Former President Barack Obama had several serious relationships in his younger years before he met an equally smart, educated and ambitious woman named Michelle Robinson.
Turns out Michelle Robinson (now Michelle Obama) was the first Black woman he ever dated, according to the author of one of the books about the former president.
Christopher Andersen, who wrote Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage, appeared on TMZ just after excerpts from another book — Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama — were released to the public. Andersen asserted that Obama twice proposed to a woman before meeting Michelle.
Andersen says Barack had enormous political ambitions early on and he realized the value and political capital of marrying a Black woman.
The author is quick to add, however, that the love between Barack and Michelle Obama “is real and profound.”
The mysterious woman that Barack Obama proposed to, Sheila Miyoshi Jager, is now a professor at Oberlin College, the Washington Post reported. She was merely a footnote in Obama’s 1995 best-selling memoir, Dreams from My Father. However, as Garrow wrote in the book, their relationship was actually significant enough for him to propose to Jager. In the fall of 1986, Jager told Garrow in the book, Obama asked her to marry him. She said “not yet” because her mother thought Obama, two years Jager’s junior, was too young.
A year later, however, Obama’s ambitions changed, she said.
“I remember very clearly when this transformation happened, and I remember very specifically that by 1987, about a year into our relationship, he already had his sights on becoming president,” Jager told Garrow. Eventually, Barack Obama began dating his current wife, Michelle, and communication between the former president and Jager began to tail off until it stopped altogether.
The mining for information of the former president’s younger life is the trend for writers and biographers as President Trump tries his best to wipe clear the legislative legacy of the 44th president.
The Obama family and their post-White House excursions — yacht trips with Oprah and Tom Hanks and the like — continue to hold a fascination for a certain segment of the population who pine for memories of Obama, and publishers are taking advantage of that trend.