Last night Carnival aired its new Super Bowl commercial with images of the sea and a voice-over by John F. Kennedy from a speech he gave at a dinner for the America’s Cup crew in 1962:
“I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it’s because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it’s because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea – whether it is to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came.”
Of course the speech had nothing whatsoever to do with cruising.
The Kennedy family had a long standing tradition of sailing which reflected their competitive nature and love of racing small sailboats.
James Graham’s book, Victura: The Kennedys, a Sailboat, and the Sea discusses the family’s sailing tradition and how it grew to define the Kennedy legacy.
"Over the years the images of the Kennedys at sea defined the family brand and gave birth to the Kennedy myth. Kennedys under sail were the picture of adventurousness, wholesomeness, vigor, and family. They commanded the elements and the political world. Jack Kennedy’s navy experience in World War II became an epic tale of seafaring heroism, retold throughout his political career. A 1953 Life cover photo of Jack and Jacqueline on the bow of Victura, along with their larger storyline, presented them as beautiful, privileged, sophisticated, glamorous, and destined for something great."
It is incongruous to associate President Kennedy and his family’s love of sailing their 25-foot little wooden gaff-rigged boat (the Victura) from Cap Code with the bunker-fuel burning, black-air belching, bilge-dumping massive ships cruising out of Miami.
If Democratic President JFK and his brother Bobby had survived the 1960’s, their interest in cruise ships likely would have been to regulate them, not unlike the way that Senator Rockefeller has done.
There’s no indication that JFK ever sailed on a cruise ship. For that matter, a Kennedy would no more "sail" on one of today’s Carnival Cruise Line monsters than shop at Walmart.
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It seems like Carnival’s Super Bowl commercial wasn’t too original. Read WHEN YOUR ART FILM LOOKS JUST LIKE A SUPER BOWL COMMERCIAL.