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MY JOHN F. KENNEDY STORY By Woodrow Wilcox
MY JOHN F. KENNEDY STORY
By Woodrow Wilcox
When I lived in Nevada in 1986, I helped a friend to run for the Democratic Party’s nomination for U.S. Senate. My friend ran against Harry Reid.
My friend was Paul Fisher who was the engineer who invented a way to make pens that did not need gravity to work. He designed the pens for weightless space travel. Since he invented and patented his “space pens”, the pens have been used on all U.S. and Russian space flights.
A few years after that, Paul Fisher introduced me to the man who had been the attorney that ran the 1960 campaign of John F. Kennedy for president. When I visited with both of these distinguished men, I learned a very interesting story and a lesson which I have applied in my life.
Paul Fisher ran against John F. Kennedy for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in the 1960 New Hampshire primary election. At one event, a meet and hear the Democratic Party candidates was supposed to happen. But, the master of ceremonies did not want to let Paul Fisher or any candidate other than John F. Kennedy speak. It was a case of a stupid “party” man trying to “rig” things to favor his candidate.
But, John F. Kennedy would not stand for it. Kennedy insisted that the master of ceremonies allow Paul Fisher to speak. Kennedy was a fair minded man who was not afraid of discussing issues with an opponent.
Later, Paul Fisher thanked John Kennedy for his fair minded attitude. Paul Fisher and John Kennedy became good friends from the experience.
When John F. Kennedy was President, he called my friend Paul Fisher for advice. Kennedy admitted that he did not know anything about pens and that Paul Fisher was an expert in the design and manufacture of pens. Kennedy asked Paul Fisher for help in writing government rules for pens that needed to be purchased to use in post offices, military bases, and various government offices. Paul Fisher agreed to help.
My friend Paul Fisher wrote suggested rules for Kennedy which Kennedy used to ask for bids to sell pens to the government. Paul Fisher refused to let his company bid for the government contracts. He wrote the rules to help Kennedy get the most suitable pens at the least expense for the federal government. Because these two men became friends and worked together, taxpayers saved millions of dollars when the government avoided buying pens that would not suit the government’s needs.
The lesson that I learned is that good men can treat competitors as competitors and not as enemies. If that rule is followed, many good things can flow from it.
Earlier this year, I applied this idea in a situation with another Democratic Party candidate for Congress for the new Indiana District Seven. After, I filed to run for Congress, Bob Kern phoned me. We were competitors. But, I treated him like John Kennedy treated my friend Paul Fisher.
“Well, Bob,” I said. “Since you don’t want Andre Carson to win re-election, and I don’t want Andre Carson to win re-election, then I hope that this phone call is the beginning of a wonderful friendship!”
Bob Kern laughed. Ever since then, Bob Kern and I have been friendly competitors for the Democratic Party nomination for Congress for Indiana District Seven.
I learned how to do this from my friend Paul Fisher
and his friend John F. Kennedy.
© 2012 Woodrow Wilcox
Note: Woodrow Wilcox is running for Congress in Indianapolis. His website is www.ElectWilcox.com.
PAID FOR BY WOODROW WILCOX FOR CONGRESS
Respects our constitution, and