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Posts Tagged ‘Edward M. Kennedy’

Edward M. Kennedy at Boston’s Hotel Touraine on the night of the Democratic primary, September 18, 1962. Photograph courtesy of the Office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Ted Kennedy den 18 september 1962. Han vann detta år sin första valkampanj till senaten. Bilden tagen på Hotel Touraine i Boston.

Foto: Office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

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INTRIGER | Intresset för Kennedy-klanen tycks aldrig avta. Bara under 2011 kom det ut fyra böcker bara i Sverige.

Även om förra året var exceptionellt så säger det en del om Kennedy-mytens förmåga att fascinera långt utanför USA:s gränser.

Och de som mest av allt värnar dessa myter är familjemedlemmarna själva och deras närmaste allierade. Och de är vare sig få eller utan inflytande.

Det är knappast ovanligt att media uppmärksammar skandaler där någon Kennedy figurerar. Detta har paradoxalt nog snarare bidragit till mytbildningen.

Betydligt ovanligare är det däremot att skandalerna återberättas av någon trovärdig person som har haft verklig insyn.

Det är precis detta som gör The Senator: My Ten Years With Ted Kennedy av Richard E. Burke så fascinerande. Boken handlar om vad Burke såg och upplevde under sina tio år som Kennedys närmaste medarbetare.

Han var inte bara en av hans närmaste politiska medarbetare utan också vittne till senatorns mindre beundransvärda privatliv.

Vad som ökar författarens trovärdighet är att denna beundran för Kennedys politiska insatser inte minskade även när Kennedys beteende i sitt privatliv gjorde Burke desillusionerad.

Droger och utomäktenskapliga affärer var en del av Kennedys livsstil. En livsstil som Burke sakta men säkert började anamma.

Det var en livsstil som slutligen också skulle leda till Burkes eget fall. Och de första stegen i hans egen rehabilitering.

När det blev känt att han planerade att skriva en bok om sina upplevelser satte Kennedys dementimaskin igång. Systematiska försök att misskreditera Burke inleddes.

Efter publiseringen kallade Kennedy boken föra collection of bizarre and untrue stories.”

Både Burke och förläggare utsattes för förtäckta hot och försök att övertala dem att lägga ner bokprojektet.

Så här skriver Richard E. Burke i The Senator:

But the Senator’s people were not giving up. During the writing and final drafting of this book, they phoned relentlessly. I did not engage in conversations with them beyond mere formalities, but finally they got to the bottom line: They were sorry they hadn’t been of more help with my businesses during the late eighties and early nineties. They had heard about the bankruptcy. If I were to drop the book, one of the Senator’s friends conveyed that he would be willing to gather a group of investors to buy a company that would in turn buy out mine, or he would come up with several million dollars in working capital via various lines of credit.

[…]

I’m ashamed of some of the things I’ve done that I’ve described in this book. But for many reasons it has seemed important to me throughout its writing to be as honest as possible, not bent on making myself look fine, innocent, blameless back then. Nobody ever held me down and forced cocaine up my nose, nobody coerced me to lie to the FBI, or, more painful to remember, to my friends and my family.

There were people that I used back then, people that I deceived, people that I hurt. I owe them this apology. I owe it to a broader readership to say that my own excesses, including my own substance abuse, made me unfit back then to hold an office with critical decision power. I must own up to this.

But I am not the only one who should own up.

I’ve been told to be prepared for attempts to see there is no owning up, an indeed even before publication of this book those attempts were under way, the damage-control team at work.

The firm aim of such teams is to see that such a book as this is never published, or failing that, to see that when it is published no one believes it.

In particular I have been warned that the classic control method – either to suppress the news or then to discredit it – is to attack the messenger. He’s a liar, he’s crazy, he’s only doing it for the money.

As I write these final words of the book that campaign has already started. If you are reading these words it means that the initial aim of the campaign has failed; it could not prevent the book and what it says from ever being seen by you.

The original would-be publisher in fact did withdraw. Whatever her reason was, it wasn’t, she said because she believed the history I’ve recounted here is false.

For St. Martin’s Press the first and last question was: Is what’s in the book true?

The publisher read my admission of lying in 1981. He knew I’d spent six months visiting a therapist. In hours of talks together he came to know lots more about my personal life and business in the years since 1981. He took calls attempting to influence him and discredit me. He sent me to spend even more hours with the company’s lawyers.

He read the book.

And in the end he decided, yes he believed the book. In whatever approaches were made to him, he did not encounter a line of successful indictment of the book’s essential truth. (Sidan 318-320)

Läs mer: De böcker som har publicerats under 2011 är Vi tolererar inga förlorare: klanen Kennedy av Britt-Marie Mattsson; Familjen Kennedy: en amerikansk dynasti av Lennart Pehrson; Familjen, politiken, kärleken av Edward M. Kennedy samt Bobby och Jackie: en kärlekshistoria av C. David Heymann. 

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USA | Mitt Romney bygger en stor del av sin image på att han som framgångsrik affärsman vet hur man skapar nya jobb.

En ständig fråga i valkampanjen är därför om Romney under sin karriär skapade fler jobb än han rationaliserade bort.

Randy Johnson, som 1995 förlorade jobbet i ett av de företag Romney omstrukturerade, bedriver en kampanj för att underminera Romneys presidentambitioner.

Naturligtvis har demokraterna välkomnat honom med öppna armar. Mer oväntat är att samma kritik har framförts av republikanen Newt Gingrich.

Paul M. Barrett har skrivit i Bloomberg Businessweek om striden. 

Randy Johnson organizes steel workers for a living. Before that he worked in a paper factory where he served as union steward. He has waved picket line placards, bellowed through bullhorns, and taken people out on strike. Along the way, he became Mitt Romney’s worst recurring nightmare.

[…]

 “Let me show you something,” Johnson says, rising to get his “Romney box,” a copier-paper carton he’s kept since 1994.

[…]

The box contains records of a long-ago chapter in the history of Bain Capital, the Boston investment firm Romney led from 1984 to 1999. Back in 1992, Bain acquired a manufacturer called American Pad & Paper, or Ampad. Bain then used Ampad as a vehicle to buy and restructure similar companies. Following standard “roll-up” strategy, Bain closed factories and laid off workers in anticipation of selling off a leaner, more profitable company via an initial public stock offering.

[…]

On and off since 1994, when the former Massachusetts businessman made his first run for public office, seeking to unseat Democratic Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Johnson has haunted Romney. During the hard-fought Senate race, Johnson led a “truth squad” of Marion workers who drove overnight to Boston to confront Romney. Kennedy’s campaign, recognizing a gift from the political gods, made a series of television commercials starring the unhappy Marion workers. The ads helped Kennedy pull out of a temporary slump and defeat Romney. In 2002, when the Republican ran for governor of Massachusetts, Johnson popped up again to remind voters about Marion. Better prepared, Romney weathered the attack and won the statehouse, vowing to improve the Massachusetts economy based on his business expertise.

Now, as Romney battles to become the Republican Presidential nominee, Johnson is working with the Democratic National Committee to plague the politician yet again. Once an aggrieved line worker avenging what he considered an injustice, he is, many years and several campaigns later, a seasoned operative fluent in the language and tactics of political combat. Democrats, for obvious reasons, seek him out, and he seems happy to be sought. Since late last year, the DNC has shepherded Johnson around the country in a preview of President Barack Obama’s populist-tinged fall campaign. Johnson has visited Iowa, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and Florida, talking to journalists and schmoozing state Democratic chairmen. In January, when Romney told an audience in Nashua, N.H., that he “enjoy[s] firing people,” Johnson cracked to reporters: “That’s not news to me. Mitt Romney fired me and everyone at the plant.”

[…]

Romney maintains his business career generated employment on an impressive scale. “The jobs created at Bain Capital by companies that we helped start or that we helped manage, those companies today employ well over 100,000 more jobs than those that were lost,” Romney told Bloomberg TV on Jan. 7.

Asked for data to back up that claim, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul points to comments the candidate made in Greer, S.C., on Jan. 12: “There are a number of businesses that we helped start which collectively … added well over 100,000 jobs. Staples (SPLS), Bright Horizons children centers, Sports Authority, Steel Dynamics (STLD). Those four alone added well over 100,000 jobs. And then the press has also reported on businesses that lost employment and that was a few thousand jobs that were lost. In each case, where there was job loss, there was an effort on the part of the management team to try and preserve the business to have a brighter future.” To this, Saul adds: “These experiences give Mr. Romney the unique skills and capabilities to do what President Obama has failed to do: focus on job creation and turn around our nation’s faltering economy.”

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är Bloomberg Businessweek den 27 februari – 4 mars 2012.

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VAL: En okänd republikan tog hem segern i det liberala Massachusetts. Med klar marginal vann Scott Brown (52 %) över den segertippade Martha Coakley (47 %).

För demokraterna var det speciellt pinsamt eftersom valet gällde vakansen i Senaten efter demokraten Edward M. Kennedy. För många amerikanare var Kennedy den okrönta ledaren för den liberala falangen inom det demokratiska partiet.

Valet får stora konsekvenser för president Barack Obama eftersom demokraterna nu har tappat den marginal på 60 röster som krävs i Senaten för att kunna hindra att republikanerna stoppar deras förslag genom att filibustra.

The New York Times skriver idag;

The election left Democrats in Congress scrambling to salvage a bill overhauling the nation’s health care system, which the late Mr. Kennedy had called “the cause of my life.” Mr. Brown has vowed to oppose the bill (…)

Beyond the bill, the election of a man supported by the Tea Party movement also represented an unexpected reproach by many voters to President Obama after his first year in office, and struck fear into the hearts of Democratic lawmakers, who are already worried about their prospects in the midterm elections later this year. (…)

Mr. Brown ran strongest in the suburbs of Boston, where the independent voters who make up a majority in Massachusetts turned out in large numbers. Ms. Coakley did best in urban areas, winning overwhelmingly in Boston and running ahead in Springfield, Worcester, Fall River and New Bedford, but her margins were not large enough to carry her to victory.

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