If You Ask Me by Eleanor Roosevelt

If You Ask Me
by Eleanor Roosevelt

June 1957


Are you in favor of repealing the two-term limitation on the Presidency even if this would mean a third term for Mr. Eisenhower?

I have never believed in the prohibition of a third term. I do think, however, that a third term should be used only when circumstances make it especially essential to continue a President in office. Whether this would mean a third term for President Eisenhower or not does not affect my thinking at all.


What would you suggest to a person whose spouse is cold, taciturn and prone to belittling?

I would suggest some plain talks. If there is love between you, you may find out what is the trouble and be able to remedy the situation, although it will probably take an effort on the part of both people.


If Adlai Stevenson were available as Democratic Presidential nominee in 1960, would you prefer him to the five men you recently named as likely candidates?

I named five men and carefully stated that there were many more. I haven't the remotest idea who will be the person best fitted to be a candidate in 1960, nor can I possibly say whether Adlai Stevenson would seem to be, were he a candidate when that time comes. A twice-defeated candidate who says he does not want to run must, I think, know his own mind; and to be a successful candidate I think that you must really want to win.


Please let me know how I may obtain an autographed picture of you.

By sending a picture in and asking to me to autograph it.


How much truth is there in the statement, based on testimony of Frank Meyer and Josephine Truslow Adams, that your husband and Communist leader Earl Browder were political friends?

Not any, I should think, since to my knowledge my husband and Mr. Browder never met. Josephine Truslow Adams says she was a close friend of mine and painted a picture for me. The picture was painted for a friend of mine, Miss Esther Lape, who gave it to me as a Christmas present and asked me to look up Miss Adams when I happened to be at Swarthmore, where she was teaching painting. I did ask for her and saw her and she did write me a number of letters to which I paid very little attention, so I don't think she is a very credible witness. Since Mr. Meyer's testimony, as well as Earl Browder's testimony, in this connection is based on what she told them or told others, I don't think their impressions are very important.


Do you number among your friends any who could be considered as "poor people" financially?



Has there ever been a creative genius in the Roosevelt family?

Yes, I think there have been a number. You can have genius that is political or artistic or literary or scientific or even social, and I think there have been a number in our family who have had genius in various ways.


How do you feel about President Eisenhower's vacations—too many or okay for a man in his position?

I really have not followed closely all his vacations. I know that a great many people think he takes off a good deal of time; but his weekends on his farm are really not a vacation. A President's work goes with him, at least a great part of it. In some respects it may be too bad that President Eisenhower has to take so many vacations; but it may also be essential to his health, and we certainly want him to remain well.


After congratulating you on the decision to will your eyes to the Eye-Bank, may I ask what made you take the step at this particular time? And also could you tell me how to go about willing my eyes to the Bank?

I was asked by the Eye-Bank if I would be willing to donate my eyes, as Lady-Churchill had done it in England and they felt my doing so might induce other people to follow suit. You may write to the Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration, 210 East 64th Street, New York City 21, New York, and signify your willingness to donate your eyes.

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About this document

If You Ask Me, June 1957

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
[ ERPP bio | VIAF | WorldCat | DPLA | SNAC ]

McCall's, volume 84, June 1957

Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Digital edition published 2014, 2016 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project
The George Washington University
Old Main Building, Suite 406
1951 F Street, NW
Washington, DC