Lyndon B. Johnson: The Exercise of Power

By Rowland Evans; Robert Novak | Go to book overview

Chapter VI THE JOHNSON SYSTEM

I doubt that if there is a member of the Senate, on either side of the aisle, who does not look upon Lyndon Johnson as a friend.

-- SenatorEarle Clements of Kentucky, 1955

Knowledge of the rules isn't too important. What's important is getting the votes.

-- Charles Watkins, Parliamentarian of the Senate, 1955

On the steamy Washington summer morning of Saturday, July 2, 1955, Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson sent word to the Senate press gallery that he would see the press immediately in his new "second" office on the top floor of the Capitol. Commandeered from the Senate-House Economic Committee, beaded by Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois, who was now suffering for his feud with his party's leader, this two-room suite had become the Majority Leader's office. In the outer office were secretaries and filing cabinets, but the inner office was where the real business was conducted in an atmosphere of leather chairs and couches, tinkling chandeliers and readily accessible liquor cabinets. It was a corner office, and the view was magnificent, looking south to well-tended public lawns and fountains and looking west down the Mall to the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial.

The reporters braced themselves for what was coming: a hymn of praise to the accomplishments of the first session of the 84th Congress, now drawing to a close after six months.

These sessions of self-congratulation with reporters had become commonplace. The McCarthy censure vote the previous December had been only the prelude to the emergence of Lyndon Johnson as master magician of the Senate when, in January, 1955, he became

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Lyndon B. Johnson: The Exercise of Power
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Table of Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Chapter I - The President 1
  • Chapter II - The Road to the Senate 5
  • Chapter III - Freshman Senator 26
  • Chapter IV - The Leader 50
  • Chapter V - Lbj's Balancing Act 71
  • Chapter VI - The Johnson System 88
  • Chapter VII - The Miracle of '57 119
  • Chapter VIII - The Legislator 141
  • Chapter IX - Lbj Vs. Ike 168
  • Chapter X - Too Many Democrats 195
  • Chapter XI - Love That Lyndon 225
  • Chapter XII - Comedy of Errors 243
  • Chapter XIII - Defeat-- and Emancipation 268
  • Chapter XIV - Campaigning for Kennedy 289
  • Chapter XV - The Vice- President 305
  • Chapter XVI - Let Us Continue 335
  • Chapter XVII - Taming the Congress 360
  • Chapter XVIII - Chief Diplomat 383
  • Chapter XIX - The Great Society 407
  • Chapter XX - Picking a Vice-President 435
  • Chapter XXI - In Search of a Record 464
  • Chapter XXII - Stockpiling Adversity 484
  • Chapter XXIII - The Dominican Intervention 510
  • Chapter XXIV - Vietnam 530
  • Chapter XXV - Adversity 557
  • Source Notes 575
  • Index 578
  • About the Authors 598
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