Not every VP has been as comfortable smooching in public as, say, Al and Tipper Gore… or Gerald and Betty Ford. You’d be hard-pressed to find Silent Cal swapping saliva in the presence of cameras. (Even so, he wrote in his autobiography, “We thought we were made for each other. For almost a quarter of a century she has borne with my infirmities, and I have rejoiced in her graces.”) Some vice presidents use a kiss photo opp to show they truly DO have emotions, despite what their opponents may think (ie: Al Gore), while other vice presidents just can’t wait to plant a juicy one on some unsuspecting victim (ie: Alben Barkley) with no regrets or apologies. Here are a few noteworthy tales about the sultry side of the vice presidency.
You wouldn’t instinctively think of a VEEP / President like Harry Truman as a terribly romantic guy, but a whole slew of love letters released in 2009 shed a different light on his private life. According to Clifton Truman Daniel, Truman’s eldest grandson, “He recalled in his memoirs, walking in and seeing this blue-eyed, blond-haired little girl, and he was just smitten. He basically carried a torch for her from then on, all through grade school and high school. As far as we know, she had one or two other suitors, but he never looked at another woman from the age of 6 on.”
Al Thinks Tipper Is Gore-geous
When Al Gore’s presidential campaign was running out of steam and the word on the street was that Al didn’t have that warm, human side that appealed to voters, he locked lips with Tipper on stage — in front of a huge audience at the DNC! If you Google “Gore kiss,” you will see over 18.4 million results come up, which shows just what a sensation it was! Some journalists called them “trailblazers” and thought the kiss might “propel Gore to the White House,” while others found it to be “gross” or “a calculated political move.” Even so, he was nothing compared to Alben Barkley!
Alben W. Barkley
After Alben’s first wife died of a heart condition, he shocked the nation by courting and marrying Jane Hadley, who was 34 years younger than him. According to records, they had so many well-wishers filling the streets that they had trouble driving off in their Oldsmobile convertible. Marriage didn’t stop Alben from occasionally lip-locking around town, though. As a Kentucky Statesman, he unabashedly kissed Miss Centennial, Mary Buckles, while bestowing her with the crown. “If I’m not doing this right, I’d be happy to do it over again,” he is quoted as saying.
VP Marriage & Romance Trivia:
Who was the only bachelor to serve as vice president?
Who was the first vice president to marry in office?
On November 18, 1949, in St. Louis, Missouri, 71-year-old Alben Barkley, married Elizabeth Jane Rucker Hadley, his 38-year-old sweetheart.
Which two vice presidents were married on their birthdays?
John Tyler married Letitia Christian on his twenty-third birthday, which was March 29, 1813.
Theodore Roosevelt married Alice Lee on his twenty-second birthday, October 22, 1880.
Which vice president fathered the most children?
John Tyler, with 15.
How old was John Tyler when his wife gave birth to their last child?
He was 70 years old.