Author Topic: Obama Like Kennedy?  (Read 4146 times)

michaelintp

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Obama Like Kennedy?
« on: March 03, 2008, 11:10:23 pm »
In the euphoria over Obama, many have compared him to John F. Kennedy.  Caroline Kennedy's endorsement only reinforced that image.  But in terms of substance, does this make any sense?

John Fitzgerald Kennedy had a distinguished military career, was a decorated war hero in WWII.  In 1947 he was elected to the House.  In 1953 he was elected to the Senate.  He served in Congress for 13 years before being elected President.  He was experienced. He also recognized the global threat posed by Communism.

Barak Obama?  No military service.  Not a war hero.  A junior Senator for 2 years with no significant achievements to speak of.  Inexperienced.     

In terms of substance, one might draw stronger substantive parallels between Kennedy and McCain (in todays world replacing "Radical Islam" for "Communism").

So what do Obama and Kennedy have in common?  Both relatively young, both attractive, and both good speakers.

:P

Some of you may have what you believe to be good reasons to support Obama.  I'm not really interested in debating who would be a better President - Obama or McCain.  There will be plenty of discussion on that front in the Media as time goes on (errr ... unless the Democratic Party totally implodes with the Super Delegates selecting Hillary).  I'm just pointing out that this comparison of Obama to Kennedy is silly.  I wonder what other silliness we'll all be subjected to before this election season draws to a close?  Oh my ... this election season is already making me tired.

Offline Tanksleyd

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Re: Obama Like Kennedy?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2008, 11:13:34 pm »
Once I grew up and had a good perspective on history, I realized the biggest thing Kennedy did was get shot.

Let's hope the next president has a better future.

Offline Wise Son

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Re: Obama Like Kennedy?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2008, 05:10:09 am »
Comparisons like this are even more about perception than reality. I mean, they're really comparing Obama to the perception of Kennedy, rather than the man.

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Offline JLI Jesse

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Re: Obama Like Kennedy?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2008, 09:04:21 am »
...I realized the biggest thing Kennedy did was get shot.

Well, he DID bag Marilyn Monroe too  :P

Offline moor

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Re: Obama Like Kennedy?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2008, 10:31:10 am »
Once I grew up and had a good perspective on history, I realized the biggest thing Kennedy did was get shot.

Let's hope the next president has a better future.

This is a good point... much of Kennedy's assistance to Civil Rights protestors was done only after having his hand forced after violence was committed by local mobs and law enforcement.  Some historians suggest that it was actually a strategy of confrontation that was used by SCLC to provoke Kennedy to act.. 

LBJ sure got the short end of that stick.

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Obama Like Kennedy?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2008, 12:39:52 pm »
Barak Obama?  No military service.  Not a war hero.  A junior Senator for 2 years with no significant achievements to speak of.  Inexperienced.


Well, Mr. Obama did experience a couple of things before being elected to the Senate.

Quote
A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, Obama worked as a community organizer, university lecturer, and civil rights lawyer before running for public office and serving in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004.


Also, he assumed office in the Senate in January 2005. That's three years ago by my reckoning and would be four by the time he is inaugurated should he win the election. That said, his experience is certainly different than JFK's.

However, I don't believe that pre-presidential experience has been the basis of the comparison between the two men. If anything, some have observed that they seem to have a similar effect on people. From Caroline Kennedy's NY Times op-ed piece endorsing Sen. Obama:
Quote
Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.

We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama. It isn’t that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country — just as we did in 1960.


Maybe all Obama ultimately has in common with JKF is that the times in which he lives is calling for someone of his talents and he is answering that call. Time will tell.

Welcome back, Mike.
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Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Obama Like Kennedy?
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2008, 05:30:06 pm »



  Oh my ... this election season is already making me tired.

Tired?  This election is the best reality show on TV!!!

And welcome back!

michaelintp

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Re: Obama Like Kennedy?
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2008, 11:07:29 pm »
  Oh my ... this election season is already making me tired.
Tired?  This election is the best reality show on TV!!!
And welcome back!

Haha, well, it's kind of an approach-avoidance conflict.  The "approach" reaction is a response to exactly what you said: the "reality TV show" aspect is amusing, and at times the immediatiate events are downright exciting (like tonight, wondering what was going to happen between Clinton and Obama in Texas and Ohio).  On the other hand, the "avoidance" comes from my perception of the weight of the truly monumental issues we face and my exhaustion with partisan bickering.  So there you have it -- "approach" ;D "avoidance" :'(
« Last Edit: March 04, 2008, 11:09:20 pm by michaelintp »

Offline Tanksleyd

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Re: Obama Like Kennedy?
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2008, 11:20:10 pm »
Tired:

I think Obama needs to take a good 7 day vacation in Alaska (GET AWAY) re-charge his batteries and hit this thing fresh with a good speech and/or action.

Offline DamonO

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Re: Obama Like Kennedy?
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2008, 08:15:23 pm »
In the euphoria over Obama, many have compared him to John F. Kennedy.  Caroline Kennedy's endorsement only reinforced that image.  But in terms of substance, does this make any sense?

John Fitzgerald Kennedy had a distinguished military career, was a decorated war hero in WWII.  In 1947 he was elected to the House.  In 1953 he was elected to the Senate.  He served in Congress for 13 years before being elected President.  He was experienced. He also recognized the global threat posed by Communism.


And it doesn't matter not one whit.  John Kerry VOLUNTEERED to go to Vietnam, got all kinds of medals, and carries fragments in his leg to this day from sustaining an injury while there.  A true war hero, yet he was painted as being a weak, effete, French guy who Republicans mocked at their convention by wearing band-aids with purple hearts on them.  Meanwhile, the guy who avoided active duty by being given a slot in the National Guard thanks to his dad's efforts was touted as a tough, resolute leader who was the only one that could keep us safe. 

Understand?  The guy who actually shot and killed people in this country's defense was derided as weak and milquetoast, and the man who'd never even shot a gun that didn't squirt water was presented as the tough guy who'd protect us.  Being in the military is admirable, but with the right spin job even that can used as a negative.

« Last Edit: March 15, 2008, 10:07:30 pm by DamonO »

Offline Jihad the Roughneck

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Re: Obama Like Kennedy?
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2008, 05:11:13 pm »
I think the comparison is based upon Obama and Kennedy's ability to inspire young folks with oratory.  I'm not a Kennedy fan I didn't dig his stance against communism.  I happen to like most of the world leaders America seems to hate.  Like Malcolm said paraphrasing here but find an enemy of America and thats somebody who's not really the enemy. In post Bush America it is refreshing to hear new ideas and eloquent words.  Black folks love us some eloquent speakers.  Malcolm, Martin, Louis, Khalid you get the picture.  Bush stumbling over his words is played the hell out.  I don't like everything Obama says either but I think on the basis of moving the crowd like the R A K I M there is a commonality there. 
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michaelintp

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Re: Obama Like Kennedy?
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2008, 08:04:07 pm »
I think the comparison is based upon Obama and Kennedy's ability to inspire young folks with oratory. 

I can't disagree with you there.  Obama is a very inspiring speaker.  The country is thirsting for inspiration.