Commentary: Gorgeous legs in the White House


After the Trump election victory, I was patting myself on the back. After all, in my end-of-the-year predictions last December, I told you that whichever candidate carried the state of Ohio would be elected President. Trump not only won Ohio, he won it by 454,983 votes or 8.6 points.

All the other experts were scratching their heads wondering what went wrong. The Democrats thought Clinton had the election in the bag. Why didn't we get more middle class votes they asked themselves? Why didn't black people and Hispanics vote democratic? Why did we lose the blue collar workers votes? What did we fail to do?

Over in the Republican camp, the party chiefs were recognizing that there were three parties now — the Democratic Party, the Republican Party and the Trump Party. Trump had defied Republican leadership and still won.

The other experts were puzzled too — the press and the poll takers. They had no idea that a big upset was about to happen and they couldn't believe how wrong they had been in their observations and predictions.

As I said, I had been patting myself on the back. Then, one day the following week when I was out in the yard leaning on my rake, our neighbor, Deb, who was out walking her beautiful dog, came over and then, hands on hips, challenged me.

She said, "I thought you predicted that no candidate whose wife had gorgeous legs could ever be elected to the White House. And Melania Trump has gorgeous legs, in case you hadn't noticed."

I quickly shifted the blame. In an article titled "The Curse of Gorgeous Legs," written after Trump had been selected as the candidate at the Republican convention in July, I quoted my wife, Eartha, on the history of good and bad legs in the White House.

She said, "No president's wife in my lifetime has ever had decent legs."

Then, one at a time, she ticked off examples. She was cruel in her descriptions:

Jackie Kennedy: "Big shin bones, shapeless legs, size 10½ shoes."

Lady Bird Johnson: "Legs the shape of Vietnam with permanent veins running along the Ho Chi Min Trail."

Pat Nixon: "Sticks."

Betty Ford: "Dull, dull, dull."

Rosalynn Carter: "Missionary legs."

Barbara Bush: "Pool table legs."

Hillary Clinton: "Pantsuit legs."

Laura Bush: "Librarian legs."

Michelle Obama: "OK, but nothing compared to Cindy McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008, and even Anne Romney in 2012 — all too shapely for White House legs."

She concluded that recent history guarantees that Donald Trump and Melania (the trophy wife with possibly the best legs in the world) would never live in the White House. And she underlined the observations by saying "and you can quote me."

So I did quote her, but, as I said, I don't take the blame for a woman's point of view. But I felt our neighbor Deb had put me on the spot, so I approached Eartha and confronted her about her over-confidant blunders.

"What were you thinking?" I shrieked.

She held her ground. She stood up straight, squared her shoulders, looked me in the eye and answered like an expert: "Look, mister, you were happy to take credit when my unique observations amused your readers, but now you want to saw off the limb I seem to be out on. Let me tell you this: there was no way I could have known there would be a tape of Trump bragging about how he groped women.

Who could have predicted that? That turned everything upside down. The result of that tape was that somehow perversely it appealed to the blue collar workers in the Rust Belt, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania and especially Ohio, and they decided they wanted gorgeous legs in the White House for a change. They voted against four years of Hillary Clinton wearing pantsuits. The tape, that should have cost Trump the election, won it for him."

Again, the woman's point of view.