March 6, 2012
JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS: THE FOURTH CONVERSATION II
Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today JFK+50 continues our report on the fourth conversation from “Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy,” published by Hyperion.
The fourth conversation was recorded on March 23, 1964.
Regarding JFK’s prospective 2nd term as President of the United States, Jacqueline Kennedy says:
“Oh, there were so many things (Jack) was going to do. He was going to get rid of J. Edgar Hoover*. (Next time we do a tape) I’ll have a list (of) about 5 or 6 things he wanted to do.”
*J. Edgar Hoover was director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1924 to 1972.
Arthur Schlesinger asks Mrs. Kennedy if JFK had met (Robert) McNamara (appointee as Secretary of Defense) before.
“No & he told me the 1st thing McNamara asked him in their conference (in Georgetown) was ‘Did you really write Profiles In Courage?'”**
**Robert S. McNamara (1916-2009) was born in San Francisco & graduated from the University of California at Berkeley (1937) & received his MBA from Harvard Business School (1939).
He became president of Ford Motor Company in November 1960.
Bringing up the topic of JFK’s decision to pass up Adlai Stevenson as Secretary of State, Schlesinger asks if that was unpleasant for JFK or “was the President rather amused by it all?”
“You know, it was unpleasant (but) it would have been difficult having (Stevenson) around every day & I think it would have been an awfully difficult relationship.”
Schlesinger then asks about the selection of Bobby (Robert F. Kennedy) as Attorney General.
Mrs. Kennedy says:
“Oh, that was awful because–I suppose that was Mr. (Joseph P.) Kennedy completely.
Jack called (Bobby) & said ‘Well, you have to (accept).’
(Jack) was so used to working with Bobby & having him sound out decisions with.”
Schlesinger & Mrs. Kennedy discuss some of the other cabinet appointments including Arthur Goldberg as Secretary of Labor.
Jacqueline Kennedy says that Mr. Goldberg was “an old friend,” but when JFK appointed Goldberg to the Supreme Court…
“Jack said, ‘Oh, God, I’ll hate to lose him (in the cabinet).'”
“And now, Arthur just thinks he’s…..They get so detached from life in the Supreme Court. There’s this atmosphere of just reverence.
But still, Arthur’s brilliant. But he talks more about himself than any man I’ve ever met.”***
***Arthur Goldberg (1909-1990) was born in Chicago. He was a graduate of De Paul University & received his law degree from Northwestern University Law School (1930).
Goldberg served in the OSS in WWII & was appointed general counsel for the Congress of Industrial Organization in 1948.
In 1965, LBJ appointed Goldberg to serve as United Nations Ambassador.****
****On audio tapes made available by the LBJ Library, Lyndon Johnson says:
“I’ve always thought Goldberg was the ablest man in Kennedy’s cabinet.”
To this point, he is the last Supreme Court justice to have served in the Presidential cabinet.