Mark Alan Stamaty

I used to draw a cartoon character named Congressman Bob Forehead, a conservative supply-sider who chaired the “JFK Look-Alike Caucus.” Bob was a total fake. The essence of his scam was all the superficial things about JFK that mesmerized me as a teen-ager and that were galvanized in the shock of his sudden death. It was a misty, largely irrational gut feeling. The sort of thing that wins elections. For many years, I shared our nation’s longing for a Second Coming (of JFK) and measured every aspirant with my internal JFK meter. LBJ? No way. The “New Nixon.” “Jimmy Who?” None could heal the heartache. Then Teddy flopped and Reagan won. Time had passed. It was a new era. But Reagan didn’t buzz my meter either. Then came some Democrats who did: Clinton, Gore, Bill Bradley, Bob Kerrey. In addition to a JFK vibe, Clinton has an Elvis thing, plus Nixon’s co-opting skills and Reaganish warmth. But, recently, hearing JFK’s voice again in newly released tapes, I realized that–despite some things I dislike and disdain about him–in my heart of hearts, John F. Kennedy will always be my president. If this sounds foolish, WHAT ARE YOU DOING READING MY DIARY ANYWAY?!!!