Barack Obama met Michelle Robinson the summer he turned 28, following his first year at Harvard Law School. On their first date, they saw Spike Lee`s Do the Right Thing
, which was released June 30, 1989, five weeks before his 28th birthday. With her deep roots in the respectable black lower middle class of the South Side of Chicago, she was the perfect political wife for an exotic young man whose intent was to follow Harold Washington as a black mayor of Chicago.
But that raises a question: who were Obama`s girlfriends during those first 27 years and 11 months? Did he have any? The public record is curiously sparse.
In Dreams from My Father
, he makes references to a serious girlfriend whom he dropped after a year because she was white (although various readers have complained that this character seems more stylized than realistic). He also claims he chose Occidental College because it was in Los Angeles, where a tourist girl he`d met was from.
But we seem to be lacking in outside evidence for the President having a romantic relationship with a human female before about his 28th birthday.
You might think that in this era where seemingly everybody wants to be a celebrity, an ex-girlfriend might want some publicity. I mean, Bernie Madoff`s mistress just published her
On the other hand, the media`s abuse of Gennifer Flowers back in 1992 may have scared women off. The press attacked her virulently because she had sold her story
. As everybody in the news business knows, the essence of morality is giving your story to the press for free
. You can look it up: it`s one of the Ten Commandments. When I finally got around to reading Ms. Flowers` views on the President in the late 1990s, they turned out to be sympathetically insightful. They helped me understand Clinton a lot better.
The press, of course, is even less interested in helping you understand Obama than they were in helping you understand Clinton.
Yet, I haven`t heard any credible gay rumors about Obama, either. Having lived from 1982-2000 in Chicago, a big city with a dearth of celebrities, which means that the multitudinous locals have a lot of time on their hands to gossip about each and every one of the few celebrities in town, I got used to hearing gay rumors about seemingly every famous person in Chicago, except maybe Mike Royko, Richie Daley, and Mike Ditka: Oprah? Sure. Governor Thompson? Of course. Mayor Washington? No doubt about it! Practically every single player on the 1985 Chicago Bears? I mean, why not? But the gay rumors I`ve seen on the Internet and in supermarket checkout racks about Obama just seem like the usual junk.
Nor is there much circumstantial evidence. For example, Obama plays golf
a lot, but doesn`t much publicize it (the golf magazines I subscribe to just get their President goes golfing news second hand from the AP — they haven`t yet gotten an interview with Obama about his golf game.)
So, the topic is rather puzzling.