“You couldn’t be more wrong,” Jackie said. “I saw something of Hillary during the campaign last year, and she is a delight, filled with fun and irony.” [in a letter to Tina Brown on Hillary Clinton]
RANDOM HOUSE is publishing the letters of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., noted presidential historian, which includes missives to Jackie Kennedy.
From the Atlantic, one small excerpt of the treasure trove…
To Tina Brown
8 July 99
[New York, New York]
Here it is. **
In the spring of 1993 the Clintons invited the Schlesingers to a farewell dinner for Pamela Harriman, the new ambassador to Paris. I happened to lunch that day with Jacqueline Onassis and mentioned that I had known Bill Clinton for a number of years but had never met Mrs Clinton. “I gather that she is a very intelligent young woman,” I said, “but I imagine that she is awfully earnest and humorless, a real blue stocking.” “You couldn’t be more wrong,” Jackie said. “I saw something of Hillary during the campaign last year, and she is a delight, filled with fun and irony. You will have a jolly time.”
That evening I found myself seated next to Mrs Clinton. I had a splendid time. Jackie, as usual, was quite right.
My only other dinner at the White House in the Clinton years took place last November. The occasion was the award to assorted dignitaries of National Medals for the Arts and for the Humanities. Once more I was placed next to Hillary. On her other side was Garry Wills, another historian and Humanities Medalist. Directly across the round table from Hillary was Gregory Peck, an Arts Medalist. I said to her, “You have no idea what you are doing for the morale of scholars. Here you have seated yourself between a couple of historians when you could have had Gregory Peck.” Without missing a beat, Hillary replied serenely, “Yes, but sitting here I can talk to both of you and look at Gregory Peck.”
** [Tina] Brown had asked Schlesinger to write down his personal impressions of Hillary Clinton as a White House hostess.