It’s good to have smart people to catch you when you miss something, and Tim Chow – whom I worked with when we were accumulating rare Schulz material for Complete Peanuts 26 – just caught me on something. You may remember a recent post where I was confused my an in-strip book title Can a Fuss-Budget Become President?, thinking that it referred to some book on whether a Catholic could become president… until I realized that this was a year too early, that talk of John Fitzgerald Kennedy becoming President didn’t really launch until the next year. So I tried chasing down Could a Woman/Negro/Jew/Atheist/etc. Become President titles, and didn’t realize that I was looking at the wrong variable.
JFK was not being considered for President in 1956, that is true. He was, however, being considered for vice-president, and was seen as a front-runner for the Democratic nomination. And that is what brought about this cover on the June 12, 1956 issue of Look:
As you can see if you look at the cover, there’s… no, not the blonde woman in the swimsuit. It’s what’s above her. No, stop looking at the blonde in the swimsuit and read the text. Okay, I’ll give you a minute. Yes, the text that says “Can a Catholic Become Vice-President?” That’s what the article by Fletcher Knebel was about, whether being Catholic would keep JFK from that position.
Well, JFK didn’t get that nomination, and the fact that you don’t recall a Vice President Estes Kefauver is due to the fact that you also don’t recall a President Adlai Stevenson. No, the Presidency went to the Republican candidate, Dwight David Eisenhower, who shared the ticket with (Quaker) Richard Milhous Nixon.
As to whether any of the folks who have reached the oval office have been fuss-budgets, that is different question for a different time.