The Democrats weren’t always like this

In connection with my blog below about the Gephardt campaign, imagine what kind of candidate John Kennedy would make today. In the quest for personal and family ordeals to exploit, he could combine the “best” of John Kerry (Navy war hero), Dick Gephardt/Al Gore (illness and early death in the family) and Bill Clinton (bad-ass father). There would only be one problem — I don’t think Kennedy would talk much about these matters. In his acceptance speech at the 1960 Democratic convention (which I watch on C-SPAN every four years, along with Goldwater’s more famous 1964 speech), there is nary a mention of any such personal or biographical information. Sure times have changed, but Kennedy regarded these sorts of references as uncool, and Kennedy was all about cool. According to Ted Sorensen, one of Kennedy’s favorite lines was this one from a character in John Buchan’s Pilgrim’s Way, “he disliked emotion not because he felt lightly but because he felt deeply.”
A defense hawk and tax cutter who disliked emotion. There would be no place for John Kennedy in today’s Democratic party.


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