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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 
JFK Takes to the National Stage
Notes taken on January 5, 2014 by Edward Tanguay
1956 National Convention
launched Kennedy onto the national stage
his book Profiles in Courage brought much attention, but his key moment was at the National Democratic Convention in 1956 in Chicago
Adlai Stevenson was being renominated to challenge Eisenhower again
Kennedy had hoped to be picked by Stevenson as his running mate
had a televised spot at the convention
Stevenson said in a speech at the convention that he would let the delegates choose his vice presidential candidate
7 out of 34 presidents had served as a result of the president dying or not being able to serve out his term for some reason in office
the Kennedy for Vice President campaign was launched immediately
organized overnight
buttons printed and distributed by next morning
at convention, Kennedy had a "movie star performance"
Kennedy appeared to have momentum in field of five candidates
including Al Gore Sr., father of future vice president
there were second thoughts about Kennedy's Catholicism
Estes Kefauver won 755 to 589
JFK was magnanimous in public, dispirited in private
Kennedy's loss was a actually quite advantageous
Stevenson was doomed to a landslide loss to Eisenhower
instead of bearing part of the blame, JFK based in his newly created national prominence
by Thanksgiving 1956, Kennedy was already planning to run for presidency in 1960
because of the 22nd amendment, everyone know that Eisenhower couldn't seek a third term
there was some optimism that the Catholic issue would somehow dissipate by 1960
actually it became more powerful