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As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DICK?

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As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DICK?

Old 08-31-10, 07:11 AM
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As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DICK?

JFK was one thing - JFK was way smarter than his brother, the Attorney General, and that's saying a lot, because RFK was one smart little bastard.

Thing is, you had both JFK and RFK competing against Richard Nixon in the 1960 election. In 1968, it was only RFK, but RFK was the candidate, not the campaign manager, so..... hmm.

If RFK had lived to see himself win the nomination for the Democratic Party, I think Richard Nixon would have taken off the gloves. Nixon had much more ammunition to use against RFK in the years past because of RFK's high profile between the years 1961 and 1968. Nixon would have pulled out the 1962 Marilyn Monroe suicide file, which put RFK at the residence the night of her death. There was also the cop who pulled RFK, Peter Lawford (the driver of the car), and Marilyn's doctor a few blocks away from Marilyn's place in the early morning hours - RFK had professed to be in L.A. at the time.

Oh, Nixon would have had a field day. We thought Gene McCarthy fought heavy, by bringing to light that RFK had bugged Martin Luther King, Jr.'s phones? HA! That's child's play. Nixon, with J. Edgar Hoover at his side with all his blackmail files, would have torn peacenik Bobby Kennedy to shreds.

But would it have worked, is the question here. Would all the dirty tactics, whether they be truth, or whether they be fabricated, have kept Bob Kennedy from winning the Presidency of the United States and becoming the 37th President? Would Kennedy's persona, his popularity with black people, and his sincere, aw-shucks mannerisms overcome the assaults?
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Old 08-31-10, 08:47 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

He would had to get the Democratic nomination first. That was unlikely. Primaries didn't decide the candiate as they do now. You had a sitting president who still had influence in the party who was absolutely opposed to RFK.

btw: Nixon was smarter than either one of them.

another btw: Humphrey was the first choice of LBJ for the nomination. Sargent Shriver was, but, after all, Humphrey was his vice-president.

Last edited by classicman2; 08-31-10 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 08-31-10, 08:53 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
He would had to get the Democratic nomination first. That was unlikely. Primaries didn't decide the candiate as they do now. You had a sitting president who still had influence in the party who was absolutely opposed to RFK.

btw: Nixon was smarter than either one of them.
if that was true, about opposition against RFK, then why would RFK even bother? Why would he waste his time if it was futile?

Classicman2, I know you're a Nixon-man just as much as I'm a Kennedy-man, so you saying Nixon was smarter doesn't surprise me much, or move me in the least.
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Old 08-31-10, 09:02 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

Why does anyone bother when their chances are extremely low?

In RFK's case - he wanted to 'keep up' with his brother. And, he despised LBJ. And, the feeling was mutual.
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Old 08-31-10, 09:13 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

Mutual contempt, yes indeedy. In the end, RFK did keep up with his brother - he was shot in the head. What were the chances? Very low, I say. In RFK's case, as with JFK, it was a "lone nut." If it were a conspiracy, as they say it most assuredly was with the brothers, then how come no more conspiracies (or lone nuts) appeared in the 70's (wait, there was Gerald Ford and "Squeaky" Fromme), or the 80s (wait, there was Ronald Reagan and Hinkley)................GOD! Okay-okay-okay, there were NONE in the 90s or in the 00s (and in the 00s was when we really needed one, okay?)
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Old 08-31-10, 09:16 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

again - If JFK has listened to his brother, JFK would not have won the presidency.
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Old 08-31-10, 09:17 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
again - If JFK has listened to his brother, JFK would not have won the presidency.
Wait...what? What do you mean?
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Old 08-31-10, 09:18 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

He wouldn't have won a state or two without LBJ on the ticket - principally - Texas.
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Old 08-31-10, 09:21 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

Bobby didn't try to push LBJ out until after the election, after JFK and LBJ won. At least, I'm pretty sure.
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Old 08-31-10, 09:26 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

RFK tried desperately to keep LBJ off the tickety in 1960.

That was one time, to his credit, that JFK didn't listen to RFK.
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Old 08-31-10, 09:29 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

Here's what I heard: JFK made LBJ his running mate, then had second thoughts and sent RFK to visit Lyndon Johnson and renege the ticket. That's how the contempt started with LBJ.....he didn't believe that RFK was there taking the ticket away on his brother's instructions.

Of course, we're in LBJ's shoes. We can either believe the "record," or we won't. But that's what's written in most books, and said in most documentaries.
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Old 08-31-10, 10:04 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

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Old 08-31-10, 10:07 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

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LOL - I was just thinking that.
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Old 08-31-10, 10:37 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet View Post
I love the c-man/buttmunker chat room!
If Fielding shows up then you can play your game of Bridge!
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Old 08-31-10, 11:17 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
RFK tried desperately to keep LBJ off the tickety in 1960.

That was one time, to his credit, that JFK didn't listen to RFK.
Why's that to JFK's credit? Do you think the world would've been worse with either Nixon President in 1961, or with someone other than LBJ President after '63?
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Old 08-31-10, 11:53 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara View Post
Why's that to JFK's credit? Do you think the world would've been worse with either Nixon President in 1961, or with someone other than LBJ President after '63?
I have no idea what you're trying to get at?

JFK, I assume, wanted to be president since he was running for president. To his credit, he knew what it would take to achieve that goal - have LBJ as his running mate.

Last edited by classicman2; 08-31-10 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 08-31-10, 03:01 PM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet View Post
I love the c-man/buttmunker chat room!
This place is getting too esoteric for even me.
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Old 08-31-10, 04:32 PM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

Perhaps one of your famous graphs could bring this thread back to reality.

I know you have one readily available.
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Old 09-01-10, 11:12 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

um, would RFK have a chance against Republican Candidate Richard E. Nixon? (to put it as A. Bunker would.)
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Old 09-01-10, 11:20 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
Perhaps one of your famous graphs could bring this thread back to reality.

I know you have one readily available.
Not a very creative zing, but it never really gets old does it?

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Old 09-01-10, 11:32 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
RFK tried desperately to keep LBJ off the tickety in 1960.

That was one time, to his credit, that JFK didn't listen to RFK.
LBJ on the ticket was Papa Joe's doing. He had his SIL Steve Smith work out the numbers and knew that they were going to come up short in Texas, which they desperately needed. He knew JFK didn't have a chance of winning Texas or the election unless he chose LBJ--someone who was the polar opposite and had his own connections he could pull. And even then, they still had to get the Chicago scene involved.

Also, LBJ wasn't above ratting out the Kennedys if need be. He was starting to make noise about JFK's PT 109 debacle and growing health issues stemming from it. He also was opening old wounds about Papa Joe's Nazi sympathies. LBJ was prepared to be a thorn in the Kennedys' side unless he was on the ticket.

It looks like JFK was going to drop LBJ in 1964. JFK didn't like LBJ anymore than RFK. Keep in mind that Papa Joe had suffered his stroke by then and wasn't in control of the puppet strings anymore. So the brothers were looking to stake out things for themselves. Of course, JFK gets shot and all that goes down the drain.

It's kind of ironic that LBJ and RFK didn't like each other, because it was basically for the same reason--they saw each other as lowdown weasels willing to do what it took to win. RFK had a nastier, more sardonic approach to it while LBJ knew how to grease the wheel, if you will. But they couldn't stand each other at all. No doubt about that.



As for the original question posed: it would have been interesting, for sure. The Kennedys still had enough weight to get RFK the nomination. Invoke JFK's ghost a few times, pay the right people, and the Democratic nomination was theirs. But Nixon would have waged a near unholy war for the general election. And he had the ultimate trump card with Hoover and his massive files on everyone. Most blacks and all union workers and Hispanics would have gone to RFK. Plus he still had the family mystique going in his favor.

Nixon would have done well in the South, since the Kennedys couldn't count on LBJ's magic. Plus with the Civil Rights Act, the South was swearing off Dems. RFK would have pulled California from Nixon, Nixon would have snagged Texas. It probably would have come down to Illinois--specifically Chicago and the Daley political machine. Again. That would have given the presidency to RFK.

But Nixon would have fought the results this time. In 1960, he had time on his side. Not so in 1968. Either Nixon gets into the White House then or he never makes it. Nixon would have would Heaven and Hell to get there.

It would have been ugly and I don't know if the Kennedys could have survived the onslaught of Nixon's attacks in that context.
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Old 09-01-10, 11:42 AM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

Originally Posted by Burgundy LaRue View Post
It probably would have come down to Illinois--specifically Chicago and the Daley political machine. Again. That would have given the presidency to RFK.

But Nixon would have fought the results this time. In 1960, he had time on his side. Not so in 1968.
Mayhaps so, but I don't think "anything" was fixed in 1960 in Illinois - Nixon was just sour graping. And they like to say JFK (or his pop) "stole" the 1960 election. Baloney - Nixon played as many dirty tricks in the election as JFK was forced to, in order for JFK to "keep up" with the tricks. Both did what they felt they had to do, as politicians, to WIN. Nixon had the gall to point fingers?! HA! They didn't call him "Tricky Dicky" for nuthin'.

And if Nixon had been elected President in 1960, we would have had The Cuba War instead of the Vietnam War. Or maybe both, with double the dead.
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Old 09-01-10, 12:08 PM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

Originally Posted by Buttmunker View Post
And they like to say JFK (or his pop) "stole" the 1960 election. Baloney - Nixon played as many dirty tricks in the election as JFK was forced to, in order for JFK to "keep up" with the tricks.
No question that Nixon slung as much dirt as JFK. Nixon could dish it with the best of them.

There's no concrete proof that Papa Joe bought the election for his son, but I wouldn't put it past him. His aspirations ran deep, and he wasn't above doing whatever to reach his goals.
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Old 09-01-10, 12:18 PM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

The real powers in Democratic Party would never have allowed RFK to win the nomination. Then the nomination was really decided by the convention. Mayor Richard Daily was a Humphrey supporter. The sitting president was a Humphrey supporter.
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Old 09-01-10, 12:50 PM
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Re: As good as I think he was, would ROBERT F. KENNEDY had a chance against TRICKY DI

True about the Daley-Humphrey connection. But man, did Humphrey have a lot going against him. Tied to an unpopular LBJ, a seemingly pro-Vietnam stance, blacks being discouraged by MLK's death. I don't know. The Chicago convention would have been more of a bloodbath than it was, probably.
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