Interview with John Seigenthaler


John Seigenthaler:

Yeah. Well, you have to ask -uh- what was… [overlap]Well, everyone asked what will the effect of that call be on the campaign? Uh, suddenly it sort of changed the focus of the campaign from things like Kemo Animatsu(?), which nobody knew anything about anyway, to, which was a major issue in that campaign - to the question of Kennedy's identification with this Civil Rights Movement. Uh, it put pressure on Nixon to join -uh- in a statement, which he decided, I think mistakenly, not to do -uh- it gave -uh- many people in the country who were identifying with that movement -uh- strong positive feelings about John Kennedy. Uh, in the South, -uh- the white establishment -uh- suddenly came to despise him. I'm sure John Patterson, who'd been the first governor in the land to endorse him, -uh- couldn't believe his, his ears. Uh, I think that call changed the whole tone and tenor of that campaign. And -uh- and-and I think it moved - the debates were the deciding factor, but I think that telephone call was a strong contributing factor to making John Kennedy President of the United States.