Gil Troy “G20: America’s golden couple Sarah Wildman: If Michelle Obama is the new Jackie Kennedy, will she upstage her husband on their European trip?”:
To be fair to the Obamas, there’s another reason the couple should shun the Kennedy comparison – one that historian Gil Troy shared in an email. When Kennedy famously declared himself simply the “man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris,” the line was barbed, not humble.
“True, Michelle Obama is generating the kind of excitement Jackie Kennedy generated, but Mrs Kennedy upstaged President Kennedy,” says Troy.
“JFK was making the best of a bad situation, but he envied his wife’s popularity, bristling a bit at Charles de Gaulle’s flirtation with Jackie. Even more ominous if the comparison holds, while that first European trip was triumphant for Jackie, it was a disaster for Kennedy.
“At the meeting which counted – a superpower summit with Nikita Khruschev of Russia in Vienna – Kennedy failed. ‘He savaged me,’ Kennedy later confessed to James Reston of the New York Times, bruised by Khruschev’s blustering performance when they met. For the first time in his life, it seemed, (or certainly in a long time), Kennedy met someone impervious to his charm. Obama may too.”
Source: UTV, 4-2-09