Jackie Kennedy’s Notes Reveal JFK’s 2nd Term Plans
A Kennedy second term, 1965 to 1969? There were minor matters to be resolved and legislative agendas to be initiated. There were new directions she intended to take and a progression of efforts he had already begun. Whether President John F. Kennedy or First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy or both of them would have done all or part of what many journalists, colleagues, staff aides, policy experts and historians presumed or insisted they would have in a second Kennedy Administration, is ultimately a futile matter of regret, hindsight, and speculation. It always proves moot because of his assassination fifty years ago today. Killed during what was then only the first preliminary political trip of JFK’s as-yet unannounced 1964 presidential re-election campaign for an intended second term, such assumptions are based on the premise that he would have won. Any sort of unpredictable Cold War conflict or domestic legislative crisis might well have arisen of course and derailed Barring such incidents, however, history suggests that JFK would have had another four years had he not been killed before completing his first four years. Among the nine 20th century incumbent Presidents preceding him who campaigned to win a full term, only Taft and Hoover failed. In no private memorandum or recorded conversations, did JFK document his intended agenda for a second term, which would have begun on January 20, 1965 and ended on January 20, 1969. Jacqueline Kennedy, however, did. A picture of the late President Kennedy above his wife and son in 1989. (AP) If was not a diary or memoir but it was in handwritten form (some of which she had transcribed onto typed light blue pages), in responding to my questions, and then as clarifications, corrections, edits and insertions she made in 1989 and 1990 in both margin notes and the various drafts of what became my book First Ladies: The Saga of the Presidents’ Wives & Their Power, Volume 2. About seven years later, in my role as a contributing editor to George Magazine, I mentioned some of this to her son, the magazine co-founder and editor-in-chief. He wasn’t surprised, he cracked, that she thought that far ahead. A glimpse of some of these intentions and forecasts follow below. While the book’s topic naturally meant the focus was on the work she intended to purse during the rest of the Kennedy Administration, she also addressed what her late husband
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Categories: First Ladies, Presidents, The Kennedys
Tags: Henry Cabot Lodge, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, John F Kennedy, Kennedy Assassination, Robert McNamara, Rudolph Nureyev, Vietnam War