JFK HAD NO REMOTE IDEA HE WOULD BE PRESIDENT
Today JFK+50 continues our report on “Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy,” edited by Ted Widmer & published by Hyperion, 2012.
The title of Chapter 1 is HISTORY.
Mr. Widmer includes the transcript of an audio recording made on January 5, 1960 during a private dinner party conversation.*
During the conversation, President-elect JFK was asked by Ben Bradlee:
“Did you have any remote idea, Jack, that when you ran for Congress in 1946 that you would run for president?”
“No, I didn’t.”
Disbelieving JFK’s answer, Bradlee tried another angle…
“Remote? Not even when you went to bed?”
The President-elect answered:
“Never, Never, Never. I thought maybe I’d be governor of Massachusetts someday.”
Then, JFK discusses the importance of the job…
“The Presidency (is) the center of power…the center of action…the place to be, in the sense of if you want to get anything done.”
*The participants in the informal discussion were journalist James M. Cannon (who was writing a book on politics), Benjamin Bradlee (Washington bureau chief for Newsweek Magazine) & wife Toni, & Jacqueline Kennedy.