Skip to content
Who's in the Video
Theodore C. Sorensen, former special counsel and adviser to President John F. Kennedy and a widely published author on the presidency and foreign affairs, practiced international law for more than[…]

Too many to count, says Sorensen.

Question: What issues are missing from the election agenda?

Ted Sorensen: Many. We still have, as I mentioned earlier, serious civil rights problems in this country in terms of the unfair treatment and status of our Black, and Hispanic, and other citizens. In addition to that we still . . . They are talking about medical care. They are talking about education, at least in very broad terms. And we certainly have a long way to go before our schools can compete with the education being received all over the world in math, science, and other subjects. On the foreign policy front, we’re saying almost nothing about Pakistan, which I think may be the next great danger point in the world – at least to the values that we hold dear. We’re saying almost nothing about logical, balanced solutions to the continuing conflict in the Middle East, because American politicians are afraid to address a balanced solution in the Middle East. So there are a good many subjects that . . . I might add in 1960, the candidates – or at least John F. Kennedy – talked about real issues and real proposals. It was in the 1960 campaign that he advanced the Peace Corps idea. It was in the 1960 campaign that he advanced the Alliance for Progress with Latin America. It was in the 1960 campaign that he proposed an arms cord control and disarmament agency; that he talked about having more Blacks in the foreign service, and so on. He was not afraid to talk about very important issues and sensitive decisions.

Question: What’s holding the candidates back?

Ted Sorensen: Politics.


Recorded on: 1/30/08