24. Kennedy’s political career ended with his resignation in 1940
Ambassador to the Court of St. James was the last political position held by Joseph Kennedy Sr. He did not completely fade from the political scene, in 1941 he testified during congressional hearings over lend-lease. Kennedy made clear that he favored aid to the British, but not at the expense of weakening America’s own defenses. He also argued against expanding the power of the presidency. When Roosevelt announced his intention of running for a fourth term Joe Kennedy Jr. refused to support the nomination.
In 1944 Kennedy and virtually everyone who knew Roosevelt could see that the president was but a shell of the man who had entered office in 1933, weak, infirm, and painfully thin. To nearly all, but kept from the American public, it was clear that the chances of Roosevelt surviving a fourth term were slim. Truman was shocked when he met with the president at his unhealthy appearance. Kennedy offered his services to the war effort in a variety of posts and though Roosevelt remained friendly on a personal level, there was no effort to solicit further service from the former ambassador. His money though was welcomed in numerous Democratic campaigns.