Tom Broderick was one of JFK’s earliest campaign volunteers in the 1946 Democratic primary for the Eleventh Congressional seat from Massachusetts.
Broderick, who was from Brighton, credited himself with originating the idea of the Kennedy campaign “house party” that would continue throughout the 1946 race and would become a staple for the rest of JFK’s career.
Broderick recalled meeting Kennedy for the first time.
“He hesitated a little. I mean, as a matter of fact, my first impression in listening to him was that I was more interested in watching him than I was in listening to what he said.”
After introducing himself to JFK at the end of the speech, Broderick soon became a campaign volunteer and suggested that Jack “come out and meet some people.” After Kennedy agreed, Broderick telephoned his sister in Brighton from the Bellevue hotel campaign headquarters and asked her to gather a crowd. Soon, Broderick said,
“. . . we had, oh, fifteen or twenty people out there. . . Jack just sat down, he put his big long legs out, and he just talked. He was glad to meet everybody, nothing political, just that he was glad to be able to sit down. He felt as though he was amongst friends. Well, I mean everyone there wanted to marry him then.”
Kennedy was in his element, charming the women in the living room and talking politics with the men in the kitchen. And soon, Jack’s sisters Eunice and Jean (who by all accounts idolized and worshipped their older brother) had taken over for Tom Broderick’s sister in organizing the gatherings.