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After watching this documentary it seems almost certain to me that Bobby Kennedy was an INFJ.

The moment I really thought him to be an INFJ is when he, having never had climbed a mountain in his life, climbed a never-before climbed mountain (14k feet), and left his brother's inaugural address at the peak. Only an INFJ would have that kind of insane determination to accomplish that crusade.

In any case, the documentary is great. His well defined (though rigid) morality, empathy, and determination are all really inspiring. I thought I'd share it with all of you :)

 
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That documentary is stunning! I can read so much in Bobby's face and actions. I became absorbed last year in the book "Robert Kennedy And His Times". Large book, but so engrossing. We always hear so much about his brother John, but I realize now how much Bobby factored into the events of those times as the "behind the scenes guy". I've been unable to place whether Bobby was an INFJ or an INFP. The family atmosphere he grew up in was one of intense determination. He struggled more than probably any of his other brothers to keep up with the expectations of his father, and he was highly emotional. He was a force of nature in himself, but that strength came from what he believed in, and that wavered when he'd lose faith in his abilities or his place in things. He inspires me. I wish I had met him. He feels like ...family. Here's an excerpt from the book in the chapter "The Brothers: II", section VII. It's neat to find someone else who is interested in Bobby Kennedy.

"The relationship was closest in working hours. For the President, evenings and weekends were times of respite. Jacqueline Kennedy once told me that he preferred not to see at night people who insisted on the problems of the day. He wanted distraction, a change of subject, easy conversation with old friends.

Robert understood this well enough in the abstract. Explaining Jacqueline's singular charms for his brother, he told Pearl Buck, "What husband wants to come home at night and talk to another version of himself? Jack knows she'll never greet him with 'What's new in Laos?'" But in practice Robert himself often could not resist asking what was new in Laos. "Bobby got his relaxation out of talking about those things," observed Spalding. "...He never seemed to need any release from it at all, whereas the President obviously did." For John Kennedy, at the end of a long day, Robert was often too demanding, too involved in issues, too much another version of himself. Teddy (Kennedy) made the President laugh. Bobby was his conscience, reminding him of perplexities he wished for a moment to put aside. So Robert and Ethel were not often at the White House on purely informal occasions.

Alike in so many ways, united by so many indestructible bonds, the two brothers were still different men. John Kennedy remained, as Paul Dever had said, the Brahmin; Robert, the Puritan. In English terms, one was a Whig, the other a Radical. John Kennedy was urbane, objective, analytical, controlled, contained, masterful, a man of perspective; Robert, while very bright and increasingly reflective, was more open, exposed, emotional, subjective, intense, a man of commitment. One was a man for whom everything seemed easy; the other a man for whom everything had been difficult. One was always graceful, the other often graceless. Meeting Robert for the first time in 1963, Roy Jenkins of England thought him "staccato, inarticulate...much less rounded, much less widely informed, much less at ease with the world of power than his brother." John Kennedy, while taking part in things, seemed, as Tom Wicker observed, almost to watch himself take part and to criticize his own performance; Robert "lost himself in the event."

John Kennedy was a life enhancer. His very presence was exhilarating -- more so than anyone I have ever known. "It was like a lot of flags on a ship with Jack, easy and bright," said Spalding. "Gaiety was the key to his nature.... He was always the greatest, greatest company; so bright and so restless and so determined to wring every last minute.... [He] gave you that heightened sense of being." He was, Robert told John Bartlow Martin, "really an optimist...a little bit like my father, always saw the bright side of things." Robert himself was variable, moody; "the pendulum just swings wider for him than it does for most people," as Lawrence O'Brien said. Underneath the action and jokes there was a streak of brooding melancholy. John Kennedy, one felt, was at bottom a happy man; Robert, a sad man.

John Kennedy seemed invulnerable; Robert, desperately vulnerable. Friends wanted to protect the younger brother; they never thought the older brother required protection. One felt liked by John Kennedy, needed by Robert Kennedy. Robert had the reputation for toughness; but, as Kenneth O'Donnell said, John "was much the toughest of the Kennedy brothers." "Robert Kennedy," said Pierre Salinger, "gave the impression of a very tough man when he was in fact very gentle. John Kennedy, under his perfect manners, was one of the toughest men that ever was."

John Kennedy was a man of cerebration; "a man who mistrusted passion," as Richard Neustadt said. Robert trusted his passions. Reason was John Kennedy's medium; experience was Robert's. Both men deeply cared about injustice, but the President had an "intellectual understanding" of the great social problems, said Ben Bradlee; Robert "had it in his gut." One attacked injustices because he found them irrational; the other because he found them unbearable. The sight of people living in squalor appalled John Kennedy but, like FDR before him, he saw it from without. Robert had a growing intensity of personal identification with the victims of the social order.

John Kennedy was an ardent liberal reformer. But he was, in his own phrase, an idealist without illusions. He accepted reality. "There is always inequity in life," he observed in 1962. "Some men are killed in a war and some men are wounded, and some men never leave the country.... Life is unfair." He was, said Neustadt, "much more resigned to the restraints of institutional life." He was also responding to a calmer time. Had he been President in the later 1960's, he might well have been as radical as his brother, though with the composure of FDR rather than with Robert's rushing passion, and very likely more effective. Robert Kennedy, in a more turbulent time, rebelled against institutional restraints. He was ready, said Neustadt, "to leap outside established institutions to get things done.... He could come to terms with institutions but he always hated to." He had, more than his brother, "this drive to the direct approach." His notion was that "every wrong...somehow...if you can't right it, you've got to bust in the attempt."

Charles Spalding said in 1963, "Jack has traveled in that speculative area where doubt lives. Bobby does not travel there." The President's mind was witty and meditative; the Attorney General's, direct and practical. Roy Wilkins of the NAACP felt that the President "invited you to commune with him.... I never got the impression you're communing with Robert Kennedy. You're talking to him; you're arguing with him; and you're dealing with...a hard, clear-thinking, determined public servant who has, in addition to a conviction, a moral concern.

The differences in intellectual outlook came out in attitudes toward ultimate things. John Kennedy was a practicing but conventional Catholic. Lord Longford, an English Catholic, once remarked to Eunice Shriver that a book should be written about President Kennedy and his faith. Eunice replied, "It will be an awfully slim volume." Robert's volume would have been thicker. The President's ethos was more Greek than Catholic. He took his definition of happiness from Aristotle -- the full use of your powers along lines of excellence. He seemed to imply that man achieved salvation by meeting his own best standards rather than by receiving the grace of God. Life, he appeared to feel, was absurd. Its meaning was the meaning men gave it through the way they lived. There was also a Hindu touch. He had these lines inscribed on a silver beer mug he gave David Powers on his birthday in 1963:

There are three things which are real:
God, human folly and laughter.
The first two are beyond our comprehension
So we must do what we can with the third.

"No one else at the White House, then or a year later," wrote Tom Wicker, "knew that the source of those lines was Aubrey Menen's version of The Ramayana. I could find the words in no book of quotations. The Library of Congress was not able to tell me who wrote them.... But Ted Clifton, Kennedy's military aide, recalls him writing down those words one spring morning, quickly and without reference to any book. He had them by heart."

Robert Kennedy began as a true believer. He acquired his perceptions of the complexity of things partly because his beloved older brother led him to broader views of society and life and partly because he himself possessed to an exceptional degree an experiencing nature. John Kennedy was a realist brilliantly disguised as a romantic; Robert Kennedy, a romantic stubbornly disguised as a realist."
 

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He had, more than his brother, "this drive to the direct approach." His notion was that "every wrong...somehow...if you can't right it, you've got to bust in the attempt."
I love that part of the excerpt. It's too bad I knew so little of him before now. He seemed so noble. Couldn't help but cry a little.
 
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Maybe we heard of him just when we needed to hear about him. Perhaps we're ready to be inspired, to become people of action, at a time when people want to believe noble protectors and dreamers exist. And I think that thought would make Bobby smile. :)
 
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