Farewell to Camelot: The Pervert in Chief

Mimi Alford’s interview with Meredith Vieira on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams was shocking, fascinating, and infuriating.

According to the very believable Ms. Alford, President John F. Kennedy knowingly took her virginity after luring her into his bedroom when she was a newly hired 19 year-old White House intern. Shockingly, this all happened on the first day that she met the man she always referred to as Mr. President.

During the course of the 18-month affair, Mimi was sometimes chauffeured between her college and the White House or other places to be at the President’s beck and call – sometimes waiting for hours at a time alone in a hotel room. Over the course of their secret affair, he gave her drugs at a party and asked her to perform humiliating acts on both his special assistant and his younger brother, Teddy.

Equally disturbing is the fact that to this day, Mimi Alford has no idea how she got the internship. She simply received a letter offering her the job while she was attending an elite East Coast finishing school – the same finishing school from which Jackie Kennedy had graduated. Since neither she nor her parents sought out this coveted internship, one wonders if the duties of JFK’s inner circle of enablers included trolling schools for attractive young girls for their famous and powerful boss. After all, she was only three days into her new internship when she first met the President who summoned her for a “personal tour” of the White House bedrooms.

While JFK’s infidelities are, by now, well known to the public, his preying on an innocent teenager (how many others were there?) and the demeaning things he asked of her were, until now, unknown.

For this reason, NBC felt the need to devote an entire segment after Mrs. Alford’s interview to three of JFK’s biggest fans and apologists – Chris Matthews, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Richard Reeves. It’s pretty hard to imagine NBC affording Ronald Reagan, a far more accomplished and successful president, the same treatment under such explosive and disturbing new charges.

In the segment, the JFK biographers did their best to rationalize his boorish behavior and patch up the PR problem Mimi’s story created for Camelot’s most nostalgic and prolific curators. Kearns, presuming to speak for all Americans, told us we don’t actually expect fidelity in our presidents – just leadership. Reeves assured us that John F. Kennedy never let his extramarital sex life interfere with his awesome presidency and then they all fawningly listed off all the awesome things JFK did.

Ok, they didn’t use the word awesome, but Chris Matthews did end the segment with the following choice quote: “The total picture [of JFK] still arouses the country.”

He’s half right. There will always be Boomers willing to overstate JFKs good looks, and overlook his grating voice and phony family imagery. But for those of us a generation or two removed, the home movies from the family compound and the black and white Kennedy coffee table books just don’t hold the same sway over us.  Much to the dismay of his admirers, Mimi’s convincing and unvarnished account of President Kennedy will have a lasting impression on our understanding of the man they still insist is a hero.

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41 thoughts on “Farewell to Camelot: The Pervert in Chief

  1. [...] Farewell to Camelot: The Pervert in Chief – Rachel Campos-Duffy, Catholic Vote [...]

  2. Jillayna Campos says:

    Barbara Walter’s has gone to far! I saw a small section of The View this morning and they were talking with Mimi Alford, who says when she was 19 years old and had an affair with JFK. Mimi says she wrote her book for healing herself and to help other young girls be aware of feeling vulnerable when in the presence of someone with so much power. I get it and I respect her for saying this because you know it happens all the time. Let me be clear, Mimi says she was not forced to have sex with JFK but felt vulnerable at age 19 being in the presence of him and doing what he wanted her to do.
    Barbara, in my opinion, just punches Mimi with insults. Barbara telling her, “Your going to make a lot of money from this book”, “I know your going to sell a lot of books so maybe that will help compensate for any bad memories”, “there was a mention of you in another book, I think you could have just left it alone” meaning she shouldn’t have written her own book. I’m appalled that Barbara seems more concerned about the Kennedy name and the money that Mimi will make from this book than the reality that a young 19 year old girl was taken advantage of! Come on Barbara think about an adult man doing this to your daughter at age 19, would you be okay with it?!

  3. Angela says:

    This article is very hypocritical given that it’s author has, posted on her Twitter page, a picture of Newt Gingrich endorsing her husband’s congressional run. Is adultery only bad when it’s a liberal doing it? JFK was an incredibly flawed man who ALSO did incredibly great things. It’s not either, or and as Christ said, let him without sin cast the first stone.

  4. lisa says:

    You assume she is telling the truth. How can you believe a trashy 19 year old wih NO morals who grew up to be a selfish, ” I needed to tell my secret…” old woman? She was seeking attention then and that’s all she’s doing now. Shame on her and every media outlet who gives her a minute of press.

  5. Joseph says:

    What an unfortunate yarn. Apparently, you have no idea how the Masons operate.

    1. GREG SMITH says:

      Joseph, Masons? What do the Masons have to do with this? Please explain. Thanks, Greg

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