Why Was JFK so Popular?

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Most observers believe that John F. Kennedy's popularity was due to his personal charisma and the fact he captured the public's admiration as a figure of youth, strength and optimism about the future rather than for his concrete actions as president. Despite a mixed record in both his presidential and personal lives, Kennedy continues to be voted the most popular post-World War II president in national polls.

While he demonstrated his skill as a world leader in facing down Russia during the Cuban Missile Crisis, his presidency is also credited with the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion. His presidency ushered in a new era of national politics. He was the first celebrity president.