President Kennedy, we're reminded by his biographers, understood the need for politicians to maintain their public dignity at all costs. When Hugh Sidey of Time playfully reported that Kennedy had posed with his family for the cover of Gentleman's Quarterly, "modelling a trimly tailored dark gray suit," Kennedy became apoplectic at the thought that he might be considered frivolous or effeminate for appearing in a flashy men's fashion magazine. " Anybody who read this would think I was crazy," he raged at Sidey, according to Richard Reeves.
Even if you’ve never heard of such a thing as a special assistant, you probably have seen one or two of them. When a cabinet secretary or some other great man of government is shown on the evening news testifying before a congressional committee, you usually can see an earnest-looking and well-turned-out young man or woman positioned behind and slightly to the right of him, who whispers in his ear or passes a note every now and then. That’s his special assistant.