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“John Kennedy, was perfect for NBC’s Meet The Press, because he was so quick. The people there liked him and knew that he could not only a…”

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

John Kennedy, was perfect for NBC’s Meet The Press, because he was so quick. The people there liked him and knew that he could not only answer their questions, but wanted to do it and answer them with depth. Very similar to Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, he was very quick off the cuff and could answer questions with humor. Meet The Press liked interviewing him, because he was likable, popular, well-known and very funny. The 1950s was a fascinating time and JFK was in Congress the whole time as the country was dealing with the Cold War, post World War II economic boom, the early days of the civil rights movement and even American women starting to make important impacts out of the home in the American economy. Meet The Press had female anchors and questioners. There were women in Congress like Senator Margaret Chase Smith and many others. Jack Kennedy was in his thirties and early forties during this decade and had a great future ahead of him if he wanted it. Which is why Meet The Press loved having him on.

Jack Kennedy, was sort of an absentee Representative in the House. Somewhat bored and loved being a bachelor and enjoying the Washington nightlife when Congress was in session. It wasn’t until JFK decided to run for the Senate in 1952 that he started taking his job more serious and making his positions known in Congress. There are a lot of things to love about Jack Kennedy and he is my political hero, but he’s definitely someone who grew in office. Wasn’t a great Representative, but a good Senator at least in the sense that he started taking issues seriously and studying them and not just going to his committee hearings, but knowing the right questions to ask. I don’t believe JFK becomes President of the United States on his personal appeal and family name alone in 1960, had he not become a serious Senator and taken his job in Congress seriously and getting on the road and getting his political platform out there.

I’m not sure JFK gets into his politics without his father Joe pushing him. But it’s clear that once JFK got into politics and ran for the House in 1946 and was elected he loved it and became a natural campaigner and politician. He gave a great speech, great interviews, knew how to excite and inspirer people. He wasn’t a natural public servant and someone who actually loved doing the job that he was elected to do. He tenure in the House is a pretty good example of that. I believe he sort of grew in public service once he was elected to the Senate, especially his second term when he started considered running for president in 1957 or so. But was someone even though had a fairly thin resume outside of Congress and somewhat of a thin voting record and list of accomplishments in Congress, was someone who was great at expiring people and laying out a vision for how America could be even greater and how all Americans could succeed in America.

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ABC News

ABC News

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I think the biggest tragedy that the JFK assassination had on the Democratic Party is that Jack Kennedy was that last bridge between the Center-Left Liberal and Progressive Democrats and the New-Left that came of age in the Democratic Party in the mid 1960s up to the early 1970s or so. People who were much further left than the Liberals and Progressives in the party and had more social democratic and even communist leanings. Who were anti-American establishment, anti-military, anti-war, anti-law enforcement, anti-government use of force in general, who wanted to bring down the American federal form of government and replace it with a social democratic and even communist government in some cases.

Jack Kennedy was a Liberal Democrat who wanted to use government to carry out many liberal, progressive and even social democratic goals as it has to do with the economy. And creating an economy where more Americans could benefit. But didn’t have a big centralized government solution for every problem. He didn’t want to make Americans dependent on government, but use government to empower struggling Americans of all races to become dependent on themselves and be able to live in freedom. JFK is killed in 1963 and less than a year later the so-called Great Society is created by President Lyndon Johnson, with all sorts of new progressive, or social democratic federal programs to take care of millions of Americans. JFK would be what we would call a New Democrat today. A Center-Left Liberal who believed government could help people help themselves instead. And not leave them dependent on government.

JFK was a Cold Warrior, anti-communist, pro-freedom and freedom for all Americans, not just European-Americans and he did come out for what would be called the 1964 Civil Rights Act in the summer of 1963. Who wanted to create an American economy where all Americans could benefit and live in freedom. With strong investments in education and job training, aid to struggling communities so they could educate their kids as well, job training for struggling Americans who were working, but not able to make enough money to live well, because they lacked skills. In many ways he was the last great Center-Left Liberal Democrat of his generation that came to power and became President of the United States. We didn’t have another Democrat with similar politics become President who had a successful presidency until Bill Clinton in 1993. And I would argue Barack Obama as well and not just because I’m a big fan of both President’s Clinton and Obama.

You could write all sorts of pieces about the JFK presidency and his impact on the Democratic Party and country as a whole. But to cover everything you would have to write at least one great book. With this piece I’m more interested in his impact on the Democratic Party and American politics. And post JFK the Democratic Party moved very Left if not Far-Left, especially when it came to foreign policy and national security, but criminal justice and law enforcement, where by 1980 or so the Democratic Party was no longer trusted on these issues. And it wasn’t until mid 1990s or so when under President Clinton that the Democratic Party was once again trusted to govern and defend the country. The JFK assassination was horrible for the country, but it really hurt the Democratic Party as well. Because again he was that bridge between the Center-Left and Far-Left of the party.
David Von Pein: JFK With Peter Jennings- 1983

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JFK

Source: David Von Pein: Thank You Mr. President 1983: A Look at President John F. Kennedy’s Press Conferences

Watching President John F. Kennedy’s press conferences makes me want President Barack Obama to do more of them. Because they really do have a lot in common when it comes to intelligence, being off the cuff both in humor and how they talk and being able to give long intelligent answers to a whole host of questions off the cuff and being able to do it with humor. President Kennedy made press conferences fun for the reporters there because of his quick wit, but also because he gave them real information that they could work on a whole host of issues. From civil rights, to the economy, to foreign policy, the budget, the Cold War, nuclear power and everything else. Which gave Americans a great idea about how the President thought and what his administration was working on.

This was Jack Kennedy’s first press conference as President of the United States. Early 1961 with Democrats not just coming to power, but now they had all the power as a party. With the White House and both chambers of Congress with large majorities both in the House and Senate. A big part of that had to do with the Democratic Party having a right-wing Dixiecrat base in the South. Democrats who are and would be Republicans today. So the Republican Party was not just in the opposition in 1961, but were an opposition minority party that was reeling and not sure where they would go from there. I think President Kennedy was enjoying all of this and taking little jabs at the GOP with their current political status and that comes off in come of his answers.

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JFK's Women

Source: Smoked Video: A&E’s Investigative Reports: JFK’s Sexual Appetite

1960 might have been the last time that John F. Kennedy could have even ran for president. Even if he lived a normal life in years, because by 1968 or so the media was no longer afraid to investigate and report on the personal lives of politicians. Jack Kennedy doesn’t get elected president if his affairs had got out, but not just the affairs, but where the affairs took place like under his wife’s nose and in the same house where Jackie was then, but also because of the connections that his affairs had. Judith Campbell, for example being a girlfriend of Sam Giancana. The Kennedy Family including Jack, was already linked with the Italian Mafia in America and not just because of the efforts of the Kennedy Administration to crack down on organized crime, but they were friendly as well.

Senator Kennedy doesn’t win Illinois during the 1960 presidential election without Chicago and he doesn’t win Chicago without the Italian Mafia there. The early 1960s was really the last time that national politicians could get away with lets side affairs and shady deals before someone not just knew about it, but then reported it as well. President Kennedy probably gets reelected in 1964, but unless his lifestyle changed his second administration would have been hell for him. Because these affairs would have gotten out and you have heard rumblings at least even in a Democratic Congress that it might be time to remove the President, because of the dangerous lifestyle that he lived and the potential blackmail that came with these irresponsible affairs.

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Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Another film about the life of John F. Kennedy our 35th President of the United States. This came out in 1964 less than a year after President Kennedy was assassinated. And he was already pretty popular as president in 1963 when he was killed and if anything he became more popular after he died. Perhaps because of all the questions rising about who killed him and did the assassin, or assassins have help is assassinating him in Dallas, Texas. I believe a lot of Jack Kennedy’s support comes from Hollywood. He was really our first hip president and had he been elected in the 1980s, or even in 1976, he would have been seen as a cool president. President Kennedy, did have same major accomplishments in his short time as president, but most of them had to do with foreign policy.

Jack Kennedy today I believe is both very popular personally, but his policies and politics and what he advocated are very popular in the country. He was a true Social Liberal who believed in both economic and personal freedom, as well as a safety net for people who truly need it. And because of this you even have Republicans who say they support Social Security and Medicare, as well as a public safety net for people who truly need it. JFK believed in a strong defense, but didn’t believe that America should, or could police the world by themselves. And again this is where Americans tend to be. We’re not dovish as a country, or neoconservative when it comes to foreign policy. We want to be able to defend ourselves and help people around the world, but not have to do everything ourselves.

So back in the early 1960s I believe a lot of the reasons for JFK’s popularity had to do with the fact that he was hip and cool. That Hollywood liked him and saw them as one of them, that he had friends in Hollywood. And that he was very different culturally from a lot of the president’s that had come before who were very traditional culturally. JFK also had a beautiful young hip wife in Jackie that the country including Hollywood loved and saw her as royalty. They were ahead of their time culturally in an era that was finally moving away from the 1940s and 1950s and into the 1960s which looked almost completely different as a decade as far as the role of women, how people lived and talked, the types of entertainment that was coming out. And these are I believe big reasons for the popularity of John Kennedy.

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JFK

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

John F. Kennedy’s early years as an adult are not very impressive. He was in the U.S. Navy for a few years during World War II and got out in 1945 to and then ran for the House of Representatives in 1946 and got elected there mostly because of his name and his father literally buying votes and ballots. I think the way to look at Jack Kennedy in the 1940s and 1950s is as a student who is still figuring things out and trying to decide what he wants to do in life. But I don’t believe he figures that out until his first term in the Senate in 1953. Jack Kennedy, was a playboy in Congress really the whole time he was there from 1947-61. His six years in the House and eight years in the Senate. He marries Jackie in 1953 and that doesn’t make him any more responsible.

Kennedy doesn’t figure out what he wants to do and where he’s going in life really until he gets reelected to the Senate in 1958. And he writes the book Profiles in Courage where you get to see his political and ideology emerge. As a Cold War Liberal Democrat who sees communism as the biggest threat to freedom and even mankind. As well as someone who wants to use a limited government to empower people in need to get themselves up and live well in life. Kennedy, wasn’t a Conservative that today’s right-wingers want to portray him as, or a Social Democrat that had a government program to solve everyone’s problems for them. That today’s so-called Progressives want to see him as.

By the time Jack Kennedy completed his first term in the Senate and decided that he wanted to be President of the United States is where he got serious as a public servant and political leader. That communism needed to be defeated and that freedom needed to be expanded at home. For Americans who were struggling and living in poverty, but also for Americans who were simply denied access in America because of their race and color. Which is just one reason why JFK being assassinated at the age of 46 in 1963 is so tragic. Because the great liberal Jack Kennedy as a political leader was just emerging. He probably gets reelected fairly easily in 1964 against Senator Barry Goldwater. And I think we would have seen one of the best American leaders of all-time.

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Liberal Democrat

U.S. Representative John F. Kennedy, D, Massachusetts

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

John F. Kennedy, at this point was Representative John F. Kennedy who was completing his third and last term in the House of Representatives. And was running for Senate against a moderate-conservative Republican Senator Henry Cabot Lodge. Jack Kennedy, was only thirty-five at this point and would become one of the youngest people ever elected to the U.S. Senate at thirty-five. JFK, served a total of fourteen-years in Congress both in the House and Senate and yet he was forty-three when he left Congress for the presidency in 1961. He is someone who wanted to move up quickly in American politics and not stay in one office for very long.

The House, was too small of a platform especially if you’re last name is Kennedy. So it’s a little hard to believe that JFK would’ve been someone who would’ve spent 20-30 years in the House even if it meant being Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, or serving in the Democratic Leadership. I think JFK like his brother Ted, would’ve made a terrific U.S. Senator if he wanted it and served four, or five terms in the Senate after the House and completed his Congressional service and even public service in the Senate. And perhaps would’ve ended up chairing a couple of committees and maybe even becoming Democratic Leader in the Senate.

Jack Kennedy, didn’t have a very good record in the House. He was bored there and had a hard time dealing with being one of 435 Representatives there and a back bencher at that. And wasn’t a very serious Representative who missed a lot of floor votes and committee hearings and not known for passing any legislation. He wasn’t much better as a Senator at least in his first term. But he writes a book Profiles in Courage in 1956, he marries Jacqueline Kennedy and his name is always in the news and starts to draw a serious following in the Democratic Party and becomes serious as a U.S. Senator. Which is how his name starts to get floated around as a possible presidential candidate. Who almost becomes Adlai Stevenson’s vice presidential nominee in 1956. And after that he when he puts most of his focus into becoming President of the United States.
Public Resource-CBS News: The Longines Chronoscope With U.S. Representative John F. Kennedy- 1952

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