WWJ(ack)D?

The unstated - yet obvious - conclusion the breathless coverage of Sen. Ted Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy conferring their endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama for the presidency is that their endorsement also has the imprimatur of the late John F. Kennedy.

Sen. Kennedy and Ms. Kennedy said as much in claiming that nobody in politics has inspired them as much as Sen. Obama has since Jack was roaming the land (tacit approval from The Family in 1992 of Bill Clinton exploiting the photo of him shaking hands with JFK notwithstanding). The "change is in the air" meme is deliberately designed to rekindle memories of 1960, when the handsome, windswept Hyannis prince rescued the sleeping nation from dour Ike and sullen Nixon - or so we are told. Likewise, Sen. Obama shall rescue the outraged nation from the long national nightmare of deceit and warmongering for profit.

But even a cursory knowledge of President Kennedy's politics and policies would - or should - leave objective observers scratching their heads at the enormous leap being made that John Kennedy would have endorsed a candidate like Barack Obama or that, aside from superficial comparisons, Barack Obama is anything like John Kennedy.

Take it from the modern media's biggest Kennedy sycophant, Chris Matthews. In his book  Kennedy and Nixon, Mr. Matthews often points out how "uncomfortable" Kennedy felt among liberals like Eleanor Roosevelt and Adlai Stevenson - he even hand-delivered a sizeable check from his father to Richard Nixon in the latter's bid to defeat Helen Gahagan Douglas in California. Sen. Obama is, politically, more the New Dealer and Stevensonite than he is the New Frontiersman. Does anyone really believe that Sen. Obama subscribes to the reasoning behind JFK's tax cuts that "a rising tide lifts all boats," or that John Kennedy would have even considered free universal health care paid for in high taxes?

Perhaps the most obvious difference is Sen. Obama's patent refusal thus far on the campaign trail to confront the world as it is and to not only name but to challenge and defeat those who pledge to do this nation irreparable harm. For all of the backslapping Sen. Obama is enjoying for having always opposed the battle in Iraq while in Springfield as well as Washington, there has been no cogent plan from his camp on how he would deal with the threat of terrorism should he sit behind the same desk under which John Jr. used to peek. His "plan" to withdraw troops from Iraq as soon as possible is grossly negligent and would result in serious American casualties.

John F. Kennedy never backed down from the Soviet Union - he was a realist. Nobody could ever accuse him of being soft on the prime enemy of the United States at that time. Regardless of how he comported himself in the Cuban invasion and the missile crisis, the security of the United States and the thwarting of its main nemesis were paramount in President Kennedy's mind. How Sen. Obama would deal with a day that might make September 11 look like a stroll through Central Park is anyone's guess. His statements regarding an invasion of Pakistan and the very alarming trends  within his campaign on his attitude toward Israel are naïve at best, sinister at worst. Would not a candidate with a similar attitude toward the Soviets and our chief allies in the late 1950s and early 1960s been endlessly mocked and criticized by John F. Kennedy? Will President Obama truly bear any burden to defeat our enemies?

Without a doubt, Sen. Obama is charismatic and that quality may indeed remind people of President Kennedy. President Kennedy liked to throw the football around; Sen. Obama enjoys shooting hoops once in awhile. Sen. Obama is a poised speaker when he discusses his vague hopes for change and unity, and if we were looking for a soothsayer-in-chief he would and should win in a landslide. And give credit for Sen. Kennedy taking to heart Father Joe's sage advice - that it is not what you really are that counts, it is rather what people think you are that counts in life. A lot of people think John F. Kennedy was the greatest president of the twentieth century. A lot of people think Sen. Obama is the next John Kennedy, the ultimate manifestation of the alleged Kennedy/Democratic Party commitment to civil rights and super-agent of change. This week's endorsement extravaganza now attempts to underscore that image tenfold. 

Had John Kennedy lived a normal lifespan, perhaps he would have turned hard left like his brother and be backing Sen. Obama as enthusiastically as the rest of the clan. But it is doubtful. Given his noted antipathy for politicians espousing the silly slogans and the sort of policies that his little brother and Sen. Obama are advocating and have advocated, his admiration of deep intelligence and fiscal responsibility, the guess here is that were he able, the 35th president would smile his ironic muckraker's smile and back Mitt Romney.

Matt May welcomes comments at matthewtmay@yahoo.com

The unstated - yet obvious - conclusion the breathless coverage of Sen. Ted Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy conferring their endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama for the presidency is that their endorsement also has the imprimatur of the late John F. Kennedy.

Sen. Kennedy and Ms. Kennedy said as much in claiming that nobody in politics has inspired them as much as Sen. Obama has since Jack was roaming the land (tacit approval from The Family in 1992 of Bill Clinton exploiting the photo of him shaking hands with JFK notwithstanding). The "change is in the air" meme is deliberately designed to rekindle memories of 1960, when the handsome, windswept Hyannis prince rescued the sleeping nation from dour Ike and sullen Nixon - or so we are told. Likewise, Sen. Obama shall rescue the outraged nation from the long national nightmare of deceit and warmongering for profit.

But even a cursory knowledge of President Kennedy's politics and policies would - or should - leave objective observers scratching their heads at the enormous leap being made that John Kennedy would have endorsed a candidate like Barack Obama or that, aside from superficial comparisons, Barack Obama is anything like John Kennedy.

Take it from the modern media's biggest Kennedy sycophant, Chris Matthews. In his book  Kennedy and Nixon, Mr. Matthews often points out how "uncomfortable" Kennedy felt among liberals like Eleanor Roosevelt and Adlai Stevenson - he even hand-delivered a sizeable check from his father to Richard Nixon in the latter's bid to defeat Helen Gahagan Douglas in California. Sen. Obama is, politically, more the New Dealer and Stevensonite than he is the New Frontiersman. Does anyone really believe that Sen. Obama subscribes to the reasoning behind JFK's tax cuts that "a rising tide lifts all boats," or that John Kennedy would have even considered free universal health care paid for in high taxes?

Perhaps the most obvious difference is Sen. Obama's patent refusal thus far on the campaign trail to confront the world as it is and to not only name but to challenge and defeat those who pledge to do this nation irreparable harm. For all of the backslapping Sen. Obama is enjoying for having always opposed the battle in Iraq while in Springfield as well as Washington, there has been no cogent plan from his camp on how he would deal with the threat of terrorism should he sit behind the same desk under which John Jr. used to peek. His "plan" to withdraw troops from Iraq as soon as possible is grossly negligent and would result in serious American casualties.

John F. Kennedy never backed down from the Soviet Union - he was a realist. Nobody could ever accuse him of being soft on the prime enemy of the United States at that time. Regardless of how he comported himself in the Cuban invasion and the missile crisis, the security of the United States and the thwarting of its main nemesis were paramount in President Kennedy's mind. How Sen. Obama would deal with a day that might make September 11 look like a stroll through Central Park is anyone's guess. His statements regarding an invasion of Pakistan and the very alarming trends  within his campaign on his attitude toward Israel are naïve at best, sinister at worst. Would not a candidate with a similar attitude toward the Soviets and our chief allies in the late 1950s and early 1960s been endlessly mocked and criticized by John F. Kennedy? Will President Obama truly bear any burden to defeat our enemies?

Without a doubt, Sen. Obama is charismatic and that quality may indeed remind people of President Kennedy. President Kennedy liked to throw the football around; Sen. Obama enjoys shooting hoops once in awhile. Sen. Obama is a poised speaker when he discusses his vague hopes for change and unity, and if we were looking for a soothsayer-in-chief he would and should win in a landslide. And give credit for Sen. Kennedy taking to heart Father Joe's sage advice - that it is not what you really are that counts, it is rather what people think you are that counts in life. A lot of people think John F. Kennedy was the greatest president of the twentieth century. A lot of people think Sen. Obama is the next John Kennedy, the ultimate manifestation of the alleged Kennedy/Democratic Party commitment to civil rights and super-agent of change. This week's endorsement extravaganza now attempts to underscore that image tenfold. 

Had John Kennedy lived a normal lifespan, perhaps he would have turned hard left like his brother and be backing Sen. Obama as enthusiastically as the rest of the clan. But it is doubtful. Given his noted antipathy for politicians espousing the silly slogans and the sort of policies that his little brother and Sen. Obama are advocating and have advocated, his admiration of deep intelligence and fiscal responsibility, the guess here is that were he able, the 35th president would smile his ironic muckraker's smile and back Mitt Romney.

Matt May welcomes comments at matthewtmay@yahoo.com