Tuesday, August 19, 2014

R.I.P. Lauren Bacall 1924-2014, True Blue Liberal

Lauren Bacall passed away at the age of 89 in her apartment at the Dakota on August 12. This quote comes from the end of an article by Clancy Sigal I read on Salon this morning:
"All her life Lauren Bacall stayed a true-blue, New York, left-of-center, liberal Democrat lobbying for Adlai Stevenson and Bobby Kennedy. Or as she proudly boasted in a late interview, 'I’m anti-Republican. A liberal. The L-word!' "
I knew there was a reason other than her looks and "The Look" that I loved her in To Have and Have NotKey LargoSlick Hare, and The Big Sleep (and anything else she appeared in). I didn't have to dig too much deeper to find the transcript from "the L-word" interview with Larry King on CNN from May 6, 2005, when many liberals were renouncing that label.

KING: Have you always been politically motivated? 
BACALL: I have. I have. I come from a...
KING: You go back -- In fact, I saw you.
BACALL: I saw you? 
KING: I saw you speak for Adlai Stevenson. 
BACALL: You did? 
KING: In New York. I believe Bogey was with you. 
KING: In '52. 
BACALL: '52. That's when my -- two of my greatest friendships began with Arthur Schlesinger and Alistair Cooke, 1952. 
KING: And what a man Stevenson was. 
BACALL: Oh, what a great man. (INAUDIBLE) you see this country. Please. Don't get me started, as they say. 
KING: So we missed a good opportunity. I think, even his critic was say that Adlai Stevenson was a great...
BACALL: He was a brilliant, brilliant man. But no one had heard anyone except Roosevelt speak with wit. You know, they couldn't figure out what that was all about. Couldn't be serious. 
KING: He had a great wit. 
BACALL: He was brilliant. 
KING: Are you big a "D" Democrat? Do you...
BACALL: I'm a total Democrat. I'm anti-Republican. And it's only fair that you know it. Even though...
KING: Wait a minute. Are you a liberal? 
BACALL: I'm a liberal. The L word! 
KING: Egads! 
BACALL: I love it. Being a liberal is the best thing on earth you can be. You are welcoming to everyone when you're a liberal. You do not have a small mind. Little picayune things. You want to welcome everyone. Liberal, little picayune thing. 
KING: You're open to...
BACALL: You want to welcome everyone. Liberal, I'm a Roosevelt. I'm a -- and I hear anyone say anything about FDR... 
KING: You're a new dealer, fair dealer. 
BACALL: I'm a total -- and I was a kid and I'm total, total, total liberal and proud of it. And I think it's outrageous to say "the L word". I mean, excuse me. They should be damn lucky that they were liberals here. Liberals gave more to the population of the United States than any other group. 
KING: Well, Social Security. 
BACALL: Everything.
KING: Very well said. Spoken as a true liberal.    BACALL: Don't knock the liberals.   KING: I'm not.    BACALL: Yes, you are. You secretly you do.   

No comments: