Monday, March 22, 2010

Kennedy. Theodore C. Sorenson (8)

Special Counsel to the Late President. New York: Bantam Books. 1966.

Why read it? To understand Kennedy’s philosophy of the Presidency. His humor. His wisdom. He could think on his feet. His ability to own up to his mistakes and to learn from them. To appreciate the vast range of responsibilities faced by the President. His style. You won’t learn any of the details of his extra-marital affairs in this book. It focuses on John Kennedy, an American who was elected President by one of the narrowest margins in history. He instilled a spirit of confidence in the American people, and his assassination destroyed that spirit.

“…both he and the press were sometimes surprised, upon reading the transcript of a particularly successful extemporaneous talk, to find that the passages that sounded so memorable in his impassioned delivery were less impressive in cold print.” p. 200. ………. “Do you realize the responsibility I carry…. I am the only person between Nixon and the White House.” p. 203. ……….“In Rochester, he quoted an earlier Republican candidate as having referred to it as Syracuse—proof, he said, that Republicans never did know where they were or where they were going.” p. 207. ………. “It is a contest between the comfortable and concerned.” p. 2007. ……… “As soon as Nixon was out campaigning again, Kennedy was briefed daily on his opponent’s speeches and tore into them almost daily.” p. 209. ………. “Last Thursday night Mr. Nixon dismissed me  as ‘another Truman’…a great compliment and I have no hesitation in returning the compliment. I consider him another Dewey.” p. 209. ………. “…not what kind of church I believe in, for that should be important only to me, but what kind of America I believe in.” p. 215.

To be continued.

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