A short but very interesting read from Thomas Ricks on JFK’s legacy. I, too, have always felt Kennedy was way overrated as a leader. But I was also convinced his presidency was very difficult to judge since he only held the office for two years and ten months.
Before you dismiss Ricks as a partisan right-winger, consider that he is a longtime Pentagon correspondent for the Washington Post and that the Bush administration hated his book on its foolish war, Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq.
Rick’s argues that JFK’s brief presidency was one disaster after another:
In retrospect, he spent his 35 months in the White House stumbling from crisis to fiasco. He came into office and okayed the Bay of Pigs invasion. Then he went to a Vienna summit conference and got his clock cleaned by Khrushchev. That led to, among other things, the Cuban missile crisis and a whiff of nuclear apocalypse. Looming over it all is the American descent into Vietnam.
Add to that list the fact that he was sleeping with a mobster’s girlfriend and that he wound up being murdered — perhaps by the mob itself — and you have a legacy that is less than sterling.
P.S. Oh, and liberals should hate the fact that Kennedy was a supply-sider.