The Making of the President 1960

White, Theodore H.

Atheneum, 1961

p. 88

Electable presidents have to have a detachment, an uncommonness, a mystique. Hubert Humphrey couldn’t beat John F. Kennedy because of ‘the very simplicity, the clarity, the homely sparkle [Humphrey] could bring to any issue. He could talk on almost any subject under the sun–to farmers, to workers, to university intellectuals. And when he finished there were no mysteries left; nor was he a mystery either. He was someone just like the listeners. There was no distance about him, no separation of intrigue, none of the majesty that must surround a king . . . Humphrey . . . was just like everyone else; and a President, unfortunately for Humphrey, must be different from everyone else. Humphrey yearned for the attention of the national press; yet the national press, which bore him so deep an affection, considered him almost too easy a friend . . . his opinions, by being so easily available, were devalued. There was a missing restraint.