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The Unitary ExecutivePresidential Power from Washington to Bush$
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Steven G. Calabresi and Christopher S. Yoo

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300121261

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300121261.001.0001

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John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy

(p.331) 35 John F. Kennedy
The Unitary Executive

Steven G. Calabresi

Christopher S. Yoo

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on John F. Kennedy and his talent for using the bully pulpit of the presidency. Kennedy viewed himself as a strong, active president, and his call for national service during his famous inaugural address helped inspire a generation of Americans to commit themselves to anticommunism abroad and the protection of civil rights at home. It also marked a return to a vision of the president as a leader and shaper of public opinion. From the outset of his administration, Kennedy was determined to exercise full control over the executive branch, illustrated most dramatically by his decision to appoint his brother Robert to the post of attorney general. Although the decision drew significant criticism, Kennedy's biographer James Giglio reports that the president “knew that in Robert Kennedy he had his most trusted associate on board.”

Keywords:   bully pulpit, John F. Kennedy, active president, national service, anticommunism, civil rights, Robert Kennedy, attorney general, James Giglio

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