Jul 30, 2020 - Sale 2543

Sale 2543 - Lot 46

Price Realized: $ 4,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 2,000
NEWLY ELECTED JFK ENTERS THE AGE OF THE TELEVISED PRESIDENCY KENNEDY, JOHN F. Typed Letter Signed, "John Kennedy," as President, to Washington Star editor Newbold Noyes Jr., stating that he would not pursue the Brookings [Institution] proposal, explaining that a president who does not enjoy the same popularity as Eisenhower must depend upon greater communication with the public, and inviting him to write again. 1 page, 4to, White House stationery; paper clip impression at upper edge, horizontal fold. Washington, [1961]

Additional Details

". . . The Brookings proposal received such an adverse reception it seemed to me unwise to pursue it. There are many disadvantages to our present course, but in my opinion the advantages do outweigh the disadvantages and this is particularly true for a President in my position who does not enjoy the popularity that the former President had. Eisenhower was a non-political figure with a military background and an unusual personality that gave a glow to everything that he did. Lacking these assets I am compelled to depend on a greater communication with the public and this type of conference permits it. If I should be proved wrong I will retrace my steps. . . ."
With--Retained draft of the typed letter from Noyes to Kennedy to which the present lot is the reply, arguing in favor of the Brookings proposal: "I personally don't like televised news conferences, because it seems to me that a really good conference makes a dull show and vice versa." 1 1/4 pages, 4to, onionskin paper, written on separate sheets. [Washington], 27 January 1961.
In recent decades, the transition of political power from one U.S. presidential administration to the next has become an increasingly complex problem, involving the training of thousands of new government officials in a relatively short amount of time. In 1960, the Brookings Institution was employed to advise the transition teams of Eisenhower and Kennedy in many areas, including public communication. The presidential campaign of Kennedy marked the beginning of a period in which television became the central medium of political communication in the U.S., and Brookings advised the Kennedy team to move cautiously into the television age by adopting a Hoover-era practice of requiring that the press submit all questions to the White House in advance of each press conference. Kennedy, knowing the power he wielded by skillfully employing his personal image, declined the advice, choosing instead to increase his charm by emphasizing spontaneity. Although Kennedy would begin conferences armed with possible questions and answers prepared by press secretary Pierre Salinger, it was often friendly reporters who received suggested questions from Salinger rather than the reverse.