14 April 2010

From the Blogged Memoirs of Robert Wolff

One particularly good bit:
In 1960, during the primary campaign that led to the nomination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy as the Democratic standard bearer for the presidency, Murray undertook some fieldwork around Boston for what eventually became his 1966 book Kennedy Campaigning. Jack Kennedy, Massachusetts' junior senator, was wildly popular, and this being a state in which "the name's the same" had been raised to a fine art, there were thirteen Kennedys up and down the ballot for local, state, and national office. Six of them were named "John," including the State Treasurer John Francis Kennedy, who had already parlayed his name into public office, and now sought the nomination for Governor. One day, as Murray was interviewing prospective voters in Southey, he knocked on the door of a little old Irish-American lady. This was the sort of home in which there would be three pictures reverentially displayed in the parlor -- of Jesus, the Pope, and JFK. Murray asked her who was her candidate for the Presidency. "John F. Kennedy," she replied unhesitatingly. "And who is your candidate for Governor?" "John F. Kennedy." Something in the intonation of her voice told Murray that she thought they were the same person. "Do you think that the same man should run for both offices?" asked Murray. "Sure," she replied in a broad brogue, "if the dear boy wants to be President and Governor, I don't know why he shouldn't be."

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