Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Want to Be President? Have Breakfast First

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Want to Be President? Have Breakfast First

Article excerpt

After more than 31 years of Monitor breakfasts with public figures, it should come as a surprise to no one to learn that this has been a forum where many of our guests have disclosed an interest in becoming president. Most politicians, when pressed, will admit that the idea has at least crossed their minds.

But there also are those who, after disclosing their intentions at the breakfast, did become what is known as "serious" candidates for the presidency. Bobby Kennedy was the first. It was a decision he made during the hour of questioning - or so it seemed. First he said "absolutely not." Then the prospect of running, he said, was "not conceivable." Soon it became "not foreseeable." Before we left that day it was clear that Mr. Kennedy was in the race. Indeed, Kennedy historians have recorded it that way, too.

Jimmy Carter also disclosed his presidential intentions first at our gathering. It wasn't dramatic like Bobby Kennedy's decision to run. Mr. Carter was still a relatively unknown former governor from Georgia, and the 1976 presidential race was still some three years away. Carter simply told us that he was going to make the run. We didn't rush to the phones. A few of the reporters, in a post-breakfast conversation, said they thought Carter's prospects were nil. One sage uttered this pronouncement: "Carter isn't forceful enough to become president." Others agreed. Hubert Humphrey, our most-frequent guest for many years, told us early - and, I think, first - of his intentions to run in 1968. Famous newsman Peter Lisagor prodded him into an admission of his decision to make the race. It seems that Bill Clinton finally decided to declare a run for the presidency after meeting with our group in September 1991. Up to that point the Clintons were undecided, even reluctant, about running. They were afraid that Mr. Clinton "carried too much baggage" - possible allegations of infidelity - to make it to the White House. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.