Sunday, June 25, 2017

Is the President a randy old goat?

JFK’s sexual peccadilloes, which continued when he entered the White House, were unknown to the public at the time, but today are all too depressing common knowledge.  So there is no point to disinterring any of that.  Just one pharmacological side-point, though.

Another grave set of facts, likewise occult from the public at the time, and latterly in full exposure, were the lavish injections the President was getting.  From one doctor:

She was injecting her novocaine mixtures into the Presidents’ back  as often as five and six times a day… [And from another doctor:] corticosteroid injections and time-release capsules  implanted in his thigh.  The corticosteroids gave him a rush, a feeling  for a while  that he was ready to take on the world… He got the same surge and more from the amphetamines.
-- Richard Reeves, President Kennedy:  Profile of Power (1993), p. 242-3

All that came at a chilling price:

The side effects of those treatments were more dangerous:  an exaggerated sense of power and capabilities, and the debilitating symptoms of classic paranoid schizophrenia, then slow death by poisoning.
-- id, p. 243

More telling  in the present connection, is this less dramatic speculation:

Another possible side effect  was heightened sexual desire;  but there were those, many of them, who said that Kennedy, like his father before him, had that  long before he had Addison’s.
-- id.


Rather against our practice  hitherto in this series of retrospective parallels, we shall (obliquely and fleetingly) allude to allegations -- quite possibly overinflated -- surrounding a more contemporary figure on the public stage:  a certain New York real-estage magnate, impressario, and what-all else.   An apparently well-researched and even-handed appreciation, recently published by Messers.  Kranish & Fisher, reaches conclusions  at variance with the invidious narrative being peddled elsewhere:

He spoke publically about his relationships, as if his randy reputation  would enhance his popularity.  [Yet] his relationships with women  rarely seemed romantic or even libidinous. …  In his bestsellling books, [he] cast himself as the irresistible lust object:  never the groper, always the gropee. ...
For all [his] salacious chatter on the radio, and carefully staged appearances  with models and other beautiful women,  those who spent lots of time with him through the 1990s  described   not an overheated Casanova,  but rather a workaholic  and something of a homebody. 
op cit (2016), p. 154, 167


  1. Well, what a relief that is !!

    I was worried our nation and our very freedoms were in danger, but now I know everything is A-OK because Kennedy was worse that Tr*mp.

    1. Thanks for the asterisk; I don't really want these posts to be googlable!

  2. Consider LBJ, and to some extent, Ike [his driver during WW II], FDR [his mistress] and Bill Clinton of course. On the other hand, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, the George Bushes, Jerry Ford, Harry Truman, and Obama.