President Obama’s Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

President Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

A new biography of President Barack Obama by Dave Maraniss reveals the “New York girlfriend” described in the president’s 1995 memoir, Dreams of My Father, was actually a “compression” combining stories from several women he dated over the years.

“During an interview in the Oval Office, Obama acknowledged that, while Genevieve was his New York girlfriend, the description in his memoir was a “compression” of girlfriends, including one who followed Genevieve [Cook] when he lived in Chicago,” Mr. Maraniss wrote.

This revelation quickly became the latest mini-scandal of the presidential campaign with Matt Drudge, the internet’s de facto front page, quickly declaring it evidence of the president “fabricating” portions of his life story. However, over at Slate, Dave Weigel points out President Obama never claimed the characters in his memoir weren’t based on individuals.

Dreams of My Father began with a disclaimer that said, “For the sake of compression, some of the characters that appear are composites of people I’ve known.” For once, it seems the president being candid about dating multiple women is the end of a campaign scandal rather than the start of one.