Lead: After gaining the White House, Jack Kennedy's wit helped win over a deeply divided electorate still skeptical about his qualifications for high office.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Kennedy used humor as a weapon against his opponents and as a means of diffusing uncomfortable issues about himself. One of the most important aspects of this campaign was his calculated seduction of the press, not newspaper or television management, but working reporters whom he cultivated diligently. As a former reporter himself, he knew the habits and needs of journalists, their ever-present deadlines and their habit of using humor to deal with the often seamy and depressing reality of the world they had to cover. Kennedy's use of the press was nowhere better demonstrated than at regular live Presidential press conferences. There, in a rehearsed, orchestrated fashion, the elegant Kennedy was on display to his best advantage.

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