If You Ask Me by Eleanor Roosevelt

If You Ask Me
by Eleanor Roosevelt

July 1958


Do you still feel that Adlai Stevenson is the best-qualified Democrat in public life to be President of the United States?

I think Adlai Stevenson would make a splendid President, but he has been defeated twice and probably will not want to run again. I would hope, however, that any Democrat elected to the Presidency would consider carefully Mr. Stevenson's qualifications for high office and make use of his knowledge and fine talents.


It seems to me sometimes that you answer questions only a psychologist has the right to answer, and I wonder just why you do it.

I am not conscious of having answered questions which were of the type only a psychologist would be fitted to answer. I have lived a long while and had a great many varied experiences, but no one can be sure of giving the right answers to all questions. We can only do our best, and I have certainly never intended to answer anything that required the opinion of a specialist.


You say you yourself don't qualify as an "egghead." Would you say your husband was an egghead? Do you think any of your children qualify?

My husband had the education and the qualities of a student. If these qualifications make one an "egghead," then he was an egghead. Some people consider eggheads rather impractical, however; that my husband certainly was not. My children also have enjoyed the type of education and have the qualities of mind which might qualify them as eggheads. Like my husband, though, each of them has a very practical side.


Do you give your household servants automatic increases in salary to meet the rises in the cost of living?

No. As they live in my house, for the most part, they do not need increases to meet the cost of living. My two servants who rent rooms have not had any change in rent that I know about, but I do give increases in salary from time to time.


How could you possibly believe that an irreligious man like Walter Reuther would make a fit President for a Christian nation?

I have never talked to Walter Reuther about his religious beliefs. It has always seemed to me, however, that even people who do not acknowledge religion formally have some kind of belief in God.


I am making a collection of favorite recipes of First Ladies. Would you be good enough to tell me one that you are especially fond of?

I have one summer dessert that I like particularly, perhaps because the huckleberries are picked on Campobello Island and have a very special flavor. I think this recipe also is good with substitute berries.

HUCKLEBERRY PUDDING: Line sides and bottom of glass casserole with slices of white bread (not too fresh) from which crusts have been removed. Pour in stewed huckleberries to cover bottom. Continue adding bread and berries alternately until the dish is filled, with berries on top. Then put in refrigerator for eight to twelve hours. Serve with plain or whipped cream.


What in your opinion is the essential difference (if any) between Khrushchev and Stalin?

I think there is very little difference between the two. Their actions differ to a certain extent, since they are different men, but basically their beliefs are the same.


What kind of people bore you?

I think I can truthfully say that I have never found any category of people, or even any individuals, who really bore me.


At what age were your children first allowed to own or drive a car?

Our children began to drive the family station wagon around our place at the age of twelve, but they did not have a car until they left boarding school and entered college.

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About this document

If You Ask Me, July 1958

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

McCall's, volume 85, July 1958

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