Democrat Bill Clinton liked third-rate singers. He liked to expose himself in Little Rock hotel rooms. He liked cigars. He didn’t mind masturbating in the Oval Office bathroom sink when it had to be done.
Turns out, though, America’s 42nd president has nothing on America’s 29th president, Warren Harding, when it comes to glorious horndoggery.
Harding, a Republican who served from 1921 to 1923 before dying in office, had a years-long relationship with a mistress named Carrie Fulton Phillips.
Correspondence exchanged between the two lovers in the decade before Harding became president will now be released, reports The New York Times.
The missives are awesomely raunchy — even a century or so later.
Take the one dated Sept. 15, 1913, which reads:
Honestly, I hurt with the insatiate longing, until I feel that there will never be any relief until I take a long, deep, wild draught on your lips and then bury my face on your pillowing breasts. Oh, Carrie! I want the solace you only can give. It is awful to hunger so and be so wholly denied…
But wait. There’s more! The sexually explicit love letter gets better — so much better.
Wouldn’t you like to get sopping wet out on Superior — not the lake — for the joy of fevered fondling and melting kisses? Wouldn’t you like to make the suspected occupant of the next room jealous of the joys he could not know, as we did in morning communion at Richmond?
It’s not clear what “wet on Superior” means if it’s not the largest of the Great Lakes. Blogger Ann Althouse has astutely theorized that perhaps Harding is referring to his not-yet-presidential penis. She notes that the main character in “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” D.H. Lawrence’s 1928 novel, uses the term “John Thomas.”
At the same time, the Times notes, Harding definitely calls his penis “Jerry” at times in the correspondence.
In another letter, dated Jan. 28, 1912, Harding dabbles in Penthouse Forum-worthy poetry:
I love your poise
Of perfect thighs
When they hold me in paradise . . .
I love the rose
Your garden grows
Love seashell pink
That over it glows
I love to suck
Your breath away
I love to cling —
There long to stay
An impressively salacious later stanza goes:
If I had you today, I’d kiss and
fondle you into my arms and
hold you there until you said, ‘Warren, oh, Warren,’ in
a benediction of blissful joy
The battle over the letters and why it has taken so long for them to see the light of publication includes quite a back story. There was a lawsuit in 1964 that ended with a settlement sealing the letters for 50 years.
“He was looking at protecting the younger generation at the time,” Richard Harding, the 29th president’s grandnephew, told the Times.
“We’ve honored the trust,” the living Harding relative added. “It’s time to release them.”
There’s also an additional, not-nearly-as-fascinating angle concerning the possibility that Harding’s mistress was a spy for the Germans. (The era was before, during and after World War I.)