The Presidency: It's Nice to Be Liked

President Kennedy had just completed his three-day "nonpolitical" trip to South Dakota, Colorado and California—and he personally considered it a smashing political success. Wherever he went, cheering crowds told him that he still had his way with the people. And when he went swimming, they swooned.

The swimming incident took place in Santa Monica, where Kennedy had stopped off for a visit with his brother-in-law, Actor Peter Lawford. The President spent a lazy afternoon beside Lawford's pool, then, deciding he wanted to try the surf, strode through a gate onto the public beach. Hundreds of bathers came running up. Shaking...

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