Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Is Obama channeling JFK?

A dream died on November 22, 1963.

To many Americans, who are old enough to remember, John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas was the principal reason for a long American nightmare of which Bush II is simply the culmination. Ted Sorenson, the other night, stated that the 1961 Inaugural address was only Kennedy's second best speech. The best was, in Sorenson's opinion (and mine, his June 1963 American University speech at which he chartered a course to end the cold war. That he had plans to withdraw from Vietnam after the 1964 election is a matter of public record now. All that ended in Dallas.

I have always felt that second biggest casualty at Dallas was Khrushchev. The Cuban Missile crisis had scared them both and Khrushchev had staked his won career on his new relationship to JFK. His leadership survived for several months but eventually was ousted.

Maybe Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone nut gunman. To some, his cloudy intelligence background and the incredible convenience of JFK's death to those who were looking to profit from the Vietnam War is more than a convenience.

If anybody is interested, I wrote an op-ed piece on the media and the environment using Kennedy's speech American University as a starting point.

I wrote an op-ed piece for Newsday (which made the WP wire) in November 1993 which discussed the media and the assassination.

In any event, you can graph the dissolution of the Americans trust in government has beginning it sharp climb to the time when the public discovered that LBJ’s peace campaign of 1964 was a con job.

I don't know if Obama has Kennedy’s Irish political smarts and I don’t think he has quite obtained JFK's eloquence [maybe he needs a Sorenson], but he's getting there. And beyond political smarts, he has the intellectual capacity to be a truly great President. He will bear the heavy burden of enhanced expectations.

But, after a years of pessimism about the future, and years of second rate intellects occupying the White House, I am suddenly optimistic about the future. I have seen the future and it's Barack.