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AP: Sorensen Helped JFK Save The World

From the shameless hagiographers at the Associated Press:

JFK aide Sorensen helped create Kennedy mystique

By Hillel Italie, AP National Writer Mon Nov 1, 2010

NEW YORK – Of the courtiers to Camelot’s king, Theodore C. Sorensen ranked just below Bobby Kennedy. He was the adoring, tireless speechwriter and confidant to President John F. Kennedy, whose term was marked by Cold War struggles, growing civil rights strife and the beginnings of the U.S. intervention in Vietnam.

Soaring rhetoric helped make Kennedy’s presidency a symbol of hope and liberal governance, and the crowning achievement for Sorensen, who died Sunday, was the inaugural address that was the greatest collaboration between the two and set the standard for modern oratory…

Perhaps it is a sign that Mr. Sorensen, one of the major architects of the myth of the Kennedy Camelot, should die on the eve of one of the most momentous elections in our history. On what may well be the start of the Tea Party revolution.

Where we start dealing in reality, rather than oratory and pixie dust.

Some of Kennedy’s most memorable speeches, from his inaugural address to his vow to place a man on the moon, resulted from such close collaborations with Sorensen that scholars debated who wrote what. He had long been suspected as the real writer of the future president’s Pulitzer Prize-winning "Profiles in Courage," an allegation Sorensen and the Kennedys emphatically — and litigiously — denied.

And we believe them, too.

They were an odd but utterly compatible duo, the glamorous, wealthy politician from Massachusetts and the shy wordsmith from Nebraska, described by Time magazine in 1960 as "a sober, deadly earnest, self-effacing man with a blue steel brain." But as Sorensen would write in "Counselor," the difference in their lifestyles was offset by the closeness of their minds: Each had a wry sense of humor, a dislike of hypocrisy, a love of books and a high-minded regard for public life

Yes, "a dislike of hypocrisy" is exactly what comes to mind when I think of Mr. Kennedy.

Sorensen’s brain of steel was never needed more than in October 1962, with the U.S. and the Soviet Union on the brink of nuclear annihilation over the placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba. Kennedy directed Sorensen and Bobby Kennedy, the administration’s attorney general, to draft a letter to Nikita Khrushchev, who had sent conflicting messages, first conciliatory, then confrontational.

The carefully worded response — which ignored the Soviet leader’s harsher statements and included a U.S. concession involving U.S. weaponry in Turkey — was credited with persuading the Soviets to withdraw their missiles from Cuba and with averting war between the superpowers.

Sorensen considered his role his greatest achievement.

"That’s what I’m proudest of," he once told the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald. "Never had this country, this world, faced such great danger. You and I wouldn’t be sitting here today if that had gone badly."

Sorry, but this is simply pathetic. This claim stands history on its head.

Mr. Khrushchev put medium range missiles in Cuba in reaction to the US putting medium range rockets in Turkey in 1958. So to be made to remove those missile was an utter and complete capitulation.

And, moreover, the administration never told the American public about this "concession," at the time. So much for everyone’s vaunted dislike of "hypocrisy." 

As with "Profiles in Courage," Sorensen never claimed primary authorship of the address. Rather, he described speechwriting within Kennedy’s White House as highly collaborative — with JFK a constant kibitzer

If you call the other contributor a ‘kibitzer,’ you are acknowledging primary authorship.

"Sometimes," Sorensen told an interviewer in 2006, "I still dream about him."

Sorensen’s youthful worship never faded, even as he acknowledged Kennedy’s extramarital affairs. "It was wrong, and he knew it was wrong, which is why he went to great lengths to keep it hidden," Sorensen wrote in his memoir.

Yes, you can see how the two men were alike in their rejection of hypocrisy.

"In every other aspect of his life, he was honest and truthful, especially in his job. His mistakes do not make his accomplishments less admirable; but they were still mistakes."

Sorensen would witness a brief revival of Camelot with the presidential election of Obama, whom Sorensen endorsed "because he is more like John F. Kennedy than any other candidate of our time. He has judgment as he demonstrated in his early opposition to the war in Iraq."

What another preposterous claim this is. What judgment did it take a backbencher in the Illinois Senate to say he was against the war in Iraq at an anti-war rally?

Once Mr. Obama got to the US Senate, where his opinion might have counted, he voted for every ‘pro-war’ measure. Every single one.

A year after Obama’s election, Sorensen said he was disappointed with the president’s speeches, saying that Obama was "clearly well informed on all matters of public policy, sometimes, frankly, a little too well informed. And as a result, some of the speeches are too complicated for typical citizens and very clear to university faculties and big newspaper editorial boards."

Ah, so even Mr. Sorensen admitted that Mr. Obama is simply too brilliant for us. What a surprise. There is just no other explanation.

His role [with President Kennedy], according to Sorensen? To "think and worry. … often bent over."

No comment.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 1st, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “AP: Sorensen Helped JFK Save The World”

  1. untrainable says:

    Sorenson’s job was to “To “think and worry. … often bent over.”
    In honor of his passing, we should all take these tasks to our own hearts. We good conservatives will continue to THINK (for ourselves) and WORRY (about the mess that liberals have made of our politics, our economy, and our ever proud way of life) and we let the liberals BEND OVER. I think election day will take care of that for us. VOTE!

  2. Mae says:

    “He had long been suspected as the real writer of the future president’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Profiles in Courage,” an allegation Sorensen and the Kennedys emphatically — and litigiously — denied.”

    “Litigiously”? Who did they sue? Who won? Perhaps Sorenson did not want to be associated with the PEOPLE magazine variety of prose therein and he’s the one who sued. “Keep me out of it, baby!”

    Why was it written in the first place? All to advance to the Presidency a young man of promise but no Senatorial accomplishment. Just what were the other writings up against “Profiles” that year with the Pulitzer? All too coincidental, doncha think?

    But at least JFK didn’t write two biographies of himself to rag his way into the highest office. Frankly, his bio would have been vastly more interesting than the droppings of the Present One.

  3. canary says:

    Obama gave a longer statement Sorensen’s death, than the recent 2 bombs going on passenger airplanes.Not able to be screened or sniffed by dog, and no detonator needed.

    Kennedy called him his “intellectual blood bank” and ghostwriter.
    Obama’s has a bigger blood bank.

    AP:””A year after Obama’s election, Sorensen said he was disappointed with the president’s speeches, saying that Obama was “clearly well informed on all matters of public policy, sometimes, frankly, a little too well informed. And as a result, some of the speeches are too complicated for typical citizens and very clear to university faculties and big newspaper editorial boards.””

    And to think Carter wanted the writer Sorensen to head his CIA.
    Sorensen would have been busy writing books and movie scripts.

  4. proreason says:

    Camelot.

    Proof positive of the triumph of form over substance. If there was ever a placeholder administration, that was it.

    The single “success” that wasn’t a mere continuation of in-place policy was the Missle Crisis, and we now know that we knew and the Russians knew as well that they were massively outgunned and had no chance whatsoever to prevail unless Kennedy proved to be as weak as Obama is. Of the few new things they tried (Bay of Pigs, Vietnam), all failed miserably and set the stage for future failures until Reagen said enough is enough..

    On the other hand, the placeholder administration, in comparison, was certainly far better than the horrors to follow with LBJ, Carter, Clinton and, well, horror isn’t a strong enough word for Obamy.

    And what is it anyway that a dedicated Marxist queer has in common with an anti-communist capitalistic playboy. I just don’t see it.

  5. Liberals Demise says:

    One more for the ‘Group W’ bench.
    Move over Teddy!

  6. Right of the People says:

    “horror isn’t a strong enough word for Obamy.”

    How about whore?


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