Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sui generis

Tonight I watched First Ladies: Influence & Image on C-Span. I've been DVR-ing this series religiously*, have learned a lot and am enjoying it a great deal.

Tonight's subject was Nancy Reagan. When she was First Lady, she kinda gave me the willies. She seemed insensitive and irrelevant. HOWEVER, as one who admires a good love story, I am immensely moved by the tender, loyal care she gave her husband as he slipped further and further away during his post-Presidency. So to me, it's like the public Nancy Reagan is two different women.

Watching the show tonight, I was surprised yet again by how many callers referenced JBKO. It happens week after week in this series. Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon and now Nancy Reagan† ... "Did she have a relationship with Jackie?" "Was she influenced by Jackie?" "Did the press treat her differently than they did Jackie?"

Finally panelist Carl Cannon, a writer and son of noted Reagan biographer Lou Cannon, stated the obvious: "Jackie was sui generis." Yes! That's perfect. My girl was indeed in a class by herself.

*Except Bess Truman; I keep missing Bess!
†I don't recall her being mentioned in the Betty Ford or Rosalyn Carter episodes.

2 comments:

  1. I've watched several of these, too. I've been interested in Presidential families for as long as I can remember--my favorites are the Kennedys and the Lyndon Johnsons.

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  2. I've seen a couple episodes. I want to use clips of it at school. I save bottles and cans (at school) to cash in for video purchases.

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