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Showing posts from September 28, 2008

For Obama, Is the Key to Success 'Be More than Irish than Harvard'? Will Poet's Inscription to JFK Hold a Key to This Year's Race?

This year, in places like Scranton Pennsylvania and other rust-belt locales, is the old inscription from poet Robert Frost to JFK at his 1960 inaugural still applicable: Be more Irish than Harvard?

Of course, readers of a certain biography, soon to be released as a Warner Bros. documentary, are very familiar with this phrase which held some of the key to Kennedy's success. But Catholic University professor Tim Meagher wonders in this essay if Obama's style on the stump might turn off Catholics who are pivotal in these swing states, pointing to Hillary Clinton's success with white Catholics over Obama during the primary season. That would very ironic given Obama's strong support from the Kennedy family during this election campaign.
But Meagher's essay really doesn't consider the changes in the institutional Church itself between JFK's time and now. Back in 1960, there was a lot obvious ethnic pride surrounding JFK's candidacy, becoming the first U.S. pr…