Thursday, 25 June 2009

Robert Kennedy and His Times

by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

Henry Jackson, Kennedy's old friend from the McCarthy committee, the party chairman in 1960, read the Senate Johnson's letter defending the bombing. Kennedy's proposals, Jackson said, put the United States into a position of weakness. Fulbright, McGovern, Clark, Tydings, Claiborne Pell, Albert Gore, John Sherman Cooper, supported Kennedy. At the end of the long day, Kennedy returned to his office. An aide suggested that Jackson deserved a gift. "Why not send him the coatimundi?" He caught the shuttle to New York. Phil Ochs, the folk singer, who had come down to Washington to hear the speech, was with him. Kennedy remembered that Bob Dylan was supposed to have changed his name to help his career and asked Ochs whether this was so. Ochs said it was. Kennedy said, "You think it would help me if I changed mine?"

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