"Welcome back. Oh , and about that little incident in Houston . . ." Lee Harvey Oswald
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26 June 2007
MARTHA'S VINEYARD, Massachusetts --Former president John F. Kennedy has announced his intention to run for the democratic nomination for president in 2008. At a press conference Monday, his first public appearance since a brief tour of Dallas in November 1963, the 90-year-old Kennedy suggested his reason for running was that too many Americans were asking what their country could do for them, and not vice versa.
Immediately conspiracy theorists continued debating what had really happened that fateful - or not-so-fateful - day in Dallas 44 years ago. Several prominent new theories have arisen, including whether the failed assassination attempt had been planned by Lyndon Johnson as a ploy to claim the presidency, then later covered up by Richard Nixon; or whether the CIA had drugged, brainwashed, or cloned Kennedy, or possibly saved his brain and cloned him years later; or if it had been staged by Kennedy himself to avoid public revelation of a Marilyn Monroe scandal. Others blamed Fidel Castro, or suggested that Castro was the one killed in 1963 after a "Prince and the Pauper"-type switch, and that Kennedy had been ruling Cuba with an iron fist for decades.
There was further speculation as to whether Lee Harvey Oswald was also still living, and if so, whether he might attempt another assassination if Kennedy were elected. Oswald's family released a brief statement insisting that the 67-year-old non-assassin was still deceased, evidenced by the fact that he never shot Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton (though some conspiracy theorists maintain that he did kill one, or both of them). Oswald's grandson made it clear he had no plans to follow his grandfather's footsteps: "Obviously grampa was a failure as an assassin. I'm not about to shoot John F. Kennedy as well. Maybe I'll kill his grandkids, but if I do, I guarantee I'll be a better shot than old Granddad. At least as good as my Papa was at shooting down small airplanes."
Initial reactions from prominent democrats were negative. Hilary Clinton suggested that Kennedy was too old to be running for president. She immediately began criticising his policies on the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Barack Obama, too, expressed concern: "History has suggested that President Kennedy promoted civil rights, but recently - very recently - I've begun to wonder whether he could have done more, much more." Other democratic candidates, many of whom had been invoking the Kennedy name throughout the campaign, began to question whether he was really that great a president, or if admiration for the 35th president has stemmed from a rose-coloured view of history. As one democrat put it, "now that we know he's not dead, there's no reason to revere him anymore."
The White House released the following statement: "President Bush is relieved to find that Mr. Kennedy is all right. The president would be more than happy to offer him an ambassadorship of his choice, or a generous retirement package; but he is advised, for the sake of his health, to avoid another presidential run." This sentiment was echoed by Senator John McCain.
Martin Luther King Jr. was more positive at a press conference later in the day: "I had a dream," he began, "right after my fantasy about Halle Berry. I dreamt that one day, Mr. Kennedy would once again rise to the heights of political office." When asked whether he really believed that Kennedy was still alive, he replied: "Of course. I have just confirmed that fact with his brother Bobby."
edit 2008 Run
Kennedy immediately began campaigning in his home state of Massachusetts. "I will bring our soldiers home from the ravages of a war that has gone on too long, ineffectively and without purpose" he said, bringing a crowd of thousands to its feet. He continued: "There are better ways to deal with the Ho Chi Minhs of this world," to which the crowd of thousands sat right down again. A little taken aback, he continued with a rousing "Ich bin ein Berliner," at which the crowd began to thin. He later remarked "well, that line sure worked last time."
After a briefing with democratic officials, Kennedy released another statement: "Of course, we must deal with the issues of the modern world. I understand that the environmental threat is extreme; and thus I promise to fight the environmentalists from sea to sea! And I will deal firmly with terrorists, blockading their suicide bombs and meeting with Osama bin Laden to express our concerns, just as I did with Nikita Khrushchev."
Since those remarks, prospective democratic candidates for the presidency have taken a more relaxed position on Mr. Kennedy's candidacy.