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James Jackson Kilpatrick, 1920-2010

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From a blog eulogy by Robert Morrison.


Then, someone asked Mr. Kilpatrick who the Democratic nominee in 1964 would be. We laughed. It was a ridiculous question. President Kennedy was then sailing along with an approval rating in the high 60’s. He had just gone “eyeball to eyeball” with Khrushchev over the Cuban Missile Crisis and, as one of his top aides said, “the other guy blinked.

Kilpatrick answered curiously. “The Democratic nominee, if he’s alive, will be John Kennedy.”

If he’s alive? President Kennedy, at 46, was tanned and relaxed, the very picture of sunny good health. He had vigah, or so we thought.

The next day, at noon in Dallas, President Kennedy was assassinated. I could not get out of my mind James Jackson Kilpatrick’s strange answer from the night before: “If he’s alive…” I wonder how many of the young students in that room that night might have given credence to all the conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassination. Why would Mr. Kilpatrick have said something so odd? Did he have some knowledge of what was to come?

Of course not. Kilpatrick the savvy journalist knew what many reporters knew: Jack Kennedy was actually a very sick man. He needed constant medication to cope with Addison’s Disease, a life threatening illness.

Fortunately, no one ever fingered Kilpatrick for what he said to us that night. I could never watch James Jackson Kilpatrick on television as his career took off, however, without remembering that weird scene.

Full story: http://www.frcblog.com/2010/08/james-jackson-kilpatrick-1920-2010/

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