Sunday, August 23, 2015

Public Domain Footage: Robert F. Kennedy Speech at Columbia University in 1964

Liberal Democrat
Public Domain Footage: Robert F. Kennedy Speech at Columbia University in 1964

Robert F. Kennedy, running for U.S. Senate in 1964 and not to replace one of his brothers in Massachusetts, but to run for Senate in New York. A great opportunity for Bobby Kennedy as well in 1964. Because Senator Ken Keating, from New York wasn’t very popular in New York. President Lyndon Johnson, was going to win New York in a landslide. And here is where Bobby Kennedy, had an opportunity to jump on Lyndon’s coattails and take a seat in the U.S. Senate in the following Congress.

I believe Kennedy, answered the carpetbagger question very well. Of course with his Irish-Boston accent, he didn’t sound very New York. Either from New York City, or upstate like in Buffalo, or some place. But he grew up in New York City and spent most of his professional career in Washington and had a home in New York. This is not like Hillary Clinton, who grew up in Chicago and spent a lot of her professional career in Arkansas with her husband and then a New York Senate seat opens up in 2000 and she decides she’s going to be the next U.S. Senator from New York. A state where she didn’t have any roots in going in.

I think Bobby Kennedy, answered the presidential question very well to. You can’t run for both President and U.S. Senate at the same time. At least in most states and that would be borderline impossible to do so before you’re actually in the Senate. Kennedy, was clearly a Senate candidate in 1964 for New York. So that was the seat and race he was focused on. And again in 1964, LBJ looked like he would probably run for reelection in 1968 and perhaps even be popular. RFK and LBJ, were both Democrats. So as RFK said, 1972 eight years after 1964 would’ve been the earliest that he could run for president.

Bobby Kennedy’s politics, might have changed a bit from 1964 to 1967-68. But that had to do with the Vietnam War and growing poverty and racial division in America in the late 1960s. But in 1964, I believe RFK was still an establishment Center-Left Liberal Democrat like his brother Jack. And you could argue that he moved left from that by 1967. But in 1964 he was running for U.S. Senate essentially to continue the vision and goals of President Kennedy. Expanding freedom and opportunity to all Americans and dealing with civil rights, equal rights and equality of opportunity for the whole country.