tv Book Discussion Bobby Kennedy CSPAN August 30, 2016 4:04am-5:13am EDT
congressman until 1976 during six during which time he took on the oil companies, help to defeat the oil depletion allowance. he became mayor, the 94th mayor in philadelphia in 1980. i'm pleased. i'm pleased to say i was in his administration. during his term he took on a lot of special interests and actually implemented the first deadly force policy in the united states. he also said a lot of interesting things which i will not repeat here. about santa claus does not live here anymore and city council is the worst legislative body in the free world. we always had a debate to and i said he should not have limited it to the free world, and i might also add that his son, william j green, you'll see a pattern in the names here, he
was a city councilman during his time with the city council to help fight back the wholesale of the free library. without further do, it is my privilege to welcome bill greene. [applause]. >> thank you very much for that introduction. phil and i am are very good friends. he was had a a policy and planning while i was mayor. he is done more for the city then you might imagine. he was a a managing director in the schools, the park, he headed all of those institutions and more. he was a pulitzer prize-winning reporter for the philadelphia inquirer. [applause]. phil, thanks again. i'm. i'm pleased to be part of this presentation. as you probably find out tonight some of the most memorable days
in happiest days of my life with the times i spent with robert kennedy. let me begin by offering praise for larry and his book. bobby kennedy, the making of liberal icon. what larry offers us in the book is a result of extensive research including previously on published reports and newly released materials from the kennedy library. and the access to people that other authors did not have, most notably -- larry made his career at the boston globe is a world winning reporter. a new york times best selling author including the book "satchel" which is a biography of baseball legend, satchel paige. his many books on such very topic says oh railroad car workers, superman, and jewish renewal in different global
areas it comes to life for readers not only because of his deep research but also his captivating style. he also roads the boston-based health coverage fellowship which helps the media do a better job of reporting on health issues. bobby kennedy, the making of a liberal icon is not a valentine. his strength, compassion, encourage shine through any perceived shortcomings with each trait chronicled in what i would say is a largely admiring portrait. the book has drawn praise from far and wide. from former sacred terry secretary of state, henry kissinger. the new york times book review praises in this fashion. we are in larry's a debt for bringing back the life of young presidential candidate who, for a brief moment, almost a half-century ago instilled hope
in the future and angry, fearful americans. what we will never know with certainty, not from 1000 books is what might have been. nobody can say. no next sin, no watergate, less crime and vietnam, nobody nobody knows. but i do know this, from the crushing pain that followed his brother's death he emerged a wiser and even more compassionate man. as president he would admit his mistakes. for would be the very last resort. we would talk talk to our adversaries and listen to them. nuclear weapons would be a major, urgent urgent focus. he would be welcomed around the world. he would fight the corrupt and
challenge the greedy and uncomfortable. most most of all, he would remember the forgotten. those stuck in urban ghettos, mostly black. those in rule hollows across the land, mostly white. and those with our crops, mostly hispanic. they would see it in his face, that is what might have been. robert kennedy said, we can do better. he was right. never have those words, we can do better bring so true as they are this night. larry, you are are a great writer, you have written a great book and i am pleased to introduce you to my fellow philadelphians. [applause].
>> what i would like to do and try to introduce bobby kennedy to come and i still a lot of people, how many people in this room have lived through bobby kennedy's campaign and 68 or it, everybody, so i'm gonna call you all appear to tell your story in a minute. minute. what i would like to do is take you through three moments in bobby kennedy's life but i think were were really indicative of how he changed and who he was at three critical times. the first one starts out in 1957. bobby kennedy's friend friend and first boss, senator joe mccarthy from wisconsin had died and was being buried in a town called applet appling ten, wisconsin. this was the red taping senator who basically saw a communist behind just about every pillar in the state department. it shows up in the airport in
green bay, wisconsin, the day of the funeral this enormous plane comes in from washington. off that plane steps 19 u.s. senators, mostly republicans, mostly conservatives. seven congressman and a bunch of other dignitaries. all of them do what dignitaries always do when they get off the plane, they get into their limousines and they are whisked away, away, and this place to appling ten wisconsin and a funeral. the airport it's very quiet. there is an especially clear notion that nobody's going to get off the plane one less person does and it was a thin aide named robert f kennedy so he bumped a ride for a reporter he finds there who is covering of funeral for the wisconsin newspaper. at the funeral in the church bobby kennedy watches from in the choir loft, at the
graveside service all the dignitaries are over here, bobby kennedy is quietly over here. what he managed to do after the service was, in a way that you can never get away with doing today, but anybody could ask a reporter and generally be obliged back then, he got got all the reporters there covering the funeral to leave out of their story that there is a young guy, bobby kennedy was there. because they're obliging political reporters there because he was a kennedy he generally got his way. what that story does, with that moment does at the funeral to me, it says two things about who bobby kennedy was back then. one thing it says is that he was the loyal friend of joe mccarthy who understood not just joe mccarthy was his dad's friend, but the but the joe mccarthy gave him his first job. in an era when much of america thought that common is what it's
like huge threat so to bobby kennedy and he thought there is only one person in washington who is standing up against the communist. while jack kennedy said stay away from the funeral, bobby kennedy did what he often did from jack's advice and he ignored it and he went and he was going to stand up for his buddy joe mccarthy. that that was bobby kennedy the loyalist. you can say i don't know what you think of the joe mccarthy but there is something noble about him being there when there is a potential risk. the other half of bobby kennedy back then was a bobby kennedy who knew someday he wanted to his brother to be president and he someday he might run from office himself. he went to the funeral, he showed up for his buddy joe mccarthy, but he was going to make sure nobody was going to see him and anybody who saw him was not going to talk about it. the two sides of bobby kennedy, the loyal sigh, the real aside, real aside, that is who bobby kennedy was back then. that is i say who america was back then in the conservative era of eisenhower.
so he starts out as the ultimate cold war hero just like his dad joe kennedy was. i'll take it from the year of 1957 to a moment that i think was, bobby kennedy had any single epiphany moment in his life, those in 1963 it in november. bobby kennedy, on a november day in 1963 had come home from work at the justice department with a couple of aids. he had a swim at his pool at the state in hickory hill just outside of washington and mclean virginia. he he was some way back to have a great lunch and eventually go back to work. at that moment when he just started eating lunch at the phone rings and it is a hotline to the white house. and by the way, the more lines to the white house it then there was in the vice presidents residents residents back then which was a huge bone of
contention to lyndon johnson. anytime that phone rang it was generally not good news. it was especially not good news with a guy on the other end of the line, the way it was that day, was one of the people that bobby kennedy most hated in the world, nfpa director name j edgar hoover. j edgar hoover tells bobby kennedy in a voice that bobby kennedy would generally describe as a monotone that like he found another communist on the faculty, he said your brother has been shot. an hour later somebody calls back and says your brother is dead. that moment changed bobby kennedy's life in a way that way that was different than just losing his brother. he had lost his brother, he had lost his best friend, and he had lost his sense of purpose. bobby kennedy kennedy had been close enough to his brother from the time they went overseas when
they are both in their 20s that the idea that jack kennedy was gone was a world changer for him. yet something happen magically for the next month. the kennedy family was, as you imagine, totally distraught. someone had to take charge. it was bobby kennedy for the next month, he gave out assignments to the family, you will take care of mom, you will break the news to dad who just had a stroke, you will do all of these things that need to get done. it was bobby kennedy who went to the white house and decided whether or not it would be an open casket. was was bobby kennedy who held the hand of jackie kennedy and john john, and caroline when they were devastated they had lost their father, and husband. it was a a bobby kennedy helped the country who is going through a kind of morning that for the young president was deeper and more
profound than they had ever had happened. it was bobby kennedy who is the nation's mortar and chief for the next month. that was quite an extraordinary thing given how devastated he was. but at a magical moment, exactly one month out from the death of jacket kennedy with the family started pulling it back together and they went back to work, into their lives, and when the country had ended there. a morning ended there. of morning and starting to pull together, bobby kennedy lost it. he went for the next seven months is something that we would describe as a clinical depression. l phil remembers 50 years later like it had happened a moment to go. he basically would go out in the middle of the night and drive around in his car not knowing where he was going. he he would go to work and cannot sustain any attention in the meetings of the justice department. he had essentially lost his sense of what he was doing in the world.
he debated about whether he should become a college professor. i am convinced he would've made a miserable college professor and never see her sleep thought about it. everything was on the table. he debated whether he should take his 10 million-dollar inheritance and gotten travel around the world with his wife and kids. he debated about a lot of things and what he ended up doing was running for senator from new york and it wasn't until the middle of that campaign that he really started coming out of the depression. it was at a moment when he realized he could actually lose an election which would've been the first for a kennedy. he started having a sense of two things. one is, he really did have something still to contribute. the other as critically, was that people responded to him. people were turning out in droves to all of his rallies, not because he was jack kennedy's surviving brother, but because he was a bobby kennedy and he had something to offer. during that time, he came out of
it the way bill suggested. he came out of it as a different person. he was, at jackie suggestion reading greek tragedies. this was a guy who for entertainment generally went out and played a bloodied nose kind of touch football game. that is what he considered his distraction. he was now closeted himself in his room and reading greek tragedies and reading about the kind of -- as he has a kennedy had while thinking the world was theirs to do with what they wanted. suddenly it all crashed around him. he came back in the world with a kind of empathy that he never had before. we are all, i suspect if i if i interviewed everyone in this audience, we are all balance between tough and tender. but the tile on bobby kennedy and in his joe mccarthy days had
started out leaning to the test site, it suddenly started understanding and being empathetic to the underdog in a way he never done before. so he, 1963 came out of the miserable experience with a new way of looking at the world. it was a good thing because all of the kennedy power that will be in the presence brother had disappeared and he had to find a new role for himself. he start out in 1967 with a tough guy, cold war bobby kennedy, 1963 we see him going through a we see him going through a traumatic experience that changed him. where i want to take you for our third story is to who bobby kennedy was when he ran for president in 1968. that is the that is the story that i think has particular residence today as we look around to try to get excited about the candidates running for president today. i want to take you to one night and that campaign. do you remember mayor, the first
contested primary wasn't 68 when bobby was running? >> i think it was indiana. >> very good. he had not been coached. a great memory. bobby kennedy you may remember came in after. >> when i ask you tonight just say indiana. [laughter] >> possibly if you have picked a single state in america where massachusetts politician would not want to have his first contested primary it would've been indiana. bobby kennedy had no idea on anything to do with farms, he had no idea anything to do with what was going on in the midwest. he was a massachusetts born and bred guy. a senator from new york. this york. this is new territory for him. he was about to come out one night in the indiana primary just before the indiana primary he was about to fly into indianapolis and go to a very important rally in the middle of the city.
that was the night that when he flew in and landed in indianapolis he was told that martin luther king had been shot and killed. the mayor of indianapolis was a guy named richard lugar who big came up our senator. he had one piece of advice for bobby kennedy which is you will not go when to the african-american ghetto tonight hold a rally that was scheduled. you will go there partly because i'm worried about whether or not you're going to come out alive and partly because i think you're going to create a ride just by being there. bobby kennedy did what he did with joe, with jeff kennedy's advice in 1957 when jack kennedy told him not to go to the funeral. he said thank you, that's he said thank you, that's great advice. he proceeded to go to the rally all along. he ends up having a police escort peel off just before he gets to the ghetto and as he
stands up on the back of a bed truck for the next five minutes he gives one of the great speeches, maybe the greatest speech of his life in one of the great speeches in the history of american political oratory. he was telling the audience that night, several hundred people he was telling 90% of them for the first time that their slain leader has been killed. that martin luther king is gone. you can hear if you can listen on youtube to a speech from that night, you can hear gas from the audience. people are devastated. but he proceeds for the first time in his life to talk about what it was like to lose his own brother. and the anger that he had felt when jack kennedy have been killed. he said, our temp tatian is to want to strike out with something like that happens. what we have to do is the opposite. we have to come together as people in this
audience and as a country at this moment of trauma. what happened that night in indianapolis was extraordinary. in a country that night of martin luther king's death when there was race riots and more than 100 cities. part of the city was burned down that night. there's one city in america that had a sizable african-american population that stay peaceful that night. in that setting was -- indiana. so indianapolis stay peaceful than i because bobby kennedy had found the pitch perfect tone to go into the ghetto and it was a tone that was predicted with the civil rights age had given up on bobby kennedy get it giving up what was going on with civil rights movement. there's one person with faith in him and said we have to stick
with this guy because someday -- and that person was a guy who was killed that day, martin luther king. he was proven right that night when bobby kennedy in indianapolis gave exactly the speech that i think hillary clinton and that donald trump and brock obama had fought over in the last month. they look for the right healing tone after dallas, after, after baton rouge, after st. paul, and none of them, and they gave long winded oratory's, none of them could tone that bobby kennedy manage that night in indianapolis. from that moment to the end of the campaign i can say without any hyperbole that bobby kennedy was easily the most popular white man in black america. in ghettos across the country when bobby kennedy campaign for the next several months it was a very short sign that said it all. that sign read, white upon
white. there's not many white politicians that would've said that in 1968. so what i want to do is take you to who bobby kennedy was and why we should still care about him at half-century after his death. i think many of us have spent the last 50 years looking for somebody that was able to do it bobby kennedy seemed on the verge of doing that in 1968. at a moment when a moment when the country was equally driven over racial issues, equally stressed by what was going on overseas, in that in that case a war in vietnam. bobby kennedy seemed on the cusp of pulling together the kind of coalition that we had never seen in this country. it was a
coalition of the blue-collar whites who supported him in his early days as a joe mccarthy cold warrior. it was a coalition of the blacks who listen to him and stay peaceful that night in indianapolis. it was a coalition of a a group that back then no politician ever spoke to who were hispanics. bobby kennedy was the only one in california, the only politician in america who went to california and stood during all the hunger strikes. he reached out to hispanics in a way that they rewarded him with almost 100% of their vote in the california primary. he was bringing together the groups that we dream about doing today. that people support donald trump and the people that support hillary clinton. he seemed on the verge of becoming precisely the top liberal or if you prefer the tender conservative that i think we're still searching for in america. before i go on it before we open for questions, one of the most tender moments i heard anybody
described about who bobby kennedy was in the later years was a guy named bill greene who talked about what happened after his dad died. >> my father died one month after president kennedy. >> can you hear me? i thought you couldn't before. >> would you mind reintroducing me? [laughter] >> i think he said indiana. [laughter] >> after my father died, i'll tell you a couple of stories about that. when president kennedy died my father did not want to go to washington because he did not want to interfere with the kennedys. he did not want to intrude on a moment a sour sorrow. and my mother said to him, bill you should go down there. he went
down and he went to the white house and he came home and he told me the story a been on the first floor of the white house walking up to the second floor. and bobby came walking down from the second floor to the first, they took took one look at each other, they both cried. bobby kennedy really was extremely grateful to my father. i will have that experience because when my dad died one month later, robert kennedy, on christmas eve left his then i think eight children in virginia , while he came to philadelphia on december 24 for my father's funeral. he brought with him a letter from jackie kennedy which he had basically gotten from her the day before. and it was as beautiful letter as you ever want to see. he was, first of all he came to
the funeral and he heard while he was here that i -- about a week later i got a call and he says to me, i understand you want to run for your father see. and i said that's correct. and he said well i sent o'donnell up there. he has looked at that situation and i know that they are and a lot of the organizations are father built our lined up against you. but if they take you on, i went you to understand that we will be inches i thought, i said to him, can i ask you a ask you a couple questions and he said yes. i said, explicitly what does we will be in maine? and he said to me, if they take you on, kennedys will crawl all over your district. this this
was one month after the president's death. in fact, several months later bobby kennedy came to 15th and chestnut and there were 30, 40,000 people going from 19th street to 13th street. it was just a moxie. but he was in that period where he would say of the things, i said who can i tell and he said tell them all. tell them all. what is really saying was, you can tell them the attorney general to. because we're not going to lose this. now he did not say that but bobby would not be in favor of doing anything but making sure i want in every way he could. the last question he asked me was do you need money. and he said no the friends and
my father it back this contest. and he said well, you don't have enough you write the check and will sign it. i will will like you to come see me in washington. and i went to washington and i walked into his office and i almost could control myself. i had never in all my life and i had not until this minute seen the face that said. he was absolutely crushed, heartbroken, but not so heartbroken that he cannot function and be at my mother's funeral. that's a that's a heartbroken that he cannot say, and i said to him i cannot tell you what this means to me. a lot of the people my father helped in philadelphia like mayor tate and others are against me. and you with all that is going on in your life are for me, and he put his head down and he just said to me don't you know it
your father did for my mother. don't you know what your father differ my brother. what he really did was not carry philadelphia by 331,000 votes when people credited my father for producing that victory, my father would laugh at home. he would say, the the people win elections, politicians win primaries. but the real fault was the kennedys of the 1960s and the democratic convention. and i'm talking about john kennedy not robert kennedy. but you you can't talk about one without the other. they were like that, the line that you just use, that was the lime a proper kennedys for the rest of his life. it was the highest compliment he could take to anybody what you do for john because they were like that. there are like that for the point where at the kennedy described the fact that there is
a cliché that people are so close that they finish each other's sentences. what ethel kennedy said about bobby's relation to jack is that there are so close they do need to talk. they could just pick up one another's expressions and that is why the closest thing it's not a cliché in politics, people talk about copresidents and before people elected when they're on the ticket together and they say this is going to be the closest working relationship we've ever had between the president and vice president. the truth is no president their white mind ever gives up president or vice president or anybody else. but the closest thing that america has ever had to copresidents he was when bobby kennedy with jack kennedy's attorney general because he was not just as attorney general, he was his cia director, he consulted bobby kennedy more often in the secretary of state in foreign affairs, he was the guy that jack kennedy knew he could go to whether it was the cuban missile crisis, he could
go to a bobby would have his back. he was looking out towards best for the country but also what was best politically project kennedy and that was an extraordinary relationship. and that's why he would hang back. because he knew if he was seen there he had to be there because he was loyal. but he knew that was published in saying that it would hurt jack. i don't think he was being -- like trying to have it both ways but he was always trying to help his brother. but he also wanted to be loyal to some of the other. >> he did and he wanted to, if there was a magical moment not not sure exactly when it happened and i was not yet in 1957, but there was a magical moment where bobby understood even while jack was a life that he had a political career
himself. they used to himself. they used to joke that after jack had done it for eight years, bobby and you know that joe kennedy had initial app aspirations to be president himself. during world war ii, at the start of world war ii when he was u.s. ambassador to great britain he had a opportune moment to not be a -- appeaser and he went public with it, never denied it and in the boston globe helped get him fired by fdr. the moment that joe kennedy knew it cannot be him it was going to be his son. he was going to be his sons in order of birth. it was going to be joe junior, until joe junior was killed in a courageous mission tried to take out some d2 bombing site in europe and the day that joe junior died, it was passed to jack and went jack tragically was killed it was clear as went to be bobby. >> on october 31, 1963, where it was the 30 first, i don't know which i was in the elevator with
them with my father. i had not really had any opportunity ever to converse. actually did once when he was running in 1960, i attended -- but he turned to my father and he said, what he going to do with the them billy? everybody had a nickname. my father sent him a lie don't know mr. president what you suggest, and he said do it my father did when he ran for congress. and what was incredible about that is a month later i was running for congress. and they were both gone. bobby called me to help. there is no way for me to explain to you how not just indebted, but how admiring im
about the president of bobby. i think their loss, both of them and bobby just compounded with what happened here. i think it was so harmful to this country that it is hard to imagine. one of the things they did and one of the things i have always believed is that words count. and you mentioned what he did in indianapolis. what he did and south africa. every time a man stands up for injustice or speaks out committee he sends forth. and to go to the berlin wall and have 1,000,000 people, my advice, my advice, my father's advice the short period between president steph and my father's death and my father went to new york on december 8 so were not talking november 4 to
december 8. he had talked to bobby. and i think some of the big city democratic leaders in the north were perhaps a little concerned that johnson might not be the candidate that bobby would be. and i don't know that bobby ever expressed any interest in running for president at that point or gave it any serious thought. i know there was a discussion and joe elsa must've either been there or heard about it because lyndon johnson asked governor lawrence of pennsylvania to check out something he thinks. so, you know. >> at that convention where lyndon johnson was nominated in
1964, johnson, lie think at that moment bobby kennedy as you say had no interest in doing that, johnson was so paranoid he apparently asked j edgar hoover to have agents check out what was going on in the kennedy camp and to the stationed at the convention a report back to him if anything, if they picked up anything where there is going to be kennedy movement. the truth was, the best speech at that convention was a speech at bobby kennedy delivery. it was, depending on who is counting, it counting, it was as long as 17 minutes of interruptions applied during bobby kennedy's speech. it was a speech that lbj, and his paranoia that was a critical speech about him. it talked about son, and his loss of his brother jack and in truth, the end of that speech was the most rousing endorsement of lbj. bobby kennedy was three things. he was a catholic, he, he was a joe kennedy and rose kennedy said sun and the third pillar he stood on was a democrat. he darn well was going to
support and although he detested lbj he was going to support him and 64. to quickly do we have microphones out there. two people have questions they would like to ask. maybe we can get microphones. >> do you want to pass this to someone? >> in 1964 mccarthy -- the source came out that robert kennedy was thinking of running for president. i wrote in the letter and i said to enter the campaign, stay out, you're going to divide the antiwar movement. three weeks after he announced he sent me a letter and he said,
as you see, i have entered the race or in my letter i said either one of them will go for the convention with enough votes and in the third or fourth that you believe there submitted and they'll be compromised. after he left i received a letter and he said as you can see i have entered the race. but i disagree with you he said. i am not defining the antiwar movement, i'm adding adding my voice to the antiwar movement. and i said to myself, he had signed the death warrant of the death of his brother. when he announced that he was going to run that was it. there is no way that the people were going to allow him to be
president. so. >> i would like to make just a couple of, there's no way to get around the fact that it's pretty clear that i love robert kennedy. it was a very awkward entry into that race. i would have preferred that he did it earlier. so after jean mccarthy beat lbj and new hampshire -- [inaudible] >> so were talking about before he got into it, he gets into it and he looks like the ultimate the cutthroat politician who left you mccarthy go to the cot work in new hampshire than bobby kennedy takes his mantle away four days later.
anna national columnist road a telegram to take kennedy say that what you have just done in the hampshire shows that saint patrick didn't drive off snakes out of ireland. those may be the most and handed entry ever. but the truth is when he go back and look at what happened, the evidence is clear-cut. ninetys after the new hampshire primary bobby kennedy had decided to enter. he decided it was only fair that mccarthy had been inviting new hampshire for a long time and it's only fair to give mccarthy that clear shot before he came in. so when he was being a gentleman and doing the kind of thing that the political campaign manager would've asked him to do handed up hurting himself with the press and i took almost the entire campaign for reporters to come around and trust bobby kennedy.
by the end of the campaign it offers a dramatic contest to what's going on today in 2016. it's the way that the press had the relationship of the candidate. today as we all know donald trump short so by bashing other banishes the press from his event. hillary clinton says spends too much time talking with reporters. the bobby kennedy start out with reporters like the ones were talking about being skeptical of him. by the end, something strange happened. it was one of the things that drew me into the bobby kennedy story from the beginning. the reporter started falling in love with him. my mentor in journalism, he won the pulitzer prize for his coverage in vietnam, he ended up writing a book that was a valentine to bobby kennedy. a guy who is covering the campaign for the washington post named
richard was assigned by ben bradley to cover the campaign because he was very cynical. he really despise bobby kennedy. that was the perfect guy to cover. he would never be won over by him. by the end of the campaign richard made a plea to ben bradley, take me, take me off the campaign, i have fallen in love with the candidate. he was in a marine and its hard edges you can get. the reason i think the press fell in love with bobby kennedy was exactly what the press is looking for today and the candidate, as is the public. is authentic, a political press in those days, like today has a better sifter of who's real and who doesn't seem real. they decided decided by the end that bobby kennedy was the one who had the courage to stand up in the senate and say my brother jack and i got into vietnam and we were wrong. that is not something i'm sure
they had the courage to stand up when he was wrong as they were wrong. it's not something many political figures too. bobby. bobby kennedy, the way he shifted from the cold war he started out more to the hot water liberal he became in the end was often defined the political whims of the day to do that. though something reporters love to see and it was something the public would like to see. probably something mayor green and i would agree on, after his victory that night in california, the night he was killed at the ambassador hotel in california. after his victory he was scheduled the next morning to go to chicago, the son of the mayor of chicago, the sum son bill daley who was obama's chief of staff for a couple of years says that next day his dad was 70% chance that his dad was going to endorse bobby kennedy for president.
what that did was there's no more powerful establishment politician in america event that the mayor of chicago, richard daley. i think of daily had endorsed we had guys in philadelphia who are ready to go all out for bobby kennedy. i think bobby bobby kennedy would not just become the democratic nominee, but no one in america who understood richard nixon's vulnerabilities better than the guys who, eight years before had let his brother successful campaign against richard nixon. i think it's not too much of a what if to say to bobby kennedy would've been a nominee, would've been the president,
bobby kennedy to put microphones in a motel and take martin luther king and blackmail him. is that correct? >> the first half of what you said is absolutely correct. j edgar hoover kept going back to bobby kennedy to wiretap martin luther king. the reason my he wanted to wiretap him is because there is a fear and a fear that hoover, i think without any convincing evidence, that they were leftists and communists in martin luther king's hierarchy. at the moment j edgar hoover survived through emma's attorneys general and presidents because he always had some dirt on somebody. he knew exactly the
moment to ask what he wanted. he asked repeatedly for authority to wiretap. in the end bobby kennedy gave it to him. in the end he gave it to him without defending that decision at all. he gave it to him for strategic reasons. the kennedys were about to propose a major civil rights bill. . . >> >> was martin luther king at
point when he said he is no good. wiretapping was a bad thing but by the end the this tenure p. was calling in federal troops most of your old enough to remember george wallace in tuscaloosa and bobby kennedy learned from his mistakes in birmingham and montgomery and having to call in troops early of the segregationist. with this there is nobody in america not just civil-rights but bobby
kennedy in his life talking about j. edgar her hoover he was a tutor in the body can be despise roue and because mccarthy was the of boss. he detected jimmy hoffa that bodies out was corrupt. those people you could argue that the fourth person on his hate list was a great tragedy and that was lbj. one was a harvard it to -- harvard-educated rich and in massachusetts that grew up
or and resented anybody who was harvard-educated and with that coalition they could've gotten more extraordinarily things done. and now across purposes is a huge tragedy. tuesday end vietnam but bobby would track things and with an anti-war speech it would seem like every day he increase the of bombing. >> one of the things the. >> tell them how many times you have read the book ; the layperson america there read the book twice. [laughter] pdf.
reelection 64 imagine it is one who bobby kennedy was. essentially that was a different generation. and then to be listed in the navy. that is what kennedy ended up with. and to be a little inadequate spending so much of his life and when he was born but early generation of kennedy kids. that is the run of the zero letter.
would have thought about the younger bobby kennedy? >> unknown owe this will then but that was the perfect last question. and while i thought i was being tough and i used precisely that standard. in what he said about the mccarthy era but in the early days it looks like standing up as a threat. but was town deaf to all of his victims and never let him get away with.
and then said in vietnam we think you can win the war. one of the primary authors of the counter insurgency stood up. to do that with the issue after issue. so later it was bobby kennedy. he called them the twins the good bobby and the bad bobby. in the one running for president was one of the great presidents and military as their role model more than any politician for :solemn like to say one last thing.