Sabato thinks not. In those days, the Washington press corps was considered part of the White House team, and Kennedy knew how to play them.
"There were so many women of all types," Sabato said. "Sooner or later it would have come out. My bet is after the second term."
Jeff Greenfield notes that as a senator in the late 1950s, Kennedy's affair with a young Capitol Hill staffer was tape recorded by a couple in whose house the young woman lived. Despite the couple's best efforts, only a neo-Nazi propaganda magazine printed the allegations, Greenfield said.
"Today, they would have posted it to YouTube," he said.
Greenfield's book ends with a plot twist involving the president and his wife, Jacqueline. Still, he believes the turmoil that rocked American society in the late 1960s may have been muted had Kennedy remained alive and in office.
"It would have been a much less grim country," he said.