Monday, November 9, 2009

The Making of the President 1960 (8).

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:

“The Democratic philosophy, usually unspoken, but quite clear nonetheless, is that government is there to be used as an instrument of action.” p. 433.

“The Republican philosophy…is the belief, deep down, that each citizen bears a responsibility in private life and in community life as great or greater than the responsibility of government to shape that life and community…. The Republican tragedy in recent years has been the inability of its thinkers to articulate this philosophy clearly enough to draw political conclusions and programs from it.” p. 433.

“…the President of the United States has power to educate the people of America, to draw new battle lines.” p. 437.

“Woodrow Wilson…failed in the end to make lasting peace because he could not cause the American political system to follow him.” p. 437.

“Yet one man must make them [the issues] all clear enough for American people to vote and express their desire.” p. 437.

“Whether a man is burdened by power or enjoys power; whether he is trapped by responsibility or made free by it; whether he is moved by other people and outer forces or moves them—this is the essence of leadership.” p. 438.

“For there is no apprenticeship a man can serve for the Presidency, no book nor any guide…no instructive analysis or an office bound and defined….” p. 439.

“In the world of the Presidency, giving an order does not end the matter…nothing gets done except by endless follow-up…coaxing, endless threatening and compelling.” p. 439.

“But a President governing the United States can move events only if he can first persuade.” p. 443.

“The problem, he [JFK] insisted, was inertia.” p. 450.

To be concluded.

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