U.S.A.: Simon & Schuster, 1979. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Fine / Fine. Item #1412622
A fine first edition in a fine dust jacket, inscribed by Kennedy in 1982 and also signed by Tip O'Neill, on the front free endpaper. Complete row of numbers to 1 on the copyright page and original price of $12.95 on the front flap. A collection of extracts from Kennedy's speeches, published in 1979, a year after he reached his Senate peak as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This book was clearly a calculated part of his effort in 1979 and 1980 to run for President of the United States. After years of delay in the shadow of the Chappaquiddick tragedy in 1969, Kennedy finally decided to seek the Democratic nomination in the 1980 presidential election by launching an unusual, insurgent campaign against the incumbent Carter, a member of his own party. A midsummer 1978 poll had shown Democrats preferring Kennedy over Carter by a 5-to-3 margin. During spring and summer 1979, as Kennedy deliberated whether to run (and published this book of his speeches), Carter was not intimidated despite his 28 percent approval rating, saying publicly: "If Kennedy runs, I'll whip his ass." And he did. Kennedy formally announced his campaign on November 7, 1979, at Boston's Faneuil Hall. He had already received substantial negative press from a rambling response to the question "Why do you want to be President?" during an interview with Roger Mudd of CBS News broadcast a few days earlier. More importantly, Kennedy's disgraceful behavior at Chappaquiddick 10 years earlier came back to haunt him.