Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, a few months after his brother President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Goes on NBC’s the Jack Parr Show. I guess he wanted to get back to living a normal life, or as normal of a life that a public official can have in America and get out of the funk he was in from losing his brother and did it in a big way by going on Jack Parr. And trying to communicate to the world that he and his family were doing okay, or as well as they could be doing after seeing one of their family members assassinated. And Bobby Kennedy came back in a big way in 1964. RFK wanted to make his life worth serving again the only way he knew how outside of his family. By serving the public and being involved in public affairs. He was already Attorney General of the United States, but had other interests as well.
As Attorney General, RFK was influential in getting the 1964 Civil Rights Act through Congress. His speech at the 1964 Democratic National Convention, resigning from office right after that and running for U.S. Senate in New York. Where he wins there, partially thanks to President Johnson’s landslide victory over Barry Goldwater with New York being one of those States. So Bobby Kennedy not only came back in 1964, but came back in a big public way that few other people would’ve been able to come back from after a tragedy. Like losing a sibling in the manner that he did. The Jack Paar Show, was perfect for RFK. Because Jack was a very funny man, but also up to date on current affairs and interested in them. And was Bobby Kennedy being a Kennedy with their famous wit and intelligence.
1964, was a very depressing and yet liberating year for Bob Kennedy. First, he was Attorney General, the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the United States, but for a man he hated. President Lyndon Johnson, who was President Kennedy’s Vice President. LBJ, not exactly best friends with RFK, but at least he let the Attorney General do his job. Unlike RFK who was always undermining any authority and responsibility that LBJ had as Vice President. But that is really a different discussion and perhaps debate, especially for RFK loyalists. RFK, didn’t want to work for President Johnson and that is one reason why he decided to run for the Senate in 1964. And restore some freedom over his own personal life and career. And going on Jack Paar in early 1964, was the start of RFK returning to public life again.
David Von Pein: Robert F. Kennedy on The Jack Paar Show, March 13th, 1964