Tag Archives: us presidential election

The first live press conference – 57 years ago today

Today is the anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s first live TV press conference. It was held five days after his inauguration as President of the United States. He clearly wanted to start as he intended to continue – the people’s president.

This news conference, in 1961, was unprecedented. Unedited, and with no time delay, it was JFK’s way of speaking directly to the American people. You can listen to the broadcast here, and read the transcript in full.

JFK opens with a word about the upcoming meetings in Geneva which would review the atomic test ban. He follows with an update on the famine in the Congo and how the U.S. will support aid relief efforts. JFK finishes with the good news of the release of two Air Force crewman detained by the Soviets.

In our current climate of fake news, the candour of JFK’s statements is refreshing. He is clearly trying to connect with the U.S. populace. His answers to the press questions which follow his opening statement show a quick wit and mastery of detail.

QUESTION: Does your Administration plan to take any steps to solve the problem in Fayette County, Tennessee, where tenant farmers have been evicted from their homes because they voted last November, and must now live in tents?

THE PRESIDENT: The Congress, of course, enacted legislation which placed very clearly responsibility on the Executive Branch to protect the right of voting. I supported that legislation. I am extremely interested in making sure that every American is given the right to cast his vote without prejudice to his rights as a citizen, and therefore I can state that this Administration will pursue the problem of providing that protection, with all vigor.

Posted in LDVUSA and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

The Trump Affair should be a wake up call for the GOP and the Democrats – but I’m not holding my breath

I have to say that I’m finding the outrage among senior Republicans about the latest scandal to hit Donald Trump pretty ridiculous. Where the hell were they when he was calling Mexicans repists and threatening to make the Mexican Government build a wall between the two countries? Where were they when he was threatening to ban Muslims from the US?

I am dismayed at the way some media outlets, including the BBC, have minimised Trump’s comments. Grabbing a woman in an intimate area is not “lewd talk,” it’s an admission of a serious sexual assault and should be treated as such. His so-called apology, if anything, makes things worse.  Leah McElrath put together an analysis of how his words sound very much like those of an abuser.

Even if the GOP decided to get rid of Trump, it’s too late to get anyone else on the ballot in enough key states to actually win the presidency, so they have to suffer the ignominy of going to the country with a candidate who isn’t fit to be an employer let alone be leader of the most powerful western democracy. 

Posted in News | Also tagged | 22 Comments

WATCH Michelle Obama endorse Hillary: “A leader worthy of all our kids’ promise”

At the end of the primary season 8 years ago, relations between the Clinton and the winning Obama camps were not the warmest.

Thankfully, both were grown-up enough to sort it out and move forward. Bridges were built quickly and Hillary ended up as Secretary of State in Obama’s first term.

In 2008, it was hard to imagine that Michelle Obama would give a speech warmly endorsing Hillary as her husband’s successor, as she did last night.

It was a very well crafted speech. It had lots of positives about Hillary – but also it put the boot into Trump in a very classy way. She didn’t mention him by name, but she talked of the importance of reasoned, measured, calm judgement. “When you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips, and the military at your command, you can’t make snap decisions.”

There was also a bit of an indirect plea to Sanders supporters. “We can’t afford to be tired or frustrated or cynical,” she said as she implored everyone to get out there knocking on doors to recreate what the Obama campaign had done in 2008.

The bit that made me cry was when she talked of waking up in a house built by slaves every day and seeing her daughters playing with their dog on the White House lawn. She paid tribute to all those who had fought for civil rights and to break down the barriers, too.

It was an extremely well-crafted and classy speech.

Watch it in full here:

The text is below:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 21 Comments
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