he agreed to have dinner in an old Italian restaurant.
She gave very precise details about the first date.
She confessed: “We sat and talked and ate and drank wine. Or at least I drank wine. I think he drank something stronger. It was one of those dark, old Italian restaurants that don’t exist in New York anymore. It was the kind of place where they leave you alone. I remember thinking how happy I felt just talking to him, that I could talk to him for hours. We walked slowly back to my apartment, on 90th, and said good-bye. After that, we started spending much more time together.”
McNear returned to California, and she decided to have a long distance relationship with Obama which implied mailing letters back and forth regularly to stay in touch.
The Emory University has released nine of the personal sometimes complex letters that Obama wrote to his former lady.
In letter one, Obama poured his heart and soul out: “I trust you know that I miss you, that my concern for you is as wide as the air, my confidence in you as deep as the sea, my love rich and plentiful. Love, Barack.”
In letter two, professor Obama seems to be giving a lecture.
He writes: “I think of you often, though I stay confused about my feelings. It seems we will ever want what we cannot have; that’s what binds us; that’s what keeps us apart. I am not so naïve as to believe that a distinct line exists between romantic love and the more quotidian, but perhaps finer bonds of friendship.But I can feel the progression from one to the other (in my mind).”
In letter three, Mr. Obama reveals the burning desire to be more politically engaged in society.
He stated: “My ideas aren’t as crystallized as they were while in school, but they have an immediacy and weight that may be more useful if and when I’m less observer and more participant.”
The romance between Obama and McNear barely lasted one year, in 1983, Obama started dating Genevieve Cook.