Jackie O tells almost all
ABC had a special last night on Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. The tapes she made with Arthur Schlesinger four months after her first husband’s assassination are being released as a book, and the 2-hour Diana Sawyer special brought some of the quotes and comments to life with historical and personal context, primarily with sound bytes from Caroline Kennedy. I think the book, Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, sounds fascinating and I would love to read it, but here are some of the interesting things I took away from the ABC program.
Jackie spoke 4 languages fluently (Spanish, French, Italian and English). So impressive – she even had de Gaulle hooked.
She pronounced her name à la française – “jack-leen”
When she asked JFK how he defined himself he said, “An idealist without illusions.”
She was the first First Lady who looked like a movie star and her husband’s team harnessed this popular power to push forward in the political arena.
And I quote: “I loathe the French. They’re really not very nice; they’re all for themselves.”
When insulting someone, she liked to use fruit analogies. These quotes are based on her impression of Indira Ghandi.
“She always looks like she’s been sucking a lemon.”
“She was just such a prune.”
The last thing I noticed was how ABC used footage from Kennedy family videos to help round out the TV special. I hope my family will create lots of videos. Photographs are phenomenal, but with video people live on and their most endearing modes of expression, ticks and mannerisms aren’t lost.