Jack Had What It Takes.
I have now voted in 14 presidential elections. My first was in 1960 when I cast a vote for John F. Kennedy.
Two years earlier, when JFK ran for re-election to the Senate from Massachusetts, I was a junior at Boston University. As a radio/television major, I was automatically on the staff of WBUR, the B.U. radio station. And so, on election night of 1958, I was handed a portable tape recorder and sent off to Kennedy campaign headquarters with explicit instructions: “Ask him if he’s running for president in 1960.”
Only a handful of people were there when I arrived. Bobby Kennedy, Jack’s campaign manager, was in a small office off the main room going over early returns from around the state. It’s strange, but I clearly remember he was using a slide rule to calculate his projections.
Around nine o’clock, Jack Kennedy arrived with Jackie on his arm. With two other media people, I took my mike and walked up next to him. That was the moment in time when I truly understood what is meant by the word charisma.
I was struck dumb … paralyzed … even unable to remember the question I was instructed to ask. Fortunately, there was a real reporter there from the Boston Globe and I managed to record Kennedy’s responses to his questions.
Jack Kennedy was a practical politician who instinctively knew how to play the political game. But he also understood the responsibilities and the obligations that come with being president of the United States of America.
There is a very detailed account of the Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962 describing how President Kennedy with brother Bobby and his small inner circle handled the confrontation that brought the U.S. and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war. This would not be a good time to read it.