March 2, 2012
JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS: THE THIRD CONVERSATION I
Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today JFK+50 begins our report on the 3rd conversation from “Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy”, published by Hyperion.
The third conversation was recorded on March 4, 1964.
Mrs. Kennedy discusses JFK’s opinions on embattled Senator Joseph McCarthy.
“I think Jack thought just what everyone thought of McCarthy (but) every single one of his voters in Boston…thought anyone whose name was McAnything was wonderful.
Mrs. Kennedy continues:
“It was a messy situation–putting out a censure….& they hated it in Boston.”
The conversation now goes back to the West Virginia primary & the role played by Franklin Roosevelt, Jr. in the campaign.
Jacqueline Kennedy says:
“(Franklin) amused me & he & Jack amused each other. He was a very good friend.”*
*Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. served with JFK in Congress from 1949 to 1955.
Arthur Schlesinger asks Jackie about former President Truman’s “attack” on JFK (as being too young & inexperienced)…
“(It) upset (Jack) but it was just one more thing to, you know, swat down like a buzzing fly.”
Schlesinger then asks if they were “alarmed” about how things were going at the 1960 Democratic Convention.
Mrs. Kennedy says:
“Bobby told me that once (JFK) got to the convention he knew (JFK) would get the nomination.”
Concerning the back & forth of the selection of LBJ as running mate, Schlesinger asks “Did (JFK) get permanently mad at people?”
Mrs. Kennedy says:
“Never. (Jack said) ‘in politics you don’t have friends & enemies, you have colleagues.'”
“He never got mean. I’d get terribly emotional about anyone, but he always treated it so objectively. It’s the only way to be effective–which is one reason I think women should never be in politics. We’re just not suited to it.”**
**When asked about this statement by Diane Sawyer, Caroline Kennedy said this was her mother’s view “at a moment in time.” It would not be her view as time passed.