First Lady, more like SECOND Lady AM I RIGHT GUYS? Guys? K.
A new book by Pulitzer Prize winning author David Garrow titled “Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama” claims that back in the 80’s, Obama asked a woman not named Michelle to marry him not once, but twice.
Her name was Sheila Miyoshii Jager, a woman of Dutch and Japanese ancestry who Barack met while doing community organizing in Chicago. The biography claims that in 1986 Obama asked her to marry him but her parents were opposed because they thought she was too young. At that time, Obama was 25 and Sheila was 23. Regardless, the two continued to see each other.
Shortly after the proposal, Jager told Garrow that her beau, who had “a deep-seated need to be loved and admired,” started to become relentlessly ambitious.
“I remember very specifically that by 1987, about a year into our relationship, he already had his sights on becoming president,” she said, according to the book. She told Garrow that Obama’s “resolution of his black identity was directly linked to his decision to pursue a political career,” according to the Washington Post review.
Barack was dead set on making a run for the mayor of Chicago or the US Senate at the time and he worried that a non-African-American spouse would do him political damage. A Washington Post review on the biography details how Barack was able to shelf emotions to achieve his political aspirations.
“Garrow portrays Obama as a man who ruthlessly compartmentalized his existence; who believed early on that he was fated for greatness; and who made emotional sacrifices in the pursuit of a goal that must have seemed unlikely to everyone but him.”
Obama went to Harvard Law School in 1988 and the relationship was in shambles, but Jager says Obama again asked her to marry him before he left, but she was off on a research trip to Seoul and rejected his proposal.
Obama fell for Michelle after their first year in law school but, according to Garrow, he was still occasionally seeing Jager. “I always felt bad about it,” Jager reportedly said.
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Jager is currently a professor of East Asian Studies at Oberlin College. Her book, Iraqi Security Forces and Lessons from Korea was on Osama bin Laden’s bookshelf in the compound where Seal Team Six killed him.