Profiles in Privilege

In his book The Cigar, Barnaby Conrad III writes that before John F. Kennedy signed the trade embargo in 1962 banning Cuban cigars he had his press secretary, Pierre Salinger, get him 1,000 cigars. Once Salinger had secured 1,100, the president said: “Now, that I have enough cigars to last awhile, I can sign this.”

Martha Stewart went to jail for far less than this but it seems that presidents, including those known to preach about “public service” and “sacrifice,” are exempt from the same moral code that applies to the rest of us.

David T. Beito, a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and a retired professor of history at the University of Alabama, is the co-author of T.R.M. Howard: Doctor, Entrepreneur, Civil Rights Pioneer and is writing a new book, FDR’s War on the Bill of Rights.
Posts by David Beito | Full Biography and Publications
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