NOVEMBER 28, 1960
PORT HURON, Mich.—National and international news sink into the background when a baby is born, especially a baby to a President-elect of the United States. This particular baby has upset his mother's and father's plans considerably, but the parents seem quite happy to change their plans in view of the circumstances!
Mrs. Kennedy very wisely had prepared her daughter for the fun of having a baby brother by letting her play with her little cousin. Still, with all the preparation in the world there is apt to be a little jealousy when a second baby comes home. One counts on the motherly instincts of a little girl as shown to her doll, but it does not always work out that way when it comes to a real live baby in the house taking much of the attention and care which has previously been showered on baby number one.
I can well remember an occasion when my one and only daughter, who was the oldest child of the family, dumped a whole box of powder on her baby brother's face. They were 20 months apart, and motherly instincts did not show so strongly at that early age. Perhaps when Caroline Kennedy gets her own baby brother home a little care will have to be taken to make her feel really happy about this addition.
Everyone will be sending warm congratulations to the Senator and his wife and wishing this new small boy happy days in the White House.
The interminable recount now going on must be very confusing, I am afraid, not only to some people at home but to the world as a whole, and it is extremely important that this recount be finished before the Electoral College meets on December 19 so that there can be no question as to the way in which these electors should act. It is unfortunate to have eight Mississippi and six Alabama electors unpledged, but it is to be presumed that they will stay with the Democratic party if it is fairly clear that the Democratic party is going to be successful.
Being a President-elect without real assurance that one has been elected must be a terrific strain, and the strain must be as great for Vice-President Nixon as for Senator Kennedy. One surmises that in the long run it will prove to be a Democratic victory, but it is natural that Republican professionals should be holding out till the very last minute.
The situation being what it is, I should think it would be difficult for Senator Kennedy to find men and women ready to accept nominations to Cabinet posts without really knowing whether their nominations will ever prove valid. Hence it looks to me as though there might be a longer period than was at first stated before any nominations are made. Senator Kennedy can of course get provisional agreement from people that they will accept, but until announcements are made the rumors will continue to fly and a good many people will continue to be uncertain as to where they stand. This means that not only will the President-elect and Vice-President-elect continue to have a difficult time but all the various people who might aspire to public office will go on suffering with them. How people who do not understand our system must wonder at this strange situation! In a way it is rather remarkable that we as a nation take it as calmly as we do, for we do not often like uncertainty.
In the U.N. the anxiety over what will happen in the Congo still goes on. There is of course the hope that there can be a peaceful settlement and that Lumumba will not continue to make trouble. Yet this seems a trifle unlikely, and one prays that Kasavubu as President can do more to keep the peace and draw people together than has been possible up to now. This is certainly a confusing and anxious time for the Secretary General, and those of us who hope for the strengthening of the U.N. must pray that the U.S. position will back him in every possible way.