John F. Kennedy ( 1917-1963) served in the House of Representatives and in the Senate before his election as President of the United States in 1960. He also had experience in journalism, and he received a Pulitzer Prize for his book Profiles in Courage.
In Look magazine in July 1963, Sidney Hyman wrote of trouble on the New Frontier:
A baffling dark breeze is now blowing through Washington's political community. No one knows for sure what whipped it up, what it portends or when it will pass away. The effects take many forms. There are murmurs of things that are vaguely wrong, of plans to set something vaguely right. But there are no prophets shouting. If any one speaker dominates the Washington scene, it is the professor who shows with charts why it is manly to seek only the possible and not the good -- to let the part pass for the whole . . . to make workability the proof of truth and usefulness the test of value.
There were, to be sure, areas of failure in the Kennedy administration by late 1963 -- and much unfinished business. The overemphasis upon armaments and on the "missile gap" in the campaign of 1960 had set the country on a course of larger and larger military budgets, and perhaps had led to the invasion of Cuba, the subsequent missile confrontation, and the humiliation of Khrushchev, a humiliation which contributed significantly to his fall from power and to the suspension, if not the reversal, of the move to ease East-West tensions.
With the advice and counsel of Dean Rusk, the Secretary of State, and of Robert McNamara, the Secretary of Defense, the President, in committing approximately sixteen thousand troops to Vietnam, had changed our involvement there in a quantitative way.