- 1 -
- In 1960, Jack Kennedy became President of the United States, and vacated his Massachusetts Senate seat.
- Joe Kennedy told the President: "You boys have what you want now and everyone else helped you work to get it. Now it's Teds turn."
- Joe still wanted to collect on all he had invested in getting Jack the seat in the Senate.
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"Look, I paid for it," Joe explained. "It belongs in the family."
- But Teddy would not be eligible to fill Jack's vacant Senate seat until February 22, 1962, when he would turn thirty.
- Joe therefore persuaded the Massachusetts governor to name a Kennedy family friend to fill out Jack's term, keeping the seat available for Teddy.
- 2 -
- On March 19, 1962 Teddy announced that he was a candidate for the US Senate.
- Almost immediately, the Boston Globe unearthed the dark secret in Teddy's past - that he had been expelled from Harvard for cheating.
- Robert L Healy, political editor of the Globe, found the story. In order to get it into the paper, however, he had to get some confirmation. He asked the White House to open up the Harvard record and was immediately summoned to the Oval Office.
- The President and his aides kept pressing Healy to play down the story, but he stood his ground. "So finally, Jack gave me access to the whole thing," Healy said.
- On March 30 the Globe ran the story. Ted immediately issued a statement accepting full blame:
"I made a mistake. What I did was wrong. I have regretted it ever since. The unhappiness I caused my family and friends, even though eleven years ago, has been a bitter experience for me, but it has also been a valuable lesson. That is the story."
- This was the first of what would become the three historic apologies of Ted's career.
- The cheating story eventually died, and Ted was elected to the Senate.
- The admiring journalist Joe McCarthy had no illusions about young Ted. "He isn't very very heavy mentally........nothing like his brothers. In many ways he's a fathead, a little bit conceited, a little bit cocky, the kind of guy who'd never finish a sentence when you asked him a question. He simply didn't think things through as Jack and Bobby did."