Messages 2009

More from Robert Kennedy - 3.

December 8th, 2009

Santa Cruz, California

Received by FAB


I am here, Robert Kennedy.

Write out this paragraph on page 353 of Evan Thomas’ biography of me, and I will comment on it.

“The adviser RFK missed most was not Larry O’Brien but someone like the 1960 Robert Kennedy - a hard man who knew how to say no and to strike fear into laggards and plodders. ‘My problem is that I don’t have anyone to be for me what I was for my brother,’ he told Edelman. His deeper problem, left unsaid, was that he was not his brother. In his heart he was still the campaign manager, not the candidate.”

This is not wholly true, though there is some truth to it. When Jack was killed, I confronted what they called in philosophy the existential dilemma. I realized that my life was my own, that I defined myself by the choices I would make. I was very upset that there was no one to do for me what I did for Jack. That much is true. But I realized that I was responsible for the choices I made, that I was defined by these choices. So I think the author underestimates the depth of transformation that had occurred by the time I ran for president.