June 11, 2016

Let's play Scrabble.



Presidential summer vacations were different in the old days, no?

I found that photo because I was searching for pictures of how Mamie Eisenhower dressed as I was listening to Tom & Lorenzo's new podcast, which looks into Hillary Clinton's fashion and the fashions of various first ladies. They call Mamie "frumpy" and have a lot of other things to say, including that Jackie was actually not all that great — she wore Chanel knockoffs — and Nancy Reagan was perhaps better — though emblematic of a fashion decade (the 80s) that feels so alien to us today.

As for Hillary Clinton's $12,000 Armani jacket, they say women's clothes are expensive, you should expect a wealthy woman to wear expensive clothes, and Hillary would be criticized if she did not put plenty of attention into wearing the right clothes (with lots of shapewear underneath). Not that they like the cut of the jacket. They don't.

They also talk about Michelle Obama... and her famously bared arms. That's why I loved this picture of Mamie's arms.

Are Mamie and Dwight really playing Scrabble? I think they're just posing. Who starts off Scrabble with 5 words like that?

ADDED: Here's a collection of photos of Presidents on their vacations, beginning with Grant and including the Eisenhower photo above.  And here's a collection of Presidents in their swimwear. My favorite:

92 comments:

madAsHell said...

The was probably an expensive hair-do. Although, I think it's more of a hair-don't.

Ann Althouse said...

Ike looks so bored.

ndspinelli said...

I took the train from Chicago to NYC back in the 80's. I was really into Scrabble and took a Scrabble game w/ me. This was before the nifty travel versions of today. I met a guy who was a buyer for a large Midwest retailer. He would travel often to NYC for shows. He was afraid to fly and didn't like driving, so Amtrak was his mode of transportation. We played Scrabble across the country. He had never played the game, but was really smart. We played probably 20 games. I won 2 or 3.

Birches said...

They think Hillary wears Shapewear? I don't think she does. That's one reason why she looks so frumpy.

Great shapewear is worth any price.

Kirby Olson said...

Syzygy.

cubanbob said...

"As for Hillary Clinton's $12,000 Armani jacket, they say women's clothes are expensive, you should expect a wealthy woman to wear expensive clothes, and Hillary would be criticized if she did not put plenty of attention into wearing the right clothes (with lots of shapewear underneath). Not that they like the cut of the jacket. They don't."

And just how did this woman become wealthy? Perhaps flaunting ill-gotten wealth irks a lot of people off.

MayBee said...

Poor Mamie was born in a time before we learned the skinny arm pose.

Original Mike said...

"Ike looks so bored."

Yeah, not quite the same as invading Europe.

MayBee said...

I like Tom and Lorenzo ok, but they love Michelle Obama too much.

EDH said...

What the hell's wrong with a Republican cloth coat?

Ann Althouse said...

Ike looks so bored.

Does Ike have the word "DIRE" spelled in his tray?

MayBee said...

Also, I don't understand Beyonce adoration. And Hillary Clinton can wear expensive clothes, but wearing it while giving a talk about income inequality is soooooo perfect for today's Democrat party.
Hillary's clothes don't look good. It would probably be cheaper to get clothes custom made.

Michael K said...

Mamie's bangs were a big fashion item in 1952.

She was left behind when Ike went to war and was pretty jealous of Kay Summersby during the war.

buwaya puti said...

Very posed. The camera was probably adjusted with a movement as was common then to give a diagonal plane of focus, to get both people equally sharp while creating a limited depth of field, so that both figures and their activities "pop" in the frame.
Its very well done professional work typical of the time. Its nothing like modern snapshots from a digital slr.
Teddy Roosevelt would probably have done something quite different on his vacations.

robother said...

Ahh, the 50s. When men didn't have to feign interest in domestic life.

TWW said...

A happy couple. He's thinking: Jeeze, Just a few years ago I led D-Day?

Zach said...

As for Hillary Clinton's $12,000 Armani jacket, they say women's clothes are expensive, you should expect a wealthy woman to wear expensive clothes, and Hillary would be criticized if she did not put plenty of attention into wearing the right clothes (with lots of shapewear underneath). Not that they like the cut of the jacket. They don't.


Yeah, but the size and origin of Clinton's wealth is very controversial. A captain of industry she ain't.

AprilApple said...

Any reminder of Hillary's wealth is a reminder of how she attained that wealth.

buwaya puti said...

He would have been doing stuff much like this all his life, in his decades of garrison service. It was a well-organized, very public life.

Sydney said...

The thing about Hillary's $12,000 jacket is- why the heck would you spend that much money on something so darn ugly. Also, something that doesn't flatter her. If you are going to spend a lot of money on clothes, you can find (or have someone design), something that is flattering. Even if you are chunky.

Ann Althouse said...

"Poor Mamie was born in a time before we learned the skinny arm pose."

I had to look that up. Now, there's another thing that I know is a thing.

Ann Althouse said...

"Yeah, not quite the same as invading Europe."

Yeah, they should have played Risk, but it wasn't invented until 1959.

MayBee said...

I had to look that up. Now, there's another thing that I know is a thing.

Now we just need Hillary Clinton to tweet about it.

YoungHegelian said...

Poor Mamie wasn't blessed in the good looks department. I remember reading a biography of Eisenhower in the Catholic comic book Treasure Chest** when I was a kid in Catholic school. The artist drew Mamie's face like she was an alien from the Bizarro planet. I thought at the time that this artist must not have liked Mamie very much.

** Treasure Chest was actually a pretty good comic book, in spite of its didactic purpose. It was racially inclusive well before its time (to quote NatLamp on race & Catholicism "Size & shape of lips unimportant as long as they can move in time to say 'Hail Mary'"), and some of those martyr stories (e.g. The Jesuit Martyrs of Quebec) were pretty freakin' hair raising.

Ann Althouse said...

"Does Ike have the word "DIRE" spelled in his tray?"

That's what I thought.

On the board, the words are: zip, yap, yen, yea, and (I think) gray.

Ann Althouse said...

A world of sadness in those words, no?

The great general is playing a board game with his frumpy wife and the words "yap" and "yen" come up. Shut your yap, gray-haired lady, I have a yen. Yea, I have a great yen. I have a yen and I have zip. Zip your yap!

Sebastian said...

"Jeeze, Just a few years ago I led D-Day?" Compared to which a lot of things are bound to be a bit boring.

Sebastian said...

"zip, yap, yen, yea" Not sad: ahead of their time. Shortish words are all the rage in defensively-oriented top-level Scrabble.

MayBee said...

I actually think he is staring at her boobs.

buwaya puti said...

Well, they had been married 40 years at this point.
1916-1956 more or less for this shot.
25 years or so in peacetime garrisons, required to maintain a public appearance, even in private, of staid gentility. Only a few odd personalities could be eccentric and get away with it, like Eisenhowers boss Douglas MacArthur. Old Doug had a divorce and several mistresses. Look up "Dimples".

Bruce Hayden said...

Always had a warm spot for Mamie. She grew up in the 700 block of Lafayette in Denver, and have known several friends live in that block. Last I knew, it was still called the Mamie Dowd block. She graduated from HS there (I think that it was East HS - that is where the kids there go now), and I knew a classmate of hers who stayed close. The classmate had a summer house in Buffalo Creek, where my grandparents had their girls camp, the Eisenhowers would occasionally visit, Ike would fish there, and my grandparents would run into his Secret Service detail.

Never did like Scrabble that much though. In my family, there was too much fighting over whether words were legal or not. And, I just wasn't that good.

Sydney said...

Mamie was rather pretty in her youth.

St. George said...

When Ike and Mamie left the White House, the Secret Service pulled their car around front, and an agent followed them on their drive to their Gettysburg farm. When they pulled up the drive, the agent honked, turned around, and that was that.

Different times.

David Begley said...

What?! Mamie didn't have any tats?

Amexpat said...

As for Hillary Clinton's $12,000 Armani jacket, they say women's clothes are expensive, you should expect a wealthy woman to wear expensive clothes,

The real scandal is that she spent all that money for something that doesn't look good.

I think one of HRC's problems is that she keeps trying to change who she is through her clothes and hair. She needs to settle on a look that works for her and stay with it. Of course to do that, she needs to figure out who she is or wants to be.

mockturtle said...

Ike and Mamie mostly played bridge, I think. But maybe they couldn't get a foursome together that day.

traditionalguy said...

Now Kay Summersby is the one who had skinny arms and Ike looks like he remembers them wrapped around his scrawny ass.

Valentine Smith said...

Used to be we would be spared a degenerate president every 30 years or so. Not so much now.

EMD said...

" Who starts off Scrabble with 5 words like that?"

Well, small compact, closely-played words is one of the best way to maximize points in Scrabble by conserving tiles. Unless you get a Bingo (using all 7 tiles at once). You should see the games my friend and I play on the app -- there's very little space from word to word.

EMD said...

Going by my brief research, the skinny arm pose is démode.

Christy said...

I'll say it again, there's body armor under her jackets. Spanx doesn't help. My first thought the other day upon seeing that white jacket was that against the darker background she looked photoshopped. Are we sure she was in front of a crowd?

Michael K said...

"why the heck would you spend that much money on something so darn ugly. "

Have you seen the photo of a Kirby vacuum cleaner compared to the jacket ?

An exact match ? It's on the internet.

There it is.

David said...

St. George said...
When Ike and Mamie left the White House, the Secret Service pulled their car around front, and an agent followed them on their drive to their Gettysburg farm. When they pulled up the drive, the agent honked, turned around, and that was that.


Kay Summersby would have understood the technique.

I did not know she had written a book.

Nowadays MacArthur and Ike would have been run out of the service.

Michael K said...

"there's body armor under her jackets."

Maybe it's this.

Michael K said...

"Nowadays MacArthur and Ike would have been run out of the service."

How about Patton boffing his niece ?

"If he won't fuck, he won't fight !"

tom swift said...

Funny that Hillary manages to look so sartorially wretched. Hubby's suits were excellently tailored to disguise the fact that he's built like a sack of potatoes. Those big clunky double-breasted circus tents he wore did their job well. But Hillary just looks awful whatever she has on. Now that she looks like Chairman Mao whenever she's out, it's even worse.

Sydney said...

I think Mamie's hairstyle was an attempt to deal with a receding hairline within the styles of the time. Not much more she could have done other than wear a wig which would have been uncomfortable.

damikesc said...

My main thought was "$12,000 for THAT?"

Humperdink said...

I cannot imagine Bill and Hill sitting that close, across the table from each other - for any reason, let alone a game. Bill's chin would be within striking distance.

Ann Althouse said...

"What?! Mamie didn't have any tats?"

Good photoshop opportunity.

mockturtle said...

TR was my all-time favorite President. Love that photo.

Curious George said...

Which one is Ike?

Michael K said...

"TR was my all-time favorite President."

Coolidge was mine but he is an acquired taste.

A Coolidge primer.

rcocean said...

"Ike and Mamie mostly played bridge"

Yes, Ike was a fanatical bridge player. I agree its a posed photo or maybe Ike is getting bored waiting for Mame to play a word.

BTW, that's of picture of TR is his Harvard boxing/wrestling garb. Not swimming, in case anyone thought that.

FullMoon said...

High score in my house is 480. And, we play without a timer, so I often get bored waiting for her to eventually come up with a word

Quaestor said...

Mamie was a wife and could never have been anything other than a wife — well, spinster or widow could be included — which is why she was never a divorcée. Kate was a mistress with possibilities — but First Lady was not among them.

I once got into an Scrabble argument that hasn't been resolved yet. I made a winning play with KRAAL, which gave me a double word score and used all my tiles. The other players objected. That's not a word! Yes, it is. It's Afrikaans and it's the circular stockade used by tries like the Zulus and the Bantus to enclose and defend a village. That's not English! Yes it is. It's a foreign loan word like wildebeest, diaper, and succotash. It not in the dictionary! It's in the OED. We didn't agree to limit it to your Scrabble dictionary.

It's a perfectly fair word, but don't use kraal.

Lydia said...

Not sure Ike was pining for his glory days as a general; he did, after all, say this: "I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."

He probably hated playing Scrabble with Mamie -- according to her mother, she played it with a "vengeance". So much so, her mother (who lived in the White House) declined to play it with her.

Quaestor said...

Typo alert! ties should read tribes

Quaestor said...

Actually kraal is a secondhand loan word. The Dutch got it from the Portuguese as curral, which got into English a second time via Mexican Spanish as corral.

mockturtle said...

Scrabble was one game at which I could beat my husband. Though he had a substantially greater vocabulary, he was a poor strategist. :-)

Quaestor said...

I notice Ike has six tiles divided into two probably incomplete words. Something tells me they are K-A-T and S-U-M.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Althouse, that isn't swimwear that TR is wearing. That's the collegiate boxing uniform of the day. The similarity of the cap to a women's 20th Century swim cap probably misled you.

Saint Croix said...

that crazy damn Nixon room

explains a lot

It's your fault, Pat

The Cracker Emcee said...

Oops, should have read all the comments. But so few people interest me as much as myself.

Saint Croix said...

Shortish words are all the rage in defensively-oriented top-level Scrabble.

holy shit

relax, Commander!

I'll bet she wins, women are so verbal

that's how she kept him, whooping his ass in Scrabble

defense, defense, defense, 13 letter girl word, damn it!

Marc Puckett said...

Wonder why the Sarasota Journal writer (Lydia's second link, at 5:09pm) spells Mrs Doud's, Mamie's maiden, name, Doud? I've only ever seen the spelling, Dowd.

(And, Lydia, I think it was canasta that Mamie played with a vengeance, not Scrabble? but perhaps she addressed both with a similar attitude!)

And, notice the article adjacent, describing the difficulties occasioned by King Saud's visit in 1957: "Throwing a party here [in DC] without women or liquor presented an almost insurmountable obstacle."

Paul Zrimsek said...

You should expect a wealthy woman to wear expensive clothes, except when you shouldn't.

Lydia said...

Thanks, Marc Puckett, for pointing out it was Canasta not Scrabble. Oh, well, so much for Ike fearing to play with Mamie, then.

wholelottasplainin' said...

David Begley said...
What?! Mamie didn't have any tats?

***********

I bet Hillary has them, where only Huma can see them.

Harold said...

There are multiple types of officers, but two types stand out. Wartime officers and peacetime officers. Patton was a wartime officer. Excelled at actual war. Not particularly good at peace. U.S. Grant was another wartime officer. Graduated 21 of 39 at West Point. Didn't stand out as a peacetime success. George B. McClellan graduated 2 of 59, and was an outstanding peacetime officer, excellent at organizing things. Not very good at the whole war fighting thing.

Patton would never succeed in today's Army.

surfed said...

Big thumbs up to who ever the Armani sales person was that was able to sell a potato sack for $12500.

Michael K said...

"Patton would never succeed in today's Army."

McChrystal did and he was similar. Of course, he ran into Obama's rules.

My favorite, and Patton's too, was Sherman. I've read a half dozen books on Sherman. He and Patton were related.

If we ever get into an all-out war, and I fear we will, we will have to kill a lot of soldiers to find good generals.There are a few but they are retired or forced out like Carter Ham.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Romney's $900 top, though, now *that's* a story!

Sebastian said...

"Didn't stand out as a peacetime success." Well, Grant did write one one the best American books evah, so there's that, as he wouldn't have put it.

paminwi said...

We play Bananagrams instead of Scrabble. It travels easily and you can play with 2 people or up to 6 people.
You only worry about your own words and no one else's.
Try it, you'll like it.

Fabi said...

Mamie was a tremendous bore. Finding three other ladies to play Bridge with her was an unenviable task.

Bobar the Bobarian said...

T&L do not have a problem with men wearing shorts.

narciso said...

I know if they didn't have double standards,


http://www.mediaite.com/online/media-gives-clinton-total-pass-on-12000-armani-jacket-but-pounded-palin-in-08/

mccrystal ran afoul of michael hastings who presented certain conversations that the subsequent investigation couldn't confirm, shocker,

narciso said...

but it was imperative to drive out, first mccrystal, then petraeus, and then general flynn,

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/18/mcchrystal-investigation-cleared

narciso said...

because then the counterinsurgency strategy in both iraq and afghanistan could be portrayed as a failure.

narciso said...

when it's equally probable, that the drone intensive effort, that biden directed, had worse affects,

narciso said...

and guess who was knee deep in that,


http://www.salon.com/2016/06/10/fbi_criminal_investigation_emails_clinton_approved_cia_drone_assassinations_with_her_cellphone_report_says/

gadfly said...

As for Hillary Clinton's $12,000 Armani jacket, they say women's clothes are expensive, you should expect a wealthy woman to wear expensive clothes, and Hillary would be criticized if she did not put plenty of attention into wearing the right clothes (with lots of shapewear underneath). Not that they like the cut of the jacket. They don't.

Where to begin? The question is not the Armani jacket, the question is exactly how the Clinton Crime Family Foundation obtained the wealth to purchase it. WND says: "Charles Ortel charges the Clintons and their associates have been engaged in a “vast criminal conspiracy to defraud the general public, enrich themselves and entrench their political influence.”

As for wearing the right clothes, we turn to MSNBC: "“Why is she dressing exactly like Mao Zedong?” Donnie Deutsch asked straight-faced which immediately lit a fire under co-host and Mika Brezezinski, who threw a piece of paper at him over the comment. “She’s dressed like Chairman Mao…Chairman Mao,” Deutsch reiterated for emphasis.

mockturtle said...

One thing I'll say for Fiorina is that she always looked spiffy.

narciso said...

you see the left doesn't have any such scruples

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/sarah-palin-cleared-pricey-wardrobe-gate-federal-election-commission-fec-dismisses-complaint-article-1.375762

Original Mike said...

"T&L do not have a problem with men wearing shorts."

Maybe they accept that allowances must be made for comfort. Something our hostess doesn't care about, at least if we're talking about male comfort. With all due respect.

furious_a said...

I always thought Betty Ford dressed and coiffed nicely for the time. Lady Bird was quite pretty in her youth. Attended a function at the Alamo in the 70s where she was a VIP and got introduced -- "Bird" was an apt nickname.

mockturtle said...

Nancy Reagan was always well dressed and looked great in red.

Mel Plontz said...

Mamie had pipes!

Blue Devils Democrat said...

I think Hillary Clinton seem to have a weight/size issue. As an image consultant trainee, I suggest she pick color of clothes carefully. Trump also has weight/size problem, but he is going to loose spectacularly.

JHapp said...

The patience expressed on Ike's face is breath taking.

mtrobertslaw said...

Hillary should recognize reality and accept her body type just as it is. She should go all out for the "elderly look'. You know, stop coloring her hair and dress like those older women do in Eastern Europe--long black or flowery print dresses that end just above the ankle.

Absent this, she would also look pretty good in a well-tailored bright "prison orange" pants suit.

Quaestor said...

Blue Devils Democrat wrote: Trump also has weight/size problem, but he is going to loose spectacularly.

Just how loose do you expect Trump to become?

I've always suspected the vaunted Duke degree was oversold.