Friday, April 24, 1953
April 24, 1953
JFK spent part of the afternoon in his basement office in the Senate Office Building giving an interview to Margaret L. Coit, who won the Pulitizer Prize in 1951 for her biography of John Calhoun.
She is there doing research for her current project, a biography of Bernard Baruch and Jack tried to impress her with his erudition, motioning to his book-lined office walls and urging, “Ask me about any of them. I’ve read them all.”
He also volunteers during their interview (while signing glossies of himself, dictating letters, and taking phone calls) that, “I would rather have the Pulitizer than be President.”
After the interview was concluded, JFK offered to drive her back to her boardinghouse and escorted her out of the building on crutches. The drive across Washington was startling to Coit as Kennedy used his normal tactic of beating traffic by driving up on the streetcar tracks. On this day, the streetcar conductor yelled at Kennedy to get off the tracks and Kennedy swore back like the sailor he was.
Appalled at Kennedy’s reckless driving, Coit asked why he had to careen through the streets of D.C. He replied, “I’m going to grab everything I want. You see, I haven’t any time.” As the car passed the White House, Kennedy pointed and said simply, “I am going there.”