Friday, August 30, 2013

Obama Is Another Politician Who Is "No Jack Kennedy"

In the 1988 vice presidential debates, Democratic nominee Lloyd Bentsen shoved a rhetorical shiv deep into George H. W. Bush's running mate Dan Quayle.  Quayle somehow compared himself to John F. Kennedy and Bentsen responded with one of the great defining "gotchas" in debate history.  "You, sir, are no Jack Kennedy."

Bentsen wanted to take a dig at Quayle, sure.  But his greater intent lay in showing that Dan Quayle was not a serious enough individual to be so close to presidential power.  Bentsen may have been right or wrong about that assumption, and curiously enough, he actually was not a friend of Kennedy's.  But he did speak to the hearts of many who do worry about the White House not being in serious hands.

A little over 50 years ago, Kennedy confronted Cuba and the Soviet Union over missiles placed there by the Communist nations.  Doing nothing meant accepting a mortal threat to the southeastern United States.  Too much response could lead to regional or even global war.  Kennedy knew about the missiles for some time before the public.  In October 1962, it became international news.  The president took 13 days to craft his response.

During the entire time, Kennedy met with a specially convened executive committee, nicknamed "ExCom."  This committee included representatives from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the National Security Committee, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and others.  Kennedy observed as they debated every possible option.  From watching these debates, Kennedy was able to intelligently rule out some options, such as air strikes and invasions, while putting together the best peaceable alternatives.  He preserved American integrity while achieving the national goal.  Whatever other faults he had, John F. Kennedy knew how to use and listen to advisers during a world crisis.

Yesterday, Obama's top team on Syria met with congressional representatives to discuss US options.  Meanwhile, Obama met with Magic Johnson.

That alone should be an impeachable offense.  This man does not take his job seriously. He has no sense of priorities.

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