Monday, May 29, 2017

"Happy Birthday, Mr. President"

Today we mark the 100th birthday of John F. Kennedy. When we do that, our first instinct is to look for the single achievement that defines the man

In the case of Kennedy, there are many to choose from. But arguably one of the most profound and lasting impacts of JFK is the way in which he changed the culture, structure, technology, and perception of our politics.

In our modern era, there are very few times in which both the candidate, the times and the campaign would come together in ways that resulted in a tectonic shift in the way we do politics.

The 2008 Obama campaign might be such a time. Certainly the 1964 GOP primary campaign, that give us Barry Goldwater, is one.  But first among the modern list is the 1960 campaign
of JFK.

Started as modern campaigns now do, almost five years before the election, is was the prime example and perhaps the pinnacle of what the “best and the brightest” could accomplish. In a way, it may have been that campaign that made us think that anything was possible, in Camelot.

Now Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and Washington columnist for The Boston Globe, Thomas Oliphant takes us back there in The Road to Camelot: Inside JFK's Five-Year Campaign.

My conversation with Thomas Oliphant: