April 7, 2012
JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS: SEVENTH CONVERSATION VIII
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 asks:
“On Vietnam, it was rather interesting that (JFK) should send (Henry) Cabot Lodge.* Had he & Lodge maintained particular personal relations in this period?”
Jacqueline Kennedy responds:
“No, the only time I can remember, we asked Lodge to the dinner for Abboud of the Sudan.** And Lodge was really nice that evening. He seemed so touched to be there….and I remember Jack walked him to the door.”
Mrs. Kennedy goes on to speculate that her husband may have appointed his former Republican Senate opponent as ambassador to South Vietnam “because (the situation there) was rather hopeless anyway.” She adds that she never really asked JFK why he sent Lodge to Vietnam.
Mr. Schlesinger says Secretary of State Dean Rusk’s recommendation along with Lodge’s service as a liaison officer with the French army in WWII & ability to speak excellent French were all reasons for JFK’s choice of Lodge.
*El Ferik Ibrahim Abboud (1900-1983), chief of state of the Sudan 1958-1964, was born at Mohammed-Gol in Sudan. He served in Ethiopia during WWII.
**Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (1902-1985) was a Republican senator from Massachusetts, US ambassador to the UN, South Vietnam, & West Germany as well as the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee in 1960.
Lodge was born in Nahant, Massachusetts & graduated cum laude from Harvard. JFK defeated him in the Senate race of 1952.