Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy at 1st Congressional District Democratic Dinner, Camden, New Jersey, June 22, 1960

I have premised my campaign and my candidacy on a central issue the issue of the Presidency itself - its powers, their use and their decline. I have spoken about this nation's critical need for a creative dynamic President in the White House - a President in the great tradition of Franklin Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson - a Democratic President.

And nowhere is this need more critical than in the conduct of our foreign affairs. For Pennsylvania Avenue is no longer a local thoroughfare. It runs through Paris and London, Ankara and Teheran, New Delhi and Tokyo. And if the soul of a journey is liberty, as Hazlitt has said, then the road from the White House that encircles the globe is freedom's way - the artery that makes all the Free World neighbors as well as allies.

And if Washington is the capital of the Free World, the President must be its leader. Our constitution requires it - our history requires it - our very survival requires it. In foreign affairs, said the Supreme Court, "the President alone has the power to speak or listen as the representative of the nation."

"The President alone. . ." And he is alone - at the top - in the loneliest job in the world. He cannot share this power, he cannot delegate it, he cannot adjourn. He alone is the Chief of State, not the National Security Council, Vice President and all. He alone decides whether to recognize foreign governments, not his Senate minority leader - even when that minority leader was a distinguished Westerner. He alone must decide what areas we defend - not the Congress or the military or the CIA, and certainly not some beleaguered Generalissimo on an island.

Source: Papers of John F. Kennedy. Pre-Presidential Papers. Senate Files, Box 910, ''The President’s Responsibility in Foreign Affairs,' First Congressional District Democratic dinner, Camden, New Jersey, 22 June 1960." John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.