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American Today

Government & Politics

Matthews Discusses Kennedy, Contemporary Politics

By Mike Unger

Photo: Chris Matthews

Political pundit Chris Matthews visited AU Feb. 15.

Political pundit and author Chris Matthews returned February 15 to the site where the subject of his best-selling biography, Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, delivered a speech the MSNBC host called “an amazing moment in history.”

In his June 10, 1963, commencement address, Kennedy called on the Soviet Union to work with the United States to achieve a nuclear test ban treaty that would reduce the considerable international tensions and the specter of nuclear war.

“That speech at AU was so powerful,” Matthews told the crowd in the SIS atrium. “So many people reacted to it. They said, there’s a president that wants peace.

“There’s a great line in Kennedy’s speech: ‘The problems of man are man-made — they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. In the past man has solved the seemingly unsolvable — and I believe he can do it again.’ You don’t hear politicians talk like that anymore. The sense of possibility, that if you do your job and lead properly and look for opportunities for success, not just blame-gaming, that you can actually get something done.”