The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 3, 1968 · Page 179
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 179

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 3, 1968
Page 179
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Page 179 article text (OCR)

- I The Hubert Humphreys: Muriel's self-effacing, apt with a deft remark. The Richard Nixons: Pat's a "perfectionist" who's strong lor family life. BtiMMIflfefeNI? by Jack Anderson Sometimes the gossip can become malicious. Ugly stories were whispered around Washington that Eleanor Roosevelt gave money to men in return for their romantic attentions. One version claimed that counter-intelligence agents had recorded a bedroom conversation between the First Lady and a suspected Communist in a Chicago hotel. The truth is that Mrs. Roosevelt had a big heart and often gave money to people down in their luck. She asked for nothing in return. A former Army intelligence agent, Willis Adams, has also admitted that he monitored Mrs. Roosevelt's private conversations while she was First Lady. But he picked up noth- The busy and guard in a foolish expression or awkward pose. When Jacqueline Kennedy was thrown by a horse, a cameraman was on hand to record her unladylike landing. Later President Kennedy, hearing of her accident, put through'an anxious phone call to her from the West Coast. Only her pride had been injured, but she fumed on the phone about the unflattering photograph. The President listened tolerantly, "But, Jackie," he in-' terrupted at last, a note of amusement in his voice, "when the First Lady falls on her ass, it's news." The crowds are probably the most oppressive of all. They push and press around the First Lady at every public event, as the curious jostle for better positions to inspect her more closely. Shy Bess Truman found these affairs so agonizing that her hands perspired. When she tried wearing gloves, she was called boorish for offering a gloved hand. There are few things clucking Washington matrons enjoy more than gossiping about the First Lady. They whispered about Eleanor Roosevelt's traveling. "She ought to stay home and take care of her husband," they would titter. Then' they criticized her successor, Bess Truman, for being a stay-at-home. Mamie Eisenhower's bangs and girlish dresses inspired constant snide remarks. But when she brought Lawrence Welk into the White House to play his bubbly music, the ladies were downright condescending. share in the drama and glamor of the White House. But life in the full glare of the spotlight isn't all champagne and roses. The First Lady is expected to stand for hours in reception lines, smiling graciously no matter how much her feet hurt and shaking hands until her own is limp. She must keep up stimulating conversations with awesome strangers who may fathom hidden meanings in her most innocent comments. . Watch your tongue The slightest faux pas or slip of the tongue could cause international repercussions. Often, she will be obliged to exchange small talk through an interpreter, because her guests can't speak English. Bess Truman took up Spanish at age 65 in an effort to close the language gap. But more tongues are spoken around the White House than the most gifted linguist could master. Not only must the 'First Lady watch every word she utters but also every move she makes. Once, Lady Bird Johnson appeared hatless at a public affair attended by Jacob Potofsky, head of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. He proceeded to lecture her sternly on the economic consequences to the hat industry. Chastened, she rushed out and bought a hat which she referred to thereafter as her "Potofsky" hat. Photographers follow the First Lady everywhere, watching to catch her off T WASHINGTON, D.C. uesday's election will thrust either Pat Nixon or Muriel Humphrey into the most demanding office open to an American woman. For the next four years, she will be expected to forsake her private life for public service. She will live at the pinnacle of political power and social prestige, exposed to daily adulation and attack. Her husband likely will ask her advice on decisions that will shape the future. She will be the nation's official hostess, called upon to entertain the high and mighty. Yet the First Lady will have no official standing, and the taxpayers won't pay her a penny in salary. They will provide a staff to assist her with government functions and servants to keep the White House tidy. But if she should ask one to perform a purely personal service, she would be expected to pay for it out of her own pocketbook. She won't even be permitted to charge her travel expenses to the government. Some taxpayers might feel that the $100,000 annual salary they pay the President should be adequate to provide for his wife as well. For their part, neither Mrs. Nixon nor Mrs. Humphrey seeks to be paid for the full-time job that goes with being married to the President. Yet shouldn't the First Lady deserve some compensation as recognition, at least, for her service to the nation? Many envious women may feel it is reward enough for the First Lady to 7W u i --; &&&& Beautifying America has been the special concern of Mrs. lohnson. PARADE NOVEMBER 3, 1968

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