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The Cuban Missile Crisis was the first (and possibly the last) time John F. Kennedy showed what he might be able to accomplish as a leader. Much has been made of the efforts of his father Joseph P. Kennedy's efforts to get him into the presidency, and while that may be the main reason Kennedy ran, and maybe even won, there is no arguing with his skillful handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis. While his war-obsessed military advisers leaned hard on him to respond to the Soviet missile installations on the island of Cuba with aggression, Kennedy refused to be pressured into a hasty decision that surely would have yielded tragic results. Kennedy's handling of this crisis brought to the forefront one of his major strengths: the willingness to listen to, even seek out, opposing opinions. Kennedy didn't see opposing ideas as a threat; he saw them as an opportunity to gain insight and make the best decision possible in a situation. Night after night during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy and his advisers debated, discussed, argued, and weighed the ramifications of every decision they made. Kennedy was determined that he would not blow up the world if it could possibly be avoided, and in the end Khruschev followed his lead. The Soviets took their missiles out of Cuba, and American missiles were removed from Turkey.
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