The president as a man in the world: JFK

Love love love this picture, taken by a friend of JFK’s, who allowed its publication for the first time last week in, natch, the NYTimes.

jfksailing

This speaks to me and, I suspect, many Americans because it embodies a big part of what made JFK special. Although (as the article eloquently reveals) he is not the first American president who appealed to the public by projecting an image of himself as a sailor, we see in this frame the informality, the at-homeness in an athletic pursuit, the almost Californian nature of the future White House resident — he’s barefoot for Christ’s sake!

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