In May 1972, Jackie and Ari Onassis visited Tehran on a business vacation. Ari was there seeking special oil concessions and Jackie joined him hoping to explore Iran. Jackie surprised the press when she granted a rare interview to Maryam Kharazmi of Kaylan International.
Jackie told Maryam, "Every moment one lives is different from the other, the good, the bad, the hardship, the joy, the tragedy, love and happiness are all interwoven into one single indescribable whole that is called life. You cannot separate the good from the bad. Perhaps there is no need to. I have been through a lot, and I have suffered a great deal, as you know. But I have had lots of happy moments as well. I have come to the conclusion that we must not expect too much from life. We must give to life at least as much as we receive from it. I am today what I was yesterday and, with luck, what I will be tomorrow. I am a woman above everything else."
Jackie made the comment, "Why do people always try to see me through the different names I have had at different times? People often forget that I was Jacqueline Bouvier before being Mrs Kennedy or Mrs Onassis. Throughout my life I have always tried to remain true to myself. This I will continue to do as long as I live." In death as in life, Jackie Onassis continued to fascinate the civilized world.
Back in 1968, Janet Lee Auchincloss told the press, "When Jackie was a little girl, she dreamed of become a circus queen who marries the man on the flying trapeze." Flora Rheta Schreiber of World News Service pointed out to readers, "The dream is not without meaning, psychologically speaking." Psychiatrist Alfred Adler maintained every child was constantly "training" herself or himself for the adult role she or he expected to assume. For the "unbridled spirit" Jackie, politics was said "not at the end of the road.
"Politics requires conformity, a submerging of self to the group even if in the end the group serves the self. Politics requires a rough-and-tumble common touch. But Jacqueline was interested in the so-called 'higher' things – the arts and languages. It was an ivory tower, far from the maddening crowd." Jackie conceded, "I get afraid of reporters when they come to me in a crowd. I don't like crowds because I don't like impersonal masses. They remind me of swarms of locusts. The truth of the matter is that I am a very shy person. People take my diffidence for arrogance and my withdrawal from publicity as a sign supposedly, that I am looking down on the rest of mankind."
Jack Kennedy told Bob Driscoll of the Evening Independent in 1960, "She (Jackie) breathes all of the political gases that flow around us but never seems to inhale them." Friends of Jack and Jackie told Jack Anderson of Parade Washington in 1962, "Their marriage started off a little rocky...His world of politics, hers of poetry sometimes collided. Kennedy would bring home cigar-smoking politicans who left Jackie disenchanted. He was likewise bored by some of her friends; more than once, he simply walked out on them. He liked big crowds; she prefers intimate groups. He liked steak and potatoes ("red meat, a salad, and ice cream - Jack likes it"); she enjoyed French cuisine." Hence "long before the White House, they talked out their differences and arrived at those small compromises so necessary to every successful marriage."
On reflection, Jackie acknowledged, "I've learned that we can't have any prearranged schedule in politics. Ever since Jack forgot to tell me that he had invited 40 guests to lunch soon after we were married, I've been prepared for any emergency. I can usually count on at least 6 persons for breakfast, any number for lunch, and who-knows-what for dinner. It's my greatest wish – and I flatter myself that I do it well – to run a house around such a busy man."
"The White House is seen as living history," it was explained. Jack Anderson remarked, "With her art and redecoration projects she (Jackie) has initiated more innovations and set more styles than any other First Lady in her first year since Abigail Adams (in 1797, the first First Lady)." Glen Elsasser of Chicago Tribune observed in 1994, "In her thousand days at the White House, Jacqueline Kennedy imparted an unmatched aura. The presidential campaign of 1960 gave birth to a political era and a White House lifestyle celebrated as Camelot, the mythical seat of King Arthur's court." Back in 1962, Barbara Chandley of Kansas City Star made the point, "Life in the White House, past and present, has become a focal point of national interest in recent months, largely through the efforts of Jacqueline Kennedy. Both in the television tour which she conducted in February (1962) and in a newly published guidebook, Mrs Kennedy has sought to awaken the American public to the heritage the mansion holds for them."