More notes at http://tanguay.info/learntracker
C O U R S E 
The Kennedy Half Century
Larry J. Sabato, University of Virginia
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Kennedy and the Catholic Issue
Notes taken on May 18, 2014 by Edward Tanguay
after 1960 nominating convention, Kennedy turned to convincing the American people to elect him
Kennedy was popular with the young
elderly were interested in his support of a national health insurance for the aged
picked Lyndon Johnson as running mate
over objections from his brother Bobby
but without Texas and a "good chunk of the South", Kennedy could not possible defeat Nixon
LBJ wanted to be president, and history had shown that being vice president was one of the best pathways to the White House
LBJ was put in charge of JFK's strategy in the South
the two toured the South, but LBJ made most of the speeches
Nixon was unopposed
first poll showed Nixon leading by 6%
JFK's youth bothered some voters
but Nixon was only 47 while Kennedy 43
religion loomed largest
nation was overwhelmingly Protestant
Kennedy "went into lion's den" and accepted invitation to speak at the Greater Houston Ministerial Association
Nixon was also invited by declined
September 12, 1960 gave speech
visibly tense
300 skeptical Protestant ministers glared at him
Kennedy knew that this speech could make or break his campaign
delivered a memorable plea for religious tolerance
played down his connection to the Catholic church
he used this speech to win the public relations battle
in election, religion played a tremendous role
in the end
Kennedy received 80% of the Catholic vote
Nixon got 69% of the Protestant vote
more than race or region, religion explained the 1960 election results
Catholics were traditionally Democratic
even Elenore Roosevelt wondered aloud whether Kennedy could make decisions without the approval of the Pope in the Vatican
in 1928, Catholic Al Smith was swamped by Herbert Hoover, Democrats didn't want to repeat this
Kennedy came out against ties with the Vatican
attacked the Eisenhower administration for being insufficiently tough on the Soviets
argued to strength military forces to face the Soviets
asked: if elected President, if he would be torn between two loyalties, church and state
I would not, I has sworn to uphold the Constitution, the first amendment states that one cannot make laws which favor a religion
Article 6 of the Constitution states that no religious test should be required to qualify for office
it turned out that introducing JFK as Irish Catholic instead of Roman Catholic made a difference with voters
61% in West Virginia
Democratic Convention in Los Angeles
name of JFK's program and administration: "The New Frontier"
after election, Kennedy's Catholicism wore off, became less important
everyone understood that the Pope was not calling the shots
to this day, Kennedy has been the only Catholic president
in June 1963, Kennedy met in Rome with Pope Paul VI succeeding Pope John XXIII
when Catholics meet the Pope, they are supposed to kneel and kiss his ring, Kennedy did not, he simply shook his hand