Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Makaing of the President 1960 (5).

Theodore H. White. New York: Pocket Books, Inc. 1961/1962.

Why read it? The strategies used by John Kennedy and his associates and by Richard Nixon and other candidates in the presidential election of 1960.

Sample ideas:

“For whether he meant to or not, Nelson Rockefeller was summoning the Republican Party to repudiate the administration and policies of Dwight D. Eisenhower before the Party faced the nation in November…. All rested on the assumption that a great government must not only deal with situations-as-they-are but go on to change by its own initiative, the frame of the problems or the machinery to deal with them.” p. 229.

Governor Stratton of Illinois: “You can say all you want to about foreign affairs, but what is really important is the price of hogs in Chicago and St. Louis.” p. 248.

Richard Nixon: “Difficult because at times our next President must tell the people not what they want to hear but what they need to hear….” p. 249.

Lincoln: “My concern is not whether God is on our side but whether we are on God’s side.” p. 250.

Richard Nixon: “…and in that spirit with faith in America, with faith in her ideals and in her people, I accept your nomination for President of the United States.” p. 250.

“…and as slaves…for another eighty-five years, they were worked, bred and beaten, like nonhumans, in one of those sins of mankind for which there can never be expiation.” p. 276. “

“…Robert F. Kennedy believes that men should work hard, go to bed early, rise early, strive to the extent of their ability and be penalized ruthlessly when they fail in their responsibilities; it is his opinion that men play to win—whether in touch football or politics—with no quarter for friend or foe.” p. 295.

“…week after savage week without stop until the choice of an American President seemed to rest more on pure glands and physical vitality than on qualities of statesmanship, reason or eloquence…lunches, breakfasts, dinners, travel, speeches with no moment of privacy or thought.” p. 302.

“One of the graces of the Kennedy campaign was the nearly immediate availability of the stenotype transcript of what the candidate had said, whether in mine, factory, village square or New York Coliseum…thus reporters were able to relax and enjoy the Kennedy oratory, knowing that in an hour they would have an accurate transcript.” p. 309.

“There was, as the Kennedys had learned in West Virginia, only one way to separate the bigots from the honestly fearful: and that was to face the issue of religion frankly and in the open, stripping it of the darkness, incense and strange rituals that so many Protestants feared…. …would make an opening statement, then submit himself live, to any questions they might choose to ask.” p. 311.

To be continued.

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