msnbc | September 17, 2011
>>> 50 years after john f. kennedy became president wants secret tapes saw the light of day for the first time. it includes the first lady fearing for being away from her husband during the cuban missile crisis is.
>> please don't send me away to camp david . you know, me and the children. please don't send me anywhere. even if there's not room in the bombshell ter, i said, please, then i just want to be on the lawn when it happens. i just want to be with you and i want to die with you and the children do, too.
>> the book contained the interviews, jacqueline kennedy . joining me is the author of "the kennedy legacy." and working on the kennedy half century, welcome to you both.
>> thank you.
>> vince, i'll begin with you. do these audiotapes change your perception of jackie and her husband?
>> i think they do. i don't think anyone would say that she was part of a kennedy presidency. she offered her insights to people and had strong opinions and he listened to them.
>> how about you, larry? so soon after the assassination, four months afterwards this was done. were you surprised at jackie kennedy 's strong views?
>> well, not really. her goal was very clear from literally hours after the assassination, she determined herself that she was going to create a legacy and image for her husband to make up for the fact that he was deprived, not only of that last year of his first term but a very probable second term. he wasn't able to forth that legacy himself. she invented camelot after the assassination. and not to mention, planning a funeral worthy of abraham lincoln within hours of the assassination.
>> let me play another short section of the tapes. she talks about are her husband's attitude towards lyndon johnson .
>> bobby told me this later, and i know jack said it to me someti ever imagine what would happen to the country if lyndon was president?
>> that's not a surprise. he was never comfortable with the lbj. they got him on the ticket because they needed the south. there was always a little bit of detention with his earthy ways and contrasted much with the kennedy refinement. and then bobby and lyndon johnson were almost mortal enemies. and jack trusted bobby more.
>> what was the most important thing that we learned from these tapes?
>> well, i suppose it reemphasized the fact that first families are human. they have the same gossipy impressions that the rest of us do and they sit around and talk about them. there were not any earth shattering revelations here. i agree, it shows that jackie was giving more political and personnel advice than perhaps we had known prior to that. on the other hand, she didn't always have much influence. she tried to get the ambassador to pakistan sacked. she wrote the president a long letter about his inadequacies. he served as ambassador to pakistan until 1956 . so it didn't work.
>> were there things released that you're surprised they are out there in the public eye now?
>> well, there were. some of her comments about martin luther king and his relationships with other women. her sort of caddy comments about some of the people that surrounded jack. those were a surprise to me. i hadn't heard those. we've always been fed, as larry said, a very controlled sort of alibaster image and now we have a much more human one.
>> do you think those should have been left out?
>> well, obviously i'm delighted that the full story has been made public. on the other happened, if i were operating in mrs. kennedy 's interests, maybe i would have had an editor. in fact, to me that's the lesson. that presidents and first ladies, even or maybe especially need editors. they need to edit the raw thoughts. they should not necessarily reach the public. the caddy comments, as vincent was saying about lady bird and eisenhower and ted sorenson who was as loyal to the kennedys as any human being on earth.
>> gentlemen, thank you so much.