Nothing but respect for my president. Barack Obama, arguably the final POTUS, penned some inspiring letters in the '80s to his former girlfriend Alexandra McNear. And now, by way of Emory University, those letters will be released to the public for the very first time.
A series of "handwritten notes" from Obama to McNear have been procured by the university's Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library in Atlanta, the New York Times reported Thursday. All told, Emory has obtained nine letters penned between the fall of 1982 and the spring of 1984.
"These letters aren't particularly personal," Andra Gillespie, a political science associate professor at Emory, said of the letters' content. "You're coming in at these letters at a point in President Obama's and Alex McNear's relationship where you can see the arc of the breakup that's going to happen." According to Gillespie, a couple of post-breakup letters are included in the collection.
"It seems we will ever want what we cannot have," Obama, in a 1983 letter sent from Indonesia, wrote. "That's what binds us. That's what keeps us apart."
In a later letter, sent by the then-Columbia student to McNear at Occidental College in Los Angeles, Obama recalled an uplifting phone conversation." Your call gave me a boost," he wrote. "Somehow a clutter of numbers and appointments and bills had grown over your last letter,. Hearing your voice was like discovering a passage in a book I had read a while ago."
The letters also include hints at Obama's eventual political leanings and aspirations, including the 1984 realization that his ideas weren't as "crystallized" as they were in school, but had gained an important "immediacy and weight" in the interim. Get more info on the letters here, if further prying is of interest to you.
Now, would I personally want letters to a former lover/girlfriend/what-have-you shared with the general public? No. Sounds like a goddamn nightmare. But this sure as hell beats reading inane, nuclear-themed tweets from this fucking guy.