Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2564, November 19th, 2013


(Photo: Carl Anthony Online)


When John Kennedy entered the political fray in 1946 after his service in the war, his family name was a known political commodity. Kennedy’s father Joseph P. Kennedy was the U.S. Ambassador to England prior to World War II. Ambassador Kennedy turned out to be on the wrong side of the argument for entry into World War II and was quietly dispatched by Franklin Roosevelt. Kennedy who had himself harbored political ambitions retrenched and set the high sites of public office on his son and name sake Joe Junior. But Joseph Kennedy Junior was killed in the war and the mantle fell to the second son, Jack.
Jack Kennedy was an unlikely choice. He was not the best student, had ill health, was not as athletic as his older brother and contemplated a career in journalism. But any plans he had on his own were countermanded by the patriarch of the family. The bargain Joe Kennedy made to his second son was this, no expense would be spared if JFK worked his ass off running for office.
Kennedy won a Congressional seat in 1946 canvassing the 11th Congressional District of Boston. Six years later he took on a New England icon in the person of Henry Cabot Lodge and won the Massachusetts Senate seat. After only eight years in the Senate with little notable accomplishments, Kennedy ran for the Presidency and won by a small margin. In all the campaigns Kennedy conducted, his father was there with an endless supply of money and his telegenic family dropped everything and stumped with him.
After his election, the Kennedy organization was not shy in putting other Kennedy men in place. In 1962 younger brother Ted claimed the President’s old Senate seat and with brother Bobby at Attorney General,  the three young brothers formed a troika unheard of in U.S. politics.
When Kennedy was killed in 1964, loyalists pushed Robert Kennedy as an obvious choice for Vice President. Kennedy did not dissuade that talk but Lyndon Johnson put the brakes on that action. With RFK’s own assassination in 1968, Ted Kennedy was left but made key personal errors that would make any political success problematic. Teddy made a pedantic run for President in 1980 and to me looked like he was going through the motions. The highlight of his campaign was the speech at the convention in which he conceded to President Carter. Sargent Shriver, a Kennedy in law was almost tabbed to be Vice President in 1968 with Hubert Humphrey but the family gave a thumbs down to that since they felt it might overshadow Teddy. Shriver ran for Vice President with George McGovern in 1972 and made a bid for the Presidency in 1976 but did so by first clearing it with the family.
The younger generation of Kennedy’s did try for political office. And succeeded. Joseph P. Kennedy II was elected to the 8th district succeeding Tip O’Neil. (O’Neill’s district was the 11th, which was Kennedy’s until 1963 when the district became the 8th). Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who was the first Kennedy woman to hold an elected office, when she served as Lieutenant Governor of Maryland from 1995 to 2003. Kennedy’s son, Joseph P. Kennedy III took a seat in the Massachusetts 4th and is closing out his first term.
Bobby Shriver, served as a Santa Monica City Councilman, elected in 2004. Mark Kennedy Shriver, 44 served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1995 to 2003. Patrick Joseph Kennedy, served in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rhode Island and retired from the seat last year.  He was the youngest Kennedy to take public office, at 21, when elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives in 1988.
Caroline Kennedy’s, the President’s daughter flirted with the idea of running for the United State Senate to succeed Hillary Clinton but never got traction after some poor TV appearances.  Had John F. Kennedy Junior not been killed in that plane crash in the late 90s, he might have been a formidable political force. Publishing George Magazine, the younger Kennedy was being touted as a possible candidate for Senator of New York, a seat that ultimately went to First Lady Hillary Clinton. The Kennedy and Shriver children made the effort but did have the political climate, wherewithal or ambition to try and make the big climb. Perhaps it was the looming shadow of the last Kennedy brother Teddy who prohibited them from making a run. Or maybe it was the brief, fiery moment in the 60s that took up all the energy. The Kennedy dynasty was one that never got started due to circumstances no one could have foreseen when John F Kennedy climbed those first set of stairs in those walk up apartments in Boston in 1946.

Here is the Gettysburg address read by actor Tom Amandes from the movie "Saving Lincoln".


At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All possible respect to the Anniversary of JFK'S Death and the Gettysburg Address, but I'm off to Toronto to hang with Rob Ford. I'm about old enough now that if an alcohol and drug induced coma kills me its no great loss in remaining years! I may never get another chance to rip like this!This guy not only parties hard, he runs from scene to scene oblivious of what or who might be in his path. This fella is in High Gear and theres no off button. I wanna be there when he explodes. Until then, Rock On, Fool!

At 12:29 PM, Blogger Coal Cracker said...

Yeah, I guess you can call killing a woman a "personal error"


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