Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's too easy

I just can't bring myself to quote Mark Sanford's icky email to his mistress, Maria of Argentina. The point is being made that nowhere does Sanford use a feminine pronoun, so ... given the text, could it be that "Maria" is a guy? After all, Sanford is a Republican.

No, what I want to tell you about is the Ohio kind of illicit lovin'. Dr. Harding's eldest child Warren became an influential newspaper publisher in Marion, Ohio, then a state senator*, a state lieutenant governor, a U.S. Senator, and finally, President of the United States. It helped that he married well.

Wasn't he handsome? He looked like a President. Unlike a good president, however, it was said of Harding that "If Warren had been a girl, she'd always have been in the family way, because that man just couldn't say no." It must be acknowledged that when 15-year-old Nan Britton wrote him fan letters and mash notes, Harding counseled her to wait until she grew up and found a nice young man her own age.

But he didn't take his own advice! No. The Ur-Monica, minus the thong, Nan subsequently claimed to have enjoyed (I use the word lightly) knee-tremblers with Harding in his Senate office and later, in White House closets. She also claimed that her daughter, father otherwise unknown, was his.

And she produced love letters to prove it. They sizzle -- that Ohio kind of sizzle! "Oh, my girlie -- tell me my kisses don't disgust you." Show me the woman who could resist such talk! Please note that Nan Britton let fragments of his letters, like that one, out in public to prove their love. To the right: Handsome Harding, looking left, a vile canard. He'd never do that. But what of Harding's wife Florence? Some averred that she'd killed him. Alas for conspiracy theorists, he probably died of just the same thing that took William Jennings Bryan, a busted gut.

*Imagine Harding in Albany today.

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