The story is ludicrous – any reading of Geoffrey Ward’s book, “Closest Companion,” which tells their story through her letters and diaries, indicates no intimate relationship. I have been writing and lecturing on FDR for decades and I have not seen the film. From reading countless reviews and seeing outtakes I have no doubt that this film is more of a parody and its conclusions should not be taken with any seriousness. FDR was a powerful personality that attracted women admirers for decades. He was also an incredibly private individual who kept his inner thoughts to very few people. These few people did not keep notes, few wrote any memoirs (Louis Howe, Missy LeHand, Harry Hopkins and others wrote nothing) and the ones that did, knew little of his relationships and inner thoughts. That era was fraught with romanticism and life was quite fragile, relationships were close, warm and very often not intimate in the least. The idea that anyone could hear, report or remember even fragments of private conversations they were not part of is specious.
Historians and fiction writers make conclusions that are quite often totally unsupported by the facts. FDR kept no diary, his letters were not ones of intimacy and there are volumes of them to peruse. Margaret “Daisy” Suckley liked to listen, had no romantic relationships in her long life, and never bothered FDR with details, demands or pressure. He was able to relax with her and he often would give her insights and updates on some of the events that had unfolded or were about to happen. She, like the president, was quite discreet. Even her siblings didn’t even know that she knew the president.
He was very careful about what he wrote and he almost never revealed any clue of his intentions. I have over 400 books on FDR, thousands of articles, artifacts and collectibles and have devoted 27 radio broadcasts over six years on FDR, the New Deal, Eleanor Roosevelt and related subjects.