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April 14, 2012


Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today JFK+50 continues our report on the seventh conversation from “Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy,” published by Hyperion.

The seventh conversation was recorded on June 3, 1964.

Arthur Schlesinger says:

“One thing a lot of people have written about the (Kennedy) administration is that no administration was more interested in its own image, to use that odious word, & so on.”

Jacqueline Kennedy responds:

“Well…it’s so untrue.  I was always a (political) liability to (Jack) until we got to the White House (but) he never asked me to change.”

Mrs. Kennedy continues:

“Everyone thought I was a snob from Newport, who had bouffant hair & had French clothes & hated politics.”

Mrs. Kennedy says that JFK would get really upset when something came out in the press critical of her as First Lady. 

She says, “Sometimes I’d say, ‘Oh, Jack, I’m sorry for you that I’m such a dud.’ And he knew it wasn’t true & he didn’t want me to change.”

Mrs. Kennedy goes on to say that when she did the televised tour of the White House in 1962, JFK “was so proud of that.  He used to show that & ask people about it.”

Mr. Schlesinger next poses this question: 

“He never tried to ask you….to stop being yourself for any political or public relations purpose?”

Jacqueline Kennedy responds:

“No. And I think he liked that I was being myself & that I did like to stay in the background.  I think he appreciated that in a wife.”


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