This is a transcription of this speech made for the convenience of readers and researchers. A copy of the text of this speech exists in the Senate Speech file of the John F. Kennedy Pre-Presidential Papers here at the John F. Kennedy Library.
Mike Prendergast, Governor Ribicoff, Mr. Mayor, Harry Brandt, distinguished officials, ladies and gentlemen, the devices which are used in the city of New York to separate you from your life savings are numerous. When the dinners run out, the luncheons begin; and when the luncheons run out, the breakfasts begin. [Laughter.] We may all meet next week to get the campaign out of the red with a midnight brunch at $85 a person, and I will be there. [Applause.]
I did not come to New York entirely alone. I must reveal before the press reveals it that President Truman and I are staying at the same hotel. [Applause.] But this campaign fortunately for us all is coming physically and financially to an end [laughter] in 3 days. In the last 48 hours or 56 hours, I have been in eight or nine States, from California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, Ohio, and Illinois. Mr. Nixon keeps saying that the tide is running in his direction. Well, the tide is running in the direction of Whittier, Calif., and he is on top of it. [Laughter.]
I don’t know what is going to happen on Tuesday night, but I must say I think we will all feel that we have done everything that could be done, and for better or for worse, win or lose, I believe, at least I hope, that we have been able to make the issue very sharp in this campaign; that is, between those who are concerned and those who are comfortable. I believe in 1960 the majority of the American people are concerned, and, therefore, I look to Tuesday night with at least hope, and with some equanimity, because I believe that the issues have been sharply enough drawn.
Now, what is the question is not just which of the candidates the people want, but what their own judgment is of themselves, what they want personally, what their view is of their country, what their view is of the future and of the President. The time of analyzing the two candidates and the two parties is coming to an end, and now the people of this country have to make their own judgment about themselves. And I believe the interest, the public interest, the conception of the public service, the strong support which the majority of the people have had throughout our history for the public service. I believe that is on the side of the Democrats in 1960, and that we, more importantly, are on the right side, ourselves. [Applause.]
I want to thank each of you. As I look around, we have been meeting on many occasions in New York, and New York has been very generous. I hope that it will be possible for us to meet at some affair after the campaign, which will not touch you quite as deeply as this one has, but where we all just buy our breakfast or lunch or dinner and have a chance for me to express my appreciation to each of you. Everyone in this room, as I look around, has contributed a good deal, and while I have the responsibility of being the standard bearer, which is far more than a race between Mr. Nixon and myself, or really between two parties -- it is a contest in which all of us are engaged. Therefore, I hope that when Tuesday night comes, that we will all have a feeling of satisfaction, of having done the best job we could, and of having an opportunity in the future to do an even better one. Thank you. [Applause.]