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Politics makes strange bedfellows

Posted by Gregory on October 14, 2009 at 15:56

This is a response to the earlier question of where did the phrase "politics makes strange bedfellows" originate. Although Shakespeare originally penned the basic idea of strange bedfellows, it was in the Presidential campaign of 1940. FDR's opposition was Wendall Wilkie. He was lawfully married but estranged from his wife, Billie Wilkie, but was having a well known affair with Irita Van Doren, a New York Herald Tribune editor. In order to help the campaign effort and create the image of a wholesome marriage, Wilkie convinced his lawful wife, Billie, to campaign with him on the road. Mrs. Wilkie who was not devoid of humor remarked the "Politics makes strange bedfellows". Gore Vidal later used the phrase in his 1960 play, The Best Man, and gave it to the wife of an adulterous Presidential candidate who is once again cohabiting with him. This information I found in reading Michael Beschloss' book , Presidential Courage.