January 30, 2012
JACK KENNEDY, ELUSIVE HERO: BOBBY, PART II
Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today JFK+50 reports on the 2nd half of Chapter 6 of Chris Matthews’ new book, Jack Kennedy, Elusive Hero published by Simon & Schuster.
The title of Chapter 6 is BOBBY.
Jack “saw the point,” Chris writes, of having brother Bobby running his Senate campaign, replacing Mark Dalton who “had seen it coming.”
Bobby, with a talent for organization & a “smooth(er) relationship” with Father Joe, “began working eighteen hour days.”
The KENNEDY TEAM began “digging” for weak spots in Senator Lodge’s voting record.
JFK’s congressional aide, Ted Reardon, compiled an inventory of that voting record dubbed “Lodge’s Dodges.”
Chris writes that a KENNEDY PARTY was created by putting all volunteers to work as non-paid team members.
At one meeting, one guy suggested that the Kennedys had money & could afford to pay, Bobby threw him out the door & said: “Would you mind getting lost….& keeping yourself lost.”
Chris tells us that instead of the customary practice of putting the major effort in the larger cities, JFK “hit every neighborhood….ignoring his physical well-being.”
And Lodge, for his part, had been preoccupied with Eisenhower’s presidential campaign. Jack took advantage of that by criticizing Lodge’s absenteeism in the Senate.
Adding to Lodge’s problems, Jack was voted, in the summer of 1952, the “handsomest member of the House” & Jack took a course on using television to the best advantage.
Election Night 1952, however, was tense.
Republicans were winning Massachusetts in both the presidential & governor’s races, but the Kennedy Team stayed optimistic.
Chris writes that at 3 or 4 in the morning, with only the major cities having not reported in, word came that WORCESTER had been carried by Kennedy by 5000 votes.
Finally, after 6 a.m., Lodge conceded & “came over & shook Jack’s hand.”
Senator-elect Kennedy had won by 70,000 votes.
Democratic Senate majority leader, Lyndon B. Johnson, wasted no time in calling & giving his congratulations to Jack.
Chris concludes Chapter 6 by writing that while IKE-NIXON won by 7 million votes nationwide, Jack Kennedy had “taken on the best & had beaten the best.”
Senator-elect JFK & Senator Lodge
November 10, 1952
JFK Library Photo