One of the more interesting aspects of Pulitzer-winning biographer David J. Garrow’s colossal 1460-page 2017 biography of Barack Obama, Rising Star, was how much cocaine Obama kept snorting with his rich leftist Pakistani pals a couple of years after graduating from college in 1983. Garrow told the Los Angeles Times last year:
Barack’s cocaine usage up through 1985, when he leaves New York, was probably a little bit extensive even by the standards of the mid-1980s …
Garrow had access to the journal kept by Obama’s NYC girlfriend Genevieve Cook, the daughter of an Australian Deep State operative (who later became Canberra’s ambassador to Washington) and stepdaughter of the Washington insider lawyer Philip Jessup Jr., who negotiated a huge mining contract with the Indonesian government. Garrow recounts Cook writing in her diary things like everyone ” did several lines of cocaine, which added an edge to it all” (pp. 169-170).
Garrow argues that Obama had mostly knocked off the drugs when he transferred from Occidental in L.A. to Columbia in N.Y. in 1981, although that seems odd since NYC had flabbergasted The Clash, of all people, with how much cocaine was going around in 1979 (but Obama was a pretty broke basic college student, although his upper crust Pakistani roommate, a friend of the Bhuttos, kept indulging).
But, according to Garrow, then more of Obama’s Pakistani buddies from Oxy started to show up in NYC in 1983-84 and Obama got back into doing cocaine to party with them. Genevieve emphasizes (p. 176) that
while that trio [of Pakistanis] was “doing lots of cocaine,” Barack “did not do as much as they did.” Indeed, Barack “did a lot less of everything, like for every five lines that somebody did, he would have done half …”
In a more understated voice, Hasan agreed with Genevieve. “We dabbled in drugs,” but with Barack “there wasn’t anything excessive by him, by my standards.”
According to Garrow, Cook thinks that Obama’s 1985 move from NYC to Chicago to become a community organizer was in part to get away from his cocaine-tooting Pakistani buddies (p. 190):
There was the deep attraction of a real community organizing job, but also, visible yet unspoken, was a strong desire to break free from the weekly pattern of “partying” with Hasan, Sohale, and Imad. “He felt trapped by the Pakistanis and their expectations that he would continue to party with them.” Genevieve realized Barack “had zero drive to substance use from within himself. It was just an “If I don’t, they’ll think I’m stuck up” fear on his part. … but otherwise the weekend cocaine parties extended right up through the spring and summer of 1985—“nonstop – without a doubt–continuous,” Genevieve replied when asked about that time.
Alternatively, perhaps he was moving to Chicago to get away from his girlfriend, so possibly Cook’s not the most unbiased perspective on why he moved.
But in any case, both his girlfriend and his main Pakistani pal admitted to Garrow they watched 24-year-old Obama do cocaine, even if he wasn’t a heavy user by the standards of decadent Pakistani Manhattanite 1980s rich kids.
But none of this was of much interest to the media. (Nor has the Pakistani connection ever been explored much.)