Kennedy After Dark: A Dinner Party About Politics and Power

In this exclusive transcript from the JFK library, hear what he had to say just days after announcing his candidacy for the presidency

"It's possible my natural level is in the Senate," John F. Kennedy said—but then he won the 1960 election. As president, he and his wife hosted Ben and Tony Bradlee (left and third from left) at the White House. (John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum)
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JFK: Congress.

Cannon: In what district?

JFK: The eleventh congressional district, which my grandfather once represented in Congress. But I didn’t know anybody in Boston; I hadn’t really lived there much. The war, I’d been away. I’d been at Harvard University. I’d been to Choate School before that, and lived in New York. So I went to live with my grandfather at the Bellevue Hotel, and I began to run, at a much earlier time than anyone else. [To Jacqueline Kennedy and Toni Bradlee: “You might want to go sit in the other room. . . .”]

Bradlee: No, no, no.

JFK: They don’t want to listen to this.

Bradlee: They do!

Toni Bradlee: We do, Jack! We love it, Jack!

JFK: Toni doesn’t, and I know Jackie doesn’t.

Toni: Yes I do, Jack! I’m so interested.

Bradlee: Bullshit!


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