Saturday, November 12, 2016


This photo was taken in September at the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. It shows once again what we will be losing when the Obamas leave the White House.

Of course, George W. Bush must have done much over the years to encourage such a warm display. The Bush family has also managed to build a solid and enduring bridge to former President Bill Clinton. Even the often prickly Barbara Bush has often expressed her personal affection for The Big Dog.

I hope Melania Trump makes good on her stated intention to help children maneuver the online world and stop cyber bullying. Her husband is the one who so cruelly mocked a disabled reporter and referred to his political opponents as "Lyin' Ted" and "Little Marco" and "Pocahontas." Mrs. Trump could go a long way in leavening the ugly message Donald Trump's victory may have sent the nation's children.

As one who enjoys learning about the First Ladies, I know that not every woman who has been in this role has been as naturally tactile as Michelle Obama. Bess Truman was very reticent and painfully shy. Eleanor Roosevelt had to literally force herself to reach out and touch people, but she did it like she was born to it. And while Jacqueline Kennedy handwrote eloquent and affectionate letters to both LBJ and Nixon, she privately expressed how uncomfortable she was with all their public touching. Jimmy Carter actually held and kissed her every time their paths crossed, to the point that she complained to Arthur Schlessinger he seemed to feel as he had droit de seigneur.*

*The first time I read it, I had to look it up. In medieval days, feudal lords believed they had the right to have sex with their subject's brides on the wedding night.

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