The administration of John Kennedy may be remembered only as a brief, interesting, glamorous, and insubstantial moment or it may be that this moment will be remembered us a major one, whose will be sounded again and again," Richard E. Neustadt, professor of Government and director of the Kennedy institute, said last night at the Law School Program.
Neustadt, along with Samuel J. Konefsky professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College, and Hans Morgenthau, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, spoke on "Kennedy: Man in History."
Praise, But . . .
Their effort was to evaluate the two years and ten months which John Kennedy President in the White House; their decision was one of hesitant praise.
Kennedy brought to his office, Morgan then said, "a freshness, vigor, brilliance of stuffy routine" which continued with the "eight years of which preceded him.
The three praised Kennedy's efforts in all rights although Konefsky objected that "there was little of actual boldness is conduct of the civil rights struggle."
Morgenthau praised Kennedy's contribution to the "attempt to create a viable foreign policy in the face of the threat nuclear destruction." He cited Kennedy's "tactical success". In the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and his "real though cited success in gaining a nuclear test of treaty."
But, Neustadt said, any judgment most qualified, since Kennedy's administration "is only a story that might have been."