A hot trove of turgid prose, from a flaccid Presidency brings a rare raised eyebrow for 29.
For a moment, open yourself to the rush of memories triggered by famous American Presidents; crossing the Delaware, a somber stovepipe hat above the crowd at Gettysburg, “A day that will live in Infamy”, a Missile Crisis and “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear down this Wall”.
What? Warren Harding didn’t come to mind? The only list he generally makes is the most forgotten, least accomplished President and perhaps only known by those with more than one class in US history for the Teapot Dome scandal, which secured its own place in infamy until Watergate.
Now he has a new one, a hot trove of love letters; 20th Century sexting and no one will ever think of dull little Warren the same.
A Christmas Eve missive in 1910: ““I love you more than all the world, and have no hope of reward on earth or hereafter so precious as that in your dear arms, in your thrilling lips, in your matchless breasts, in your incomparable embrace.”
Hot Lips of ‘matchless breasts’ belonged to Carrie Fulton Phillips. She, the wife of a friend, also trapped in a loveless marriage was also suspected to be a German spy during World War I.
Sidenote: What is it with these Hot Huns? It was another, Inga Arvad, suspected spy who seduced John F. Kennedy.. yes, that JFK, at the beginning of WW2 and got the young ensign kicked out of Washington and down to dull little Charleston, SC.
But back to Warren and his wanton self.
“My Carrie, Beloved and Adored. . . . I do love you so. . . . I wonder if you realize how much — how faithfully, how gladly . . . how passionately. Yes you do know the last, you must have felt the proof.”
For Harding, it was more than just sex, or sexting. He described Phillips’ love as, “the surpassing influence of my life. It is big, and glorious, and hallowed. It is full of blessings and radiant with dreams. It could be as ardent and wild and impassioned as you have ever known it.”
His ‘sharing’ surfaced a century after the fact. Love and lust has been a constant through the ages. It frames our dreams and desires. The next generation will discover the same in our hard drives and cloud storage.. if the NSA isn’t reading it now!