Posts Tagged ‘Robert Kennedy’

IMAGE | Idag refererar man mer till John F. Kennedy inom populärkulturen än inom politiken. Nedanstående omslag är ett bra exempel på detta.

GQ mars 1962

GQ januari 1992

GQ 50th Anniversary Issue oktober 2007

Ren McKnight på GQ bloggade följande med anledning av att Kennedy 1962 lät sig fotograferas av livsstilsmagasinet.

In March 1962, John F. Kennedy appeared on the cover, though it came to light that either he didn’t realize he was being photographed for GQ or he pretended not to. ”People are remembered in this world for one thing,” Kennedy was quoted as saying in Time magazine. ”Calvin Coolidge is remembered for wearing an Indian headdress…. I’ll be remembered now as the man who posed for Gentlemen’s Quarterly.” Time went on to report that Robert Kennedy called GQ a ”fag rag.”

Att Vita huset av misstag skulle ha godkänt att presidenten lät sig fotograferas av GQ låter inte troligt.

Snarare insåg teamet kring Kennedy att han hade möjlighet att nå en helt ny målgrupp genom att ställa upp för tidskriften.

Det är inte bara i efterhand som Kennedy har blivit lite av en stilikon. Han blev t.ex. den förste presidenten som inte regelbundet bar hatt.

Men mer väsentligt är att hans medarbetare medvetet odlades bilden av honom som en ung och karismatisk ledare med nya idéer för en ny tid.

Även om han inte medvetet hade velat sätta denna bild hos allmänheten hade det varit svårt att undvika.

Han blev t.ex. USA:s yngsta president när han valdes 1961. Han var småbarnsförälder och hade en vacker fru med intresse för både kultur och historia.

USA ville ha något nytt efter Dwight D. Eisenhower. Med Kennedy fick man just det.

Tidskriftsomslag: Uppifrån och ner; Gentlemen’s Quarterly mars 1962, januari 1992 och oktober 2007. Tidskriftens ”50th Anniversary Issue” 2007 kom ut med en rad olika framsidor. Se fler omslag här.

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HISTORIA: Tidskriften Esquire har i sitt januari nummer samlat ihop en lång rad citat från bröderna John, Robert och Edward Kennedy.

Citaten berör olika aspekter av deras privata och offentliga liv. Nedan några som handlar om deras erfarenheter från politiken.

Esquire är en tidning som har blivit berömd för sina många banbrytande omslag. Som kuriosa kan sägas att tidskriften har haft en Kennedy på omslaget ett flertal gånger sedan starten 1933.

I never would have run for office if Joe had lived. —John F. Kennedy, 1960

I’ll take all his enemies if I can have all his friends, too. —JFK, discussing the negative implications of Bobby’s Senate Rackets Committee work on his upcoming campaign, 1959

I just received the following wire from my generous daddy — ”Dear Jack, Don’t buy a single vote more than is necessary. I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for a landslide.” —JFK, Gridiron Dinner, 1958

I announced that if, if successful, I would not consider campaign contributions as a substitute for experience in appointing ambassadors. Ever since I made that statement I have not received a single cent from my father. —JFK, 1961

What advice would I give to a young man interested in politics? If I just trace my own career, I went to college and then law school and I started out as just a lawyer … at the Department of Justice. And I worked very hard and I was diligent and I stayed late at night and I made a great deal of effort, and then ten years later I was made attorney general. So I don’t know whether it’s just … I think if you can get your brother elected President of the United States, that helps. —RFK, 1964

The whole McCarthy episode must be judged from the perspective of the atmosphere that has always prevailed in the Senate, where most senators are reluctant to judge the personal conduct of another. Perhaps we were wrong in McCarthy’s case. Perhaps we were not as sensitive as some, and should have acted sooner. That’s a reasonable indictment that falls on me as well. —JFK, 1959

I feel the Senate is where the action is, where the great issues of war and peace, the issues of human rights and the problems of poverty are being debated. And with certain important exceptions, you really can get a vote there on important matters. I would say the Senate is the greatest forum for change in our country and in the system. It’s the forum that I very much want to be part of and have influence with. —EMK

There have been in recent weeks some instances in the press where statements have been attributed to members of the staff which reflect in a derogatory manner on other candidates… . While it is entirely proper to give a realistic appraisal of my possibilities as a potential Democratic candidate, staff members must take extreme care never to say anything about the other possible candidates which could be in any way interpreted as derogatory in a personal sense. All of the persons mentioned as possible candidates are friends of mine and I do not want to do anything to destroy any of these personal relationships. —JFK, staff memo, 1959; Lyndon Johnson liked it so much that he gave his staff the same order

Gentlemen, I don’t give a damn if the state and the county organizations survive after November, and I don’t give a damn if you survive. I want to elect John F. Kennedy. —RFK, 1960

I would say that the problems are more difficult than I had imagined them to be. The responsibilities placed on the United States are greater than I imagined them to be and there are greater limitations upon our ability to bring about a favorable result than I had imagined them to be. It is much easier to make the speeches than it is to finally make the judgments. —JFK, on the transition from the Senate to the presidency, 1962

Do you realize the responsibility I carry? I’m the only person between Nixon and the White House. —JFK, joking with a supporter, 1960

The war bit helps in the South, but I don’t think those Scandinavians care at all. —JFK, 1960

I suppose if I win — my poon days are over. —JFK, fall 1960

I’m not running a popularity contest. It doesn’t matter if people like me or not. Jack can be nice to them. I don’t try to antagonize people, but somebody has to be able to say no. If people are not getting off their behinds, how do you say that nicely? —RFK, 1960

Sick, sick, sick. —JFK, on Nixon, 1960

Jesus Christ, you guys are something else. When I was elected, you all said that my old man would run the country in consultation with the pope. Now here’s the only thing he’s ever asked me to do for him, and you guys piss all over me. —JFK, complaining to Ben Bradlee about press criticism of one of his appointments to the federal bench, 1962

I think a person must be out of his mind if he thinks he can manage news. —RFK, 1963

It is only after you wield the powers of the presidency that you get hated. Morse, Hoffa, Al Hayes, etc., all hate me now merely because of one bill. Presidents are bound to be hated unless they are as bland as Ike. —JFK

We’re really in nut country now. —JFK, in Dallas, November 22, 1963

If you win, the reporters will always write about well-oiled machines and super-planning. If you lose, they will always write about hopeless incompetence. —RFK, 1964

In Massachusetts they steal, in California they feud, and here in New York they lie. —RFK, 1966

When you’re a presidential contender, you always get more attention around here but less credibility. When you’re not, you get more credibility but less attention. —EMK

There is a darker side to the American tradition, a violent aspect that lurks close to the surface of our national character and that is never easily controlled. —EMK, 1975

I sometimes think we are too much impressed by the clamor of daily events. Newspaper headlines and the television screens give us a short view…. Yet it is the profound tendencies of history, and not the passing excitements, that will shape our future. —JFK, March 1962

It would be shameful … if you let the politicians travel the safe middle ground to victory. For if they are to govern well, they need to be forced out of their safe harbors and into the storms that challenge the ship of state. Rarely can we stand at a point in history and say, before the fact, This is a turning point. We are at one of those points. But whether we really turn is up to you. —EMK, 1972

There’s no question that in the next thirty to forty years a Negro can also achieve the same position that my brother has as President of the United States. —RFK, 1961

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bs29534-1IMAGE: Det är något speciellt med Barack Obama. Och detta ”något” är mer än bara en fråga om hudfärg. Frågan är bara vad?

Hela Obamas image för tankarna till John F. Kennedy och hans bror Robert. Men detta räcker inte som mer än delförklaringar till den fascination som omger Obama.

I en artikel om Barack Obama och hans utrikespolitiska rådgivares syn på omvärlden har Nicholas Leman i The New Yorker kommit så nära en förklaring på den ”tjuskraft” som många känner inför USA:s nästa president som man i dagsläget kan begära.

Under demokraternas valkampanj var det många av Obamas rådgivare som ansåg att Hillary Clinton och hennes rådgivare var fast i det förgångna. Här fanns för många egon, för många maktkamper och med alltför många ”unresolved psychological issues”.

Detta i kontrast till ”Team Obama”;

In addition to everything else they are post-, the Obama team gives the feeling of being post-therapy: they know who they are, they’re not needy, they have it under control. [M]ost of his top-foreign-policy advisers took pains to say that they found him calm, grounded, respectful, and ready to listen (…)

Richard Danzig, som anslöt sig till Obamas utrikespolitiska team 2007, citeras;

There is a degree of self-reflection, self-awareness, and psychological wholeness he arrived at after going through a period of working through his identity as the son of a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas. Having worked for two Presidents and with many Presidential candidates during the last thirty years, I have not seen one as psychologically well balanced, and as good about not injecting his ego into a problem.

Och när det gäller Obamas medarbetare (detta skrivs i oktober 2007 men gäller även idag);

Thus far, nobody leaks, nobody bickers in a way that can be discerned by outsiders, and there are not obvious camps. The general feel of the campaign, both in its spread-out virtual form and at its headquarters in a modern office tower in downtown Chicago, is a little like that of the Microsoft campus in the nineteen-nineties, or the Google campus today: everybody seems young, trim, competent, cool, and casual, but casual in a ‘you and I both know that we’re ferocious and brilliant and we’re going to crush the other team’ way.

Denna ton sätts av Barack Obama själv;

[H]e’s a mixture of soulful outsider and competitive, hyper-organized meritocrat – and it has an ideological manifestation. The Obama people think of themselves as future-oriented strategic thinkers, not old-fashioned, gooey, Eleanor Roosevelt-style humanitarians – as people who get it, the ‘it’ being the new realities of the twenty-first century. Although the candidates may be required to say that their foremost concern is how the economic crisis affects the middle class, they seem to get their inexhaustible drive from the belief that they might be able to run American foreign policy. Obama’s foreign-policy staff likes to think he reads their memos first.

Onekligen kommunicerar Obama och hans team av medarbetare en självsäkerhet som George W. Bush tappade redan i början av sin andra mandatperiod.

Frågan är om denna självsäkerhet kommer att hålla i sig även när ”image” gnuggas mot finanskriser och utrikspolitiska utmaningar.

Men troligen får vi se fler än de traditionella 100 dagar av smekmånad som alla nya presidenter brukar kunna räkna med. Detta inte minst p.g.a. den uppbackning som Obama kan räkna med från stora delar av det mediala, kulturella och politiska etablissemanget.

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