Leadership on Point

It’s the Medium AND the Message

March 20, 2012 Mike Nikitas - Guest Author

Richard Levin & Associates: It's The Medium And The Message

History can turn on one little question.  It did for the late Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy.  In 1979, Democrats unhappy with President Carter organized a draft Kennedy movement.  CBS News devoted an unprecedented one hour of prime time television to profile him.  Was the youngest Kennedy brother up to the challenge?  The broadcast is memorable for a now famous, direct question posed to Kennedy by then CBS correspondent Roger Mudd, who asked, “Why do you want to be President?” Kennedy froze.  And when he finally began to answer, he rambled. “Well, I’m… uhh… Were I to make the.. uh.. the announcement… uh.. to run.. the reasons I would run.. is because I have a great belief in this country.. that it is…. There’s more natural resources than any nation of the world…….”

He had no ready message, no answer for the most obvious question he might be asked.  His Presidential dreams, if indeed he had them, were dashed.  Carter won the nomination, only to lose to Ronald Reagan.


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