Goldwater Vs. JFK Echoes in '08

Obama vs. McCain recalls race that never happened in '64
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2008 12:19 PM CDT
Goldwater Vs. JFK Echoes in '08
In this Feb 6, 2008 file photo, Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., addresses the media in Chicago. Barack Obama is dashing full-tilt into the general-election fight against Republican John McCain without waiting for the Democratic marathon to end.    (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer,File)

The coming Obama/McCain matchup is an echo of another presidential bout, David Talbot writes for Salon—one that never happened between JFK and Barry Goldwater in 1964. Then as now, a young idealist takes on a seasoned ex-soldier over negotiation with hostile governments, to debate a fundamental question of whether it is more important to project understanding or strength to the world.

When Kennedy was assassinated, he was about to deliver a speech that demanded America “practice what it preached” on Democratic principles, rather than bullying the globe into obedience. That message, Talbot writes, has lacked a suitable herald until now, and the election will be “the debate over war and peace that President Kennedy and Senator Goldwater never got to hold.“ (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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