I was pleased to read John Guardiano’s reflections on the late Ted Sorensen’s legacy in the Kennedy White House. Our understanding of 20th century American history cannot be properly rendered without recognizing the contributions of individuals who were political adversaries.
Guardiano goes on to lament that the “Kennedy-Sorensen Democrats” of the early 1960s bear little resemblance to “modern day leftists” like President Obama. Yet as Guardiano acknowledges in his later years Sorensen would become “a shameless and insufferable Democratic Party shill.”
Indeed, Sorensen was one of Barack Obama’s earliest supporters having endorsed Obama’s White House bid in March 2007. Sorensen likened Obama’s judgment in opposing the War in Iraq to the judgment JFK exercised during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
After Obama’s first year in office, Sorensen expressed disappointment, although his disappointment was with the American electorate rather than Obama. Sorensen said that Obama was “clearly well informed on all matters of public policy, sometimes, frankly, a little too well informed. And as a result, some of the speeches are too complicated for typical citizens and very clear to university faculties and big newspaper editorial boards.”
When one considers Massachusetts Senator John Kerry’s recent comments about the American polity entering “a period of know-nothingism in the country, where truth and science and facts don’t weigh in. It’s all short-order, lowest common denominator, cheap-seat politics,” one could make the case that Kerry’s comments could have quite easily been ghostwritten by Sorensen.