Friday, January 11, 2008

What Jackie Did Next

John O'Sullivan reviews a new book about Jackie Kennedy and the legend of Camelot. According to Mr. Sullivan:
Twenty-two years ago, I was lucky enough to be present at a small dinner with Mrs. Kennedy, then Mrs. Onassis. At one point when we were discussing the dubious idea of resignation as a tactic of political advancement, I started to quote a British political maxim: “I forgot ...”

“Goschen,” she said, completing my thought, “I forgot Goschen.”

Perhaps I looked surprised at her knowing this obscure remark by Lord Randolph Churchill (who was explaining ruefully that his resignation as chancellor of the exchequer had not brought down the Salisbury government because the prime minister had simply appointed a little-known economist in his place). At any rate, she smiled in an amused way and said, “It was one of Jack’s favorite remarks.” For the remainder of a very pleasant dinner, she discussed high statecraft with an easy confidence suggesting either that she had received very good tutoring in it or needed none.

Women of fashion are very rarely airheads; successful women of fashion never. Long ago fashion ceased to be confined to clothes, hairstyles, and shoes and exerted its sway over art, music, literature, and politics.



Anonymous said...

I believe all our Presidents would readily agree that the wisdom and grace of thier wives was vital to their personal and political life.

Linda said...

Jackie Kennedy was a bookish girl and young woman and regularly helped her husband and her brother-in-law Robert Kennedy with their speeches, inserting ideas and quotes from the classics. I have enormous admiration for her, and I am glad you posted this little story, because she is so often attacked as an airhead who cared only about clothes--despite all the evidence to the contrary, including bringing her deep sense of history and culture to the White House.

Anonymous said...

Jacqueline Kennedy was extraordinary first lady. Gifted in language; she was not afraid to speak directly to her husband's guests in the W.H.; as Linda noted, she was so well read & studious, in a very classical sense -- she applied her heart, soul and very active mind, into her husband's presidency. To dismiss her as a lightweight fashionista is simply a DISGRACE to the memory of remarkable woman!

Thank you for creative blog; a ray of light on the net!

elena maria vidal said...

I agree with you all. She had exquisite taste to go with her sense of history.

elena maria vidal said...

And thanks for the compliments, Frosty!