Monday, November 1, 2010

Last remaining Kennedy insider is gone

Today's New York Times contains an obituary for Ted Sorensen, JFK's principal speechwriter--and the speechwriter responsible for some of Kennedy's most famous lines, such as "ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." He was more than just a speechwriter, though. He was also a confidant and adviser.

There's a marvelous 22-minute video interview included on the obituary page. I recommend it highly. We Americans tend to focus on our presidents, ignoring key Congressional representatives and presidential staff members who are immensely influential. Sorensen is such a person.\

Ted Sorensen obituary, 1 November 2010

And there's another article that we should all read: it shows that Kennedy was not the knee-jerk cold warrior he is often made out to be. With Sorensen's influence, Kennedy delivered a speech in 1963 that sounds nothing like cold war saber rattling --rather, it calls for toning down the rhetoric and international acceptance of diversity. Here's the link to the article in the Boston Globe about that speech.

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