May 6, 2012
“JOHNNY WE HARDLY KNEW YE”: Memories of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Getting Into Politics IV.
Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we continue our report on Chapter 2 of the book by Kenneth P. O’Donnell & David F. Powers with Joe McCarthy. It is published by Little, Brown & Company.
The title of Chapter 2 is “Getting Into Politics”.
This chapter continues the discussion of JFK’s entry into the political profession in 1946.
O’Donnell & Powers write that while JFK did not follow the old political techniques, he “found their colorful personalities to be fascinating.”
Dave Powers says:
“As much as (Jack) personally disagreed with their viewpoint, (he) enjoyed the Boston Irish pols & they liked him.”
Dave adds that while JFK was a new type of Irish politician, he loved everything about politics.
The 1946 campaign became a “free-for-all” with 10 candidates in the field, but from the beginning JFK showed “incredible stamina & zest.”
Dave says that while most politicians go to rallies, meetings, dinners & luncheons, what set Jack Kennedy apart was his willingness to personally go door to door. He writes:
“The housewives were startled to see Jack Kennedy standing on their porches because most….had never seen a politician that closely before.”
During the evening, Jack would go to 3 or 4 house parties. The success of these parties led to “the famous Kennedy teas.”
The teas were only for women who received engraved invitations. Over a thousand turned out for the 1st held at the Hotel Commander in Cambridge.
It was also the only tea attended by Jack’s father.