Sexy Tom Dewey

by Richard Brookhiser

A friend is reading the diaries of composer Ned Rorem. Lots of Gay Paree. But he found a tidbit that I bet not even Richard Norton Smith knows. After the 1948 presidential election the French composer Francis Poulenc told Rorem he could not understand why America had elected the little haberdasher, when Tom Dewey was so attractive.

Think what might have been…Dewey Administration, term one…some White House gig for cultural Euros…I gaze into heez beady eyes…No wonder he sees srough Taft, Acheson, zat thuggish Luciano…Even ze blond beast, Rorem, is not so profond…Does he gaze at me? Be still, mon coeur…

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