Think Bill Clinton’s the only bad-boy President to be put through the media wringer? Not exactly. Gail Collins digs up plenty of scandalous stories in her history of American political gossip. Remember the good old days, when civility reigned in American political life? When Andrew Jackson’s wife was described in print as a “convicted adulteress” and his mother as a “common prostitute”? When papers accused President John Quincy Adams of trying to pimp his children’s nurse to the czar of Russia while he was secretary of state? When Lincoln was said to be a drunk and an idiot, and a congressional committee investigated his wife for treason? The good old days, when presidents were as pure as the driven snow: President Harding and his mistress, Nan Britton, made love in a closet off the Oval Office.
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