|Source: JFK Library- President Harry S. Truman: 33rd POTUS (1945-53)|
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From the JFK Library
I find the lack of experience criticism of John Kennedy from President Harry Truman interesting. Especially considering that by the time Senator John Kennedy ran for president in 1960, he had already been in Congress for thirteen years both in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. And by the time he became President of the United States, he had been in Congress for fourteen years.
JFK’s Vice President Lyndon Johnson served in Congress for twenty-four years including as Leader of the Senate. For six years and yes Senator Kennedy was a young president, but someone with who had been in Congress for a while and also someone who served in the U.S. Navy.
The biggest job that Harry Truman had before becoming President of the United States a job he got because he was Franklin Roosevelt’s Vice President for a couple of months and was out of the loop on all major decisions made by the Roosevelt Administration.
Truman’s most important job before becoming President was as U.S. Senator from Missouri. Where he served for ten years. Jack Kennedy actually served in Congress longer than Harry Truman before he became President. Jack Kennedy fourteen years in Congress and Harry Truman ten years in Congress all as a Senator.
So the lack of experience argument from President Truman about Senator Kennedy, even though I’m sure President Truman meant well and was looking at from the perspective of a former President, just doesn’t fly. Since Jack Kennedy had more experience before becoming President of the United States than himself.
Because before becoming President, Harry Truman’s first big job came at the age of fifty years old. And the first time he ever experienced real success in his professional life.
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