accountabilitybloke (old blog)

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JFK in LA

Flipping through TV channels with the remote the other day I came across a C-SPAN telecast of John F. Kennedy’s 1960 acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. Two quick points:

First, it was not of the grand quality we associate with the oratory of JFK. You can see signs of the rhetorical patterns he obviously developed on the campaign trail with Ted Sorenson, but it did drag on a bit. Interestingly, it seemed really very focused on attacking his opponent, Richard Nixon, as lacking the intellectual power to be president. Interesting to watch as case of putting JFK in the political context of the times.

Second, and even more interesting for me given Obama’s choice of venue for his Thursday night speech, was that Kennedy presented the speech in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. From what one could see, there was no one sitting on the field (probably not allowed in the days since college football season was about to begin) and the stands were not very full (or at least did not seem so in the few camera scans of the audience). So much for my sense that Obama was setting precedent….

August 25th, 2008 Posted by | accountabilitybloke | no comments