Stranger Fruit

Bentsen dead at 85

Lloyd Bentsen died today at the age of 85. You will remember that Bentsen, while running as Democratic VP candidate, countered Dan “Potatoe” Quayle’s self-comparison to John F. Kennedy with, “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy” (link).

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  1. #1 Dave S.
    May 29, 2006

    Lloyd Bentsen died today at the age of 85. You will remember that Bentsen, while running as Democratic VP candidate, countered Dan “Potatoe” Quayle’s self-comparison to John F. Kennedy with, “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy” (link).

    This was the most memorable exchange between those candidates, perhaps the only memorable exchange. Few know that it was prepared in advance. This was not the first time young Quayle invoked the Kennedy name, and Bentsen remarked to a staffer that he knew Kennedy and that Quayle was full of it. After being assured that yes the facts of Bentsen’s claim were 100% true, they constructed this reply and lay in wait for Quayle to once again make the comparison, which he obligingly did. Quayle responded with the lame “That was really uncalled for, Senator.”, when Bentsen promptly whacked him again with, “You’re the one making the comparison … senator.” Drawing out the word ‘senator’ for full effect.

    Few also remember that before the campaign Quayle actually had a reputation as up-and-comer intellectual in the Republican party. That’s why he was chosen in the first place. But after that exchange, he was evermore branded the idiot. Unfortunately for the Dems, people vote based on the President, not the Vice-President.

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