Friday, June 13, 2008

Getting Close, And Comparing

Here's another photo of JFK from that event in Camden nearly 50 years ago.
And the incredible thing is that we can still get as close to presidential candidates in 2008 as I got in 1960.
But now we have to arrive at the candidate's event hours beforehand and pass through tight security and then stand or sit and wait and wait and wait before we actually get to meet the candidate.
Still, that's exactly what I did the other day when I went to see John McCain in Philadelphia. As you can see, I managed to get very close to JFK in 1960 and I was equally as close to John McCain on Wednesday.
Is McCain another Kennedy? Well, like Kennedy McCain is a war hero. But no, McCain is not another Kennedy and neither is the other guy who's running.
But I'll leave that to Fran Coombs writing at Human Events:
For months now it seems everywhere you turn someone has been making comparisons between the senator from Illinois and John F. Kennedy. . . . Of course, Mr. Obama demurs if the comparison to Kennedy is raised, while his campaign milks it whenever possible. He’s even enlisted JFK’s premier wordsmith Ted Sorensen to work on his speeches.Here’s the catch: The late President Kennedy was far more conservative than the political party he represented is today. Just a look at the hawkish Cold War tone of his national security speeches during the 1960 campaign would cause a building-wide fainting spell at the Democratic Party’s national headquarters. So, like many historical figures, he has been twisted Gumby-like into an all-purpose, one-size-fits-all caricature to meet the needs of whoever is quoting him on a given day. Including his own family.
JFK’s most famous quotation, except perhaps his declaration at the then newly-built Berlin Wall that he was a jelly doughnut (“Ich bin ein Berliner”), came at the close of his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 1961. “Ask not what your country can do for you,” he told his fellow Americans that bitterly cold day. “Ask what you can do for your country.”
Now flash forward nearly 50 years from that historic date to the presidential campaign of 2008. The new Kennedy, Barack Obama -- and only to a slightly lesser degree his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain -- are already turning JFK’s inspiring quotation upside down, offering every kind of government prescription possible.
Photo of JFK copyright 2008 by Dan Cirucci


Anonymous said...

Don't like to criticize one of my favorite bloggers, but isn't it just a little "chutzpah" for Fran Coombs and you, my friend, to suggest you know more about JFK's comparison with Barack Obama than Caroline Kennedy and Ted Kennedy?

Dan Cirucci said...

I appreciate the comment and am always happy to be one of your "favorites."
But Caroline and Ted knew JFK in their way and I "knew" him in my way. And I loved JFK in my way as they loved him in their way.
JFK belonged to the world. And all of us - including you - have the right to write and compare and comment.
Likewise, we have the same right regarding Obama who is and will continue to be a public figure.
It goes with the territory.
Keep reading and commenting, friend.