Monday, February 05, 2007

Obama and the Camelot Comparison

There are lots of interesting comparisons between JFK and Obama...
Obama and the Camelot Comparison
Obama isn’t the only junior senator to eye the White House early in his tenure. How ‘BHO’ stacks up against JFK.
By Jonathan Alter
Updated: 7:32 p.m. ET Jan 16, 2007

Jan. 16, 2007 - Judging by the middle name alone, you gotta give Kennedy the edge. John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Barack Hussein Obama. “Fitzgerald” was gold among Catholic voters, about a quarter of the 1960 electorate, who voted more than 80 percent for JFK. “Hussein”? Well, it might be an asset with a few Muslim voters in Michigan who mistakenly think he’s one of the faithful. For everyone else, Barack’s got, as Ricky Ricardo used to say, some ‘splaining to do.

OK, maybe I’m getting a bit ahead of myself by indulging in these Kennedy-Obama comparisons. But with the junior senator from Illinois announcing today an exploratory committee (the labored and faintly comical but de rigueur prelude to a full candidacy), the subject is in the air. Kennedy’s close aide in the Senate and the White House, Theodore Sorensen, told me recently that Obama “reminds me in many ways of Kennedy in 1960. The pundits said he was Catholic and too young and inexperienced and wasn’t a member of the party’s inner circle. They forgot that the nomination wasn’t decided in Washington but in the field.” As far as I know, Sorensen has made no other such comparison to his boss in nearly half a century.

The most common reason the two candidates are mentioned in the same breath is that hackneyed word, “charisma.” This is, more precisely, sex appeal....


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