Jackie Kennedy Onassis lived through so much and had many secrets, many of which the public could only hope to have divulged at some point, likely well after she passed away. (In fact, if Jackie had her way, it would have been 50 years post-mortem.) But some of those long-held secrets are about to be revealed, thanks to daughter Caroline Kennedy okay-ing the release of tapes of interviews historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. conducted with the former first lady within months of JFK's 1963 assassination. The tapes could reveal that she also knew about Jack's many affairs with his interns, and she retaliated by being unfaithful as well.
Reportedly, Jackie talks in the interviews about how she once found a pair of underwear belonging to a 19-year-old intern in the bedroom she and the President shared. Oof. I guess it kind of depends on your perspective, but to me, that sure beats any blue dress!
And although we've all thought, "Poor Jackie" upon considering Jack's cheating dog behavior, she was no innocent flower herself! In an attempt to get back at her husband, she had affairs with actor William Holden and Fiat founder Gianni Agnelli.
Just goes to show that we can't be positive about anything that goes on in our politicians' personal lives. And I've heard the argument over and over again — particularly recently in the wake of Anthony Weiner's indiscretions — that they're our elected officials, so they should be held to a higher standard. But these revelations from Jackie are only more proof that whether or not we want to hold that holier-than-thou standard over our leaders' heads, it's just too damn bad. It's idealistic and unrealistic. They're human beings, too, with marital conflicts and sex drives. I'm not saying it's okay, but clearly, former Presidents of the United States and their former first ladies have been involved in sexual dalliances for DECADES. The Stir: Breast Cancer Patient Denied Treatment Because He's A Man
I'd argue that neither Jack's or Jackie's infidelities got in the way of public policy in the early '60s. And it has only become a problem in more recent years when the opposing party and the media turn a politician's personal life into a mega-scandal, a distracting sideshow act.
Although there is quite a bit we can learn from Jackie's interviews, it wouldn't hurt if one thing was to realize we can't continue to put people in power on a purity pedestal. They're bound to fall off sooner or later.
Written by Maressa Brown for The Stir. Photo credit: The Guardian
Are you surprised to learn about Jackie O's affairs? Do you believe that elected officials should be held to a higher standard of morality? Sound off in the comments.