John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Barack H. Obama and the Presidential Mantle
A mantle of leadership is an awesome opportunity and responsibility. The Mantle of Presidential Leadership for the United States of America is the most awesome opportunity and responsibility.
It has been suggested, Barack H. Obama, Democratic contender for the 2008 Presidential Election, can be compared to John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy in the capacity to assume that Presidential Mantle. Can he?
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Born in Brookline, Massachusetts
Major Residences: Massachusetts, Washington, D.C.
* Commander PT-109 during WWII in South Pacific
In a nighttime naval action in the Solomon Islands, Kennedy’s PT boat was rammed by a Japanese destroyer. “For extremely heroic conduct…,” Kennedy was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. He also was decorated with a Purple Heart, and other medals of honor.
* U.S. House of Representative from Massachusetts, 11th district: six years (1947-1953)
* U.S. Senator from Massachusetts: eight years (1953-1961)
* Runner-up for Democratic Vice Presidential nominee (1956)
* J.F.K. graduated Harvard with a degree in International Affairs
J.F.K.’s thesis, “Appeasement in Munich,” was published as Why England Slept and became a best seller. He also assisted his father, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., in completing the senior Kennedy’s memoir as Ambassador.
* J.F.K.’s other educational experiences included: four year’s periodic experiences abroad, in France, Italy, Germany, Holland, England, the Soviet Union, the Balkans, and the Middle East before outbreak of WWII (September, 1939), and in South America before America’s entrance into WWII (December, 1941).
* The Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for Profiles in Courage
(See an overview of John F. Kennedy’s biography.)
Robert Francis “Bobby” Kennedy
Born in Brookline, Massachusetts
Major Residences: Massachusetts; New York, Florida, Virginia, Washington, D.C.
* Two and one-half years training in the U.S. Naval Reserve
* Less than one year as apprentice seaman on the destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.
* United States Attorney General, Justice Department, in John F. Kennedy’s administration: 3 and one-half years
* Lawyer with Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice (one year), left to manage JFK’s successful Senate campaign in Massachusetts
* Chief Counsel for Democrats, including the Senate Labor Rackets Committee (five years); left to manage JFK’s successful presidential campaign.
…Appointed following John F. Kennedy’s election victory in 1960,
Robert Kennedy’s tenure as Attorney General was easily the period
of greatest power for the office; no former United States Attorney
General had enjoyed such clear influence on all areas of policy during
an administration. Yet to a greater extent, it was President Kennedy
who sought the advice and counsel of his younger brother, and it is to
this extent that Robert Kennedy remained the President’s closest
political advisor. Kennedy was relied upon as both the President’s
primary source of administrative information and as a general counsel
with whom trust was implicit, given the familial ties of the two men.
* RFK graduated Harvard with a degree in Government
* RFK graduated University of Virginia School of Law, J.D.
* R.F.K.’s other educational experiences included travel and study in London, Rhode Island, Asia, Israel, India, Vietnam, and Japan.
(See an overview of Robert F. Kennedy’s biography.)
Barack Hussein “Barry” Obama
Born: Honolulu, Hawaii
Major Residences: Hawaii; Jakarta, Indonesia; Los Angeles; Massachusetts; New York; Illinois
* Illinois State Senator, 13th district: seven years (1997-2004)
* U.S. Senator from Illinois: three years (2005 to present)
* Occidental College, Los Angeles (two years), transferring to:
* Graduated Columbia University, New York City with a Political Science major, specialization in International Relations
* Harvard Law School, J.D.; President, Harvard Law Review
Obama’s other experiences has included Director of the Developing Communities Project, Chicago (four years); directed voter registration drive; associate attorney with Miner, Barnhill & Galland regarding community organizers, discrimination claims and voting rights (3 years); lecturer of constitutional law, University of Chicago Law School (cojoint with duties as associate attorney and Illinois State Senate); Keynote address at 2004 Democratic National Convention.
* Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (2004), best seller
* Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (2006), New York Times best seller
(See an overview of Barack Hussein Obama’s biography.)
Absolutely, America must reengage Herself for the 21st Century and articulate, understand, and follow Her Vision into the 21st Century. Vision can mean different things to different people (see below).
Ultimately – and, for The United States of America in the 21st Century, essential for ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” – that vision must be real.
Vision given in leadership is only as good as vision understood by those being lead.
1. Camelot : a time, place, or atmosphere of idyllic happiness. (Source: Merriam-Webster Online)
2. Mantle: a figurative cloak symbolizing preeminence or authority (Source: Merriam-Webster Online)
3. Vision : see Merriam-Webster Online
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