This past week I’ve been soaking in the politics of my distant youth.Â Part of this is research on the political climate leading up to the UGRLC scandal which I plan to resume writing about,Â but part of it has also a welcome change from the distraction ofÂ campaigning for Congress.
After plowing throughÂ a dozen old Discover magazines that had been collecting dust I read another couple hundred pages of “Master of the Senate.” I was up past midnight the last two nights reading it. What a great book about LBJ!Â I plan on spending some time with it today as well.
I also watched one excellent bit of television this week – PBS’s American Experience. Its program on Bobby Kennedy gave me a new apppreciation him. I was just a teenager when he challenged LBJ and I’ve carried my prejudices against him ever since. At the time I shared the commonÂ view ofÂ college whitebreads towards him; that he was simply taking advantage of Gene McCarthy’s courage and unexpected success inÂ taking onÂ LBJ. I also appreciated what David BrooksÂ had to say about RFKÂ in his recent column.
There is aÂ new hagiographic movie about Kennedy, Bobby, which is out in theaters now. I’m not sure I’ll rush to see it. Its about 22 charactersÂ each of which,Â in one way or another, is caught up in RFK’s campaign and with him on the night of his assassination. I have my own memory from that night.
My father was a real political junkie so everyone in my family watched the California returns after the news that night. We had an Ethiopian foreign student living with us that year. He was probably caught up under the Kennedy spell.Â Bedru kept watching the news coverage from California after the rest of us turned in for bed.Â He was alone whenÂ the assassination was reportedÂ live.Â He stayed up till the television went off the air around midnight then turned off the lights and came to bed without waking us.