January 12, 2016

In 1937, in the Oval Office, FDR said to Joe Kennedy "Would you mind taking your pants down?"

"James Roosevelt recalled that 'Joe Kennedy undid his suspenders and dropped his pants and stood there in his shorts, looking silly and embarrassed.' The president told Kennedy, 'Someone who saw you in a bathing suit once told me something I now know to be true. Joe, just look at your legs. You are just about the most bow-legged man I have ever seen.'... 'Don’t you know that the ambassador to the Court of St James’s has to go through an induction ceremony in which he wears knee britches and silk stockings?' asked the president. 'When photos of our new ambassador appear all over the world, we’ll be a laughing stock.'... The Oval Office striptease was a typical FDR prank to let Kennedy believe he was an intimate, one of his inner circle. But it was also a humiliating ritual that showed who was boss...."

31 comments:

David Begley said...

Will Hillary do the same when she returns to the Oval?

We know all good Dems will obey.

madAsHell said...

Newsweek?
Joe Kennedy, the rum runner dropped his pants for a frat house initiation?...in front of polio legs FDR?
Yeah....that never happened.
The author of the story has homo-erotic dreams.

tim in vermont said...

Will Hillary do the same when she returns to the Oval?

No, she will line up all the ladies for inspection by his nibs, the first gentleman. Just as she has done all of these years slightly more than metaphorically.

traditionalguy said...

FDR was a true civilian Commander-in-chief. Now drop your pants Joe.

Joe was a true user of politicians to acquire wealth. He did whatever FDR wanted to maintain his insider connections.

Joe's mistake was playing to get insider connections into the coming Nazi controlled Europe.

rehajm said...

Back in the day a wheelchair wasn't exactly considered a seat of power, no matter who sat in it...

Supposedly the LBJ power play was to drop trou for meetings while he sat and shat. I'm confused as to the preferred power projection pant position.

Big Mike said...

No ass kickers without ass kissers.

Hagar said...

A dubious story. John Adams famously established long ago that the U.S. ambassador to St. James does not wear court dress, and everyone here would surely know that story.

Bob Ellison said...

madAsHell said, "Yeah....that never happened."

Correct. What a stupid fantasy!

Who is this Wapshott guy?

Sebastian said...

"a typical FDR prank to let Kennedy believe he was an intimate, one of his inner circle. But it was also a humiliating ritual that showed who was boss...." Probably fake-but-accurate. It shows: 1. Dems will do anything for/in power. 2. In particular, FDR and the Kennedys would do anything for/in power. 3. FDR really was boss. 4. It was FDR, so it was all good. Now, that dog on top of Mitt's car, that's a different issue entirely.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Hooray for hazing! Hooray for sexual harassment!

Ok, what public buildings will we have to rename now?

Hagar said...

Come to think of it, I believe the idea of requiring court dress went out with Napoleon.
The new countries that sprung up after the war would have followed Adams' example, and even in England fashion followed Beau Brummel, not the Ancien Regime.

madAsHell said...

I failed to notice the name of the author, Wapshot.....which auto-corrected to Washout.

Wapshot. This has to be the pop shot in the porno flick where the guy misses everything, and hits the wall.

Wap!!

Jupiter said...

In the 30's, all the industrialized democracies embraced Fascist strongmen. Including ours.

Jason said...

Sounds like something a Democrat would do.

Char Char Binks said...

Kennedy had nothing to hide.

jaydub said...

And old Joe wasn't the last Kennedy to drop his pants. Jack, Robert and Ted all had trouble keeping their's on, too.

John said...

I don't know whether this is true or not but it is not a new story. I've read half a dozen bios of the Kennedys and it was in every one of them that I recall.

See Collier & Horowitz "The Kennedys" Page

Boller "Presidential Anecdotes" Page 272

John Henry

Wilbur said...

Hooray for hazing?

Here I always thought it was Hooray for Hazel.

John said...

Blogger Jupiter said...

In the 30's, all the industrialized democracies embraced Fascist strongmen. Including ours.

Amen, Jupiter, and FDR was as fascist as they come. You have only to look at his NRA (National Recovery Administration), for example. Central planning at its absolute worst. Straight out of Mussolini's Fascist ideology. Literally. Mussolini had many fans involved in the FDR administration. US Progressivism and Italian Fascism are like Siamese twins.

Think I am kidding? Look up the Schecter case. Schecter, a seller of dressed chickens in NYC, faced up to 5 years in jail. His federal crime? He let his customers pick the chicken they wanted from the display case.

Think I am kidding? Read Amity Schlaes' "The Forgotten Man". Here is what Wikipedia says Schecter was charged with:

Ten charges were for violating codes requiring "straight killing." Straight killing prohibited customers from selecting the chickens they wanted; instead a customer had to place his hand in the coop and select the first chicken that came to hand.

This was FDRs doing. Anyone seriously want to complain this was not straight from Mussolini's Fascist playbook? (As well as mind numbingly stupid)

Fortunately cooler heads on the US SC prevailed and NRA was ruled unconstitutional.

John Henry

William said...

I wonder if FDR wll go the way of Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson anytime soon. He seems to have been more a follower of public opinion than a molder of it. He never said or did anything that caused him to lose the support of rabid southern segregationists. His record with Jewish refugees from Europe is shameful. His economic policies did nothing to get us out of the Depression and probably made things worse.......He was right about some things, and until very recently his successes were celebrated and his deficits were ignored by historians. History-- Ametican history anyway--is not written by the winners but by the Democrats.

Gusty Winds said...

I don't think this is that big of a deal as all the Kennedy men have shown a willingness to drop their drawers rather quickly.

Brando said...

Not surprising that FDR was a bully, he was a real jerk. Between imprisoning U.S. citizens without trial (or any cause), ham-fistedly trying to engineer the economy (and depriving millions of their property, contract and economic rights at the same time), targeting enemy civilians for punishment, and selling out to Stalin, all of this is connected to his personality as a megalomaniacal jerk. If he didn't happen to be president at the time the Axis made the mistake of bringing us into the war, history would have made FDR out to be a failure.

Kennedy was a jerk too but in this case it sounds like he just had to suffer a jerk for a boss.

William said...

They always mention that Henry Ford was an admirer of Hitler. They never mention that Lenin was an admirer of Henry Ford.......I always thought that LBJ was the champ in the debasement of underlings field, but nothing can compare with JFK. He ordered one of the girls in the secretarial pool to give an aide a blow job. That's got to be the ne plus ultra. Of course, LBJ and FDR humiliated rich and powerful men so the degree of difficulty was much higher, but for sheer arrogance nothing can approach JFK's dick move.........If you don't support a liberal approved war, you're an isolationist. If you support a war that liberals disapprove of, then you're a chicken hawk.

Brando said...

"I wonder if FDR wll go the way of Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson anytime soon. He seems to have been more a follower of public opinion than a molder of it. He never said or did anything that caused him to lose the support of rabid southern segregationists. His record with Jewish refugees from Europe is shameful. His economic policies did nothing to get us out of the Depression and probably made things worse"

I don't think the Left will abandon FDR anytime soon, as he still gets credit as having successfully opposed Hitler and (though it's subject to debate) enacted policies that alleviated the Depression and (arguably) helped prevent future depressions. Though FDR did nothing for blacks specifically (and certainly never stuck his neck out for them) he also isn't on record with any pro-segregationist defenses or policies the way Wilson or Jackson were. And blacks seem to like him (it was in FDRs elections that they swung towards the Democrats), giving him credit for their getting jobs (even though under the New Deal blacks usually had to get in line behind whites for those makework jobs).

I'd argue that many of FDR's policies were unconstitutional, many actually made the Depression worse, and while he deserves credit for pushing us into the fight against Hitler, he also did nothing to oppose Stalin's conquest of eastern Europe. But I think mine is a minority opinion and for the most part people think FDR's policies were a net positive for the economy and he at least kept half of Europe from totalitarian domination, and did not have any way to prevent Stalin from taking the other half.

mikee said...

FDR? Joe Kennedy?

"What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?" Hillary Clinton

I, for one, remember when a man dropping trousers in the White House was nobody's business except for Hillary's, since she was the wife of the man in question. Have you no shame, Althouse? Hillary doesn't.

Uncle Pavian said...

Humiliating ritual becomes family trademark.

ken in tx said...

I came to the conclusion, in high school, that FDR was an semi-socialist, almost dictator, president-for-life type. However, my mother, and all her generation revered him. and considered him the savior of the nation. Actually he was the only president most of them knew for most of their lives. They were thoroughly brainwashed, in my opinion. My mother died last year. As her generation passes on, there will be fewer people who have such a misty-eyed view of FDR.

eddie willers said...

According to National Lampoon, Joe Kennedy wasn't the only male nude in FDR's Whitehouse:

"Churchill was given to reading in the bathtub and, while staying at the White House, he became so engrossed in an account of the Battle of Fonteney that he forgot President Roosevelt was due to drop by to discuss the upcoming conference in Yalta.

At the appointed hour, the president was wheeled into Churchill's quarters only to be informed that the prime minister had not finished bathing. Roosevelt was about to apologize for the intrusion and depart when Churchill, puffing his customary cigar, strode into the room stark naked and greeted the nonplussed world leader with a terse, "What are you staring at, homo?"
"

Bill said...

Well, it worked for Gloria Swanson.

BN said...

"Would you mind taking your pants down?"

This was from Obama's speech tonight, right?

John said...

Blogger Brando said...

and while he deserves credit for pushing us into the fight against Hitler,

I think you misspelled "opprobrium"

Seriously:

FDR ran, in 1940, on a platform where he specifically said he would not send Americans to fight in Europe. (It's demmy tradition. See Wilson 1916, LBJ 1964. "Peace" candidates all)

As lat as Nov 1941 something like 70% of Americans were against involvement in a European war. We had no dog in the fight.

We were theoretically neutral.

BUT:

FDR was giving weapons and other aid to England

FDR occupied Iceland (part of German occupied Denmark at the time) freeing 100,000 or so British troops to fight Germans in Africa

The US Navy and airforce were attacking German submarines in the North Atlantic.

And more.

Rather than try to convince Americans that we did have a dog in the fight, he kept fighting his semi-secret war until the Germans had no choice but to respond. They did this in December 1941 with a declaration of war against the US setting forth the US violations of neutrality.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declaration_of_war_against_the_United_States_(1941)#Text_of_the_German_declaration

On second though, "opprobrium" may be too mild a word.

John Henry