Forty-one years ago this month, Sen. Robert Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan at a hotel in California. Here's what was in our Whispers column around the time of the senator's death. While the nation was mourning over the loss of another Kennedy, the political news was also dominated by talk of the upcoming presidential election, scheduled for that November.
- Senator Edward Kennedy, of Massachusetts, now is left to carry on the Kennedy family tradition for public service. The Massachusetts Senator finds that his name is being mentioned for No. 2 spot on the ticket to be headed in November by Hubert Humphrey. The name of Edward Kennedy, who is 36, is expected to be heard often in years ahead. (June 17, 1968)
- Republicans now will gain a Senate seat in New York as a result of the death of Senator Robert Kennedy. Judge Kenneth B. Keating, former Republican Senator defeated by Robert Kennedy in 1964, may be named to that post. Also mentioned as possible appointees to fill the vacancy are Representatives Charles E. Goodell and Ogden R. Reid. And there is some talk of Mayor John V. Lindsay of New York City. (June 17, 1968)
- Suspicions exist among law-enforcement officials that Sirhan Sirhan may have had some kind of connection with a "commando"-type guerrilla organization in the Mideast. A Jordanian, Sirhan was bitter toward Israel, for which Senator Robert Kennedy had urged military support.(June 17, 1968)
- Here is an assessment by a knowledgeable politician in the East: This country is moving to the "right" in politics and has been for some time. A Republican victory is in the air at this time, both for the White House and the House of Representatives. (June 17, 1968)
- President Johnson is hinting that he would like to be invited to visit Moscow before leaving office, but, thus far, he has received no signal that the Russians are interested in having a visit by him. (June 17, 1968)
- Richard Nixon, almost assured of the Republican presidential nomination, is being advised he needs to learn to work more in harness with others—not to try to run a "one-man show." (June 24, 1968)
- Intimates of the President say he is so much more relaxed since his March 31 decision not to run again that he is an "entirely different man." Those who see the President frequently think he looks quite well these days—but they recognize that the job ages any occupant. (July 1, 1968)
- The Democratic Governor of a Southern State expressed the political mood this way: "I think what's troubling every incumbent—Democrats and Republicans—is the feeling that the public could be ready to knock off a lot of them in November. The country is troubled by all the turmoil." (July 1, 1968)
- Hubert Humphrey's closest aides were burned up when the former White House press secretary, Bill Moyers, said in effect that the Vice President's public statements on Vietnam were not the same as his private opinions. They point out that Mr. Moyers has not been part of the inner circle at the White House for a long time and really wasn't in a position to know what he was talking about. (July 1, 1968)
- Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago has some key Democrats puzzled by his delay in endorsing a candidate for the party's presidential nomination. Most believed Mr. Daley to be a Humphrey man since Lyndon Johnson stepped out, but he hasn't said so. (July 1, 1968)
- Professionals are advising Governor Nelson Rockefeller that if his campaign for the Republican nomination for President hasn't picked up real steam by the end of the first week in July he may as well forget it. (July 1, 1968)
- President Johnson has told friends he plans a final message to Congress next January. Apparently he has in mind something in the nature of a farewell address, containing his parting advice to the nation. (July 1, 1968)
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