CLICK Image to Buy "WHEN LIONS ROAR: The Churchills and the Kennedys"

CLICK Image to Buy "WHEN LIONS ROAR: The Churchills and the Kennedys"
WHEN LIONS ROAR is 'Brilliant' says Washington Post, Buy Now on Amazon

Chris Matthews Likes WHEN LIONS ROAR: The Churchills and the Kennedys"

Chris Matthews Likes WHEN LIONS ROAR: The Churchills and the Kennedys"
"What I like most in Maier's giant work is the spine of this saga, the all-important record of influence the great soldier-statesman-historian's life exerted on the future American president." -- Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's Hardball, review in Chartwell Bulletin, The Churchill Centre

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saints Be Praised! Palin Takes on JFK on Church Vs. State Speech and Irks Kennedy's Niece







Of course, readers of "The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings" already know much about the Kennedy's Irish Catholic background and about the origins of JFK's 1960 speech before the Houston Ministers. But Sarah Palin recently gave her own interpretation which evoked this response from Kathleen Kennedy Townsend:

Sarah Palin has found a new opponent to debate: John F. Kennedy.
In her new book, "America by Heart," Palin objects to my uncle's famous 1960 speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, in which he challenged the ministers - and the country - to judge him, a Catholic presidential candidate, by his views rather than his faith. "Contrary to common newspaper usage, I am not the Catholic candidate for president," Kennedy said. "I am the Democratic Party's candidate for president who happens also to be a Catholic."
Palin writes that when she was growing up, she was taught that Kennedy's speech had "succeeded in the best possible way: It reconciled public service and religion without compromising either." Now, however, she says she has revisited the speech and changed her mind. She finds it "defensive . . . in tone and content" and is upset that Kennedy, rather than presenting a reconciliation of his private faith and his public role, had instead offered an "unequivocal divorce of the two."
Palin's argument seems to challenge a great American tradition, enshrined in the Constitution, stipulating that there be no religious test for public office. A careful reading of her book leads me to conclude that Palin wishes for precisely such a test. And she seems to think that she, and those who think like her, are qualified to judge who would pass and who would not.
If there is no religious test, then there is no need for a candidate's religious affiliation to be "reconciled." My uncle urged that religion be private, removed from politics, because he feared that making faith an arena for public contention would lead American politics into ill-disguised religious warfare, with candidates tempted to use faith to manipulate voters and demean their opponents.

End of an Era for Kennedys in Washington



With Patrick Kennedy's departure from the House next month, the Kennedy history in Congress comes to an end, at least for now. Here's what the NY Times said about it.


When his eighth term ends early next month, it will be the first time since 1947 — when John F. Kennedy became a congressman from Massachusetts — that no member of his family will hold a federal office.
With Mr. Kennedy’s father, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, dead for more than a year now and no one else in the family voicing plans to run for office, Capitol Hill will be left with ghosts and memories. The only politician left among them is Bobby Shriver, whose mayoral term in Santa Monica, Calif., just ended but who still sits on the City Council there.
“This is a family that once had the presidency and two Senate seats, and they’re now down to the mayor of Santa Monica,” said Darrell M. West, a Brookings Institution scholar. “It’s a pretty dramatic fall, and it’s symbolic of the decline of liberalism.”
In an interview here last week, Mr. Kennedy seemed caught between two urges: to disappear into a quiet life, and to keep trying, as a private citizen, to fill what he called the enormous shoes — “too big to ever imagine,” he said — of his father and uncles.
“My family legacy was never just about government service,” said Mr. Kennedy, who talked for more than two hours in an empty room at the Cannon House Office Building, where John F. Kennedy also worked as a House member from 1947 to 1953. “It was about giving back, and the branding of President Kennedy’s call for Americans to give back to their country.”