Sunday, October 29, 1961
JFK rode Air Force 1 to the lavish Poteau, Oklahoma estate of Senator Bob Kerr. Kennedy made the trip to woo the unofficial “King of the Senate” for assistance in pushing through his legislative agenda on taxes, trade, and healthcare legislation.
Kerr was a showboat and an unabashed practitioner of the political arts and was forthright about getting the judges he wanted in exchange for his support on any one bill. He played the President’s visit for all that it was worth to the town audience, subjecting JFK to a long series of presentations and remarks by local and regional officials, a ceremonial opening of a new highway, and extended tour of his 52,000 acre estate and herd of 2000 cattle.
To the irritation of Kennedy, dinner at the ranch with Kerr and his four children and their spouses was served alcohol-free. The presidential party spent one night at the ranch before departing.
[48, p. 208]