Monday, November 2, 2009

The Making of the President 1960 (3).

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:

“He [Nelson Rockefeller] chatted casually with a friendly newspaperman about…how you could never be sure what kind of question was coming next, of what the motives of the questioner were…talked of the challenge and techniques of being a public figure—he said it meant liking people and being relaxed.” p. 91.

“…primary campaigns exhaust the candidate, use up his speech material, drain his vital energy, leave him limp before he clashes with the major enemy.” p. 93.

“It was important to talk to school children because school children talked to their parents when they went home.” p. 101.

Hubert Humphrey: “The purpose of politics, he said, talking to a group of farmers in mid-Wisconsin, is only to give people a sense of direction.”

“He [Hubert Humphrey] was someone just like the listeners…no distance about him, no separation…none of the majesty that must surround a king.” p. 105.

Hubert Humphrey: “What we’re trying to do is to get people to think about their own role in government, their own role in history.” p. 106.

Hubert Humphrey: “If you want efficiency in politics, you can go to the communists or totalitarians.” p. 107.

“In a primary…he [the candidate] cannot really cut the heart out of his rival, for he may have to support his rival if he is defeated—or seek his support if he wins.” p. 108.

“What distinguishes the new school [of politics] from the old school is the political approach of exclusion versus inclusion…to give as many people as possible a sense of participation: participation galvanizes emotion, gives the participant a live stake in the victory of the leader.” p. 122.

“In Nebraska, home state of Ted Sorenson, he [Kennedy] had asked this closest of his aides to write down the four or five questions that bothered Protestants most when they worried about Catholics.” p. 128.

To be continued.

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