Lyndon B. Johnson: The Exercise of Power

By Rowland Evans; Robert Novak | Go to book overview

Chapter XI "LOVE THAT LYNDON

Johnson the candidate has grave and probably decisive drawbacks as he, despite the hopes of Lis supporters, well knows. He has little support in organized labor. He "smells of magnolias," i.e., is a Southerner.

--Life, May 21, 1956

One day in the late 1950s, Lyndon Johnson and the Senate Republican Leader, William F. Knowland, were summoned to the White House from the torpor of a slow Senate debate. A domestic political crisis had blown up on some issue important enough for President Eisenbower to call in the congressional chiefs for urgent consultation.

Side by side they left the Senate; Knowland a stolid bull, bead thrust forward and face set in painful concentration; Johnson relaxed, pantslegs flapping at the ankles, eyes on the floor in front of him. Johnson turned to Knowland and invited him to ride the seventeen blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue in Johnson's limousine. In the car with them was a Washington lobbyist, a friend of both men, As the Cadillac nosed under the porte-cochere, swung left away from the Senate wing of the Capitol onto the broad plaza and headed down toward the famous avenue, Johnson asked Knowland if he knew the reason for the sudden summons from the White House. Knowland wasn't certain. Johnson replied he knew.

"I know why we're being called down there," he told Knowland. "He's in trouble and he wants us to bail him out. Did you ever think what you'd do as President?"

Knowland said no, he never had.

"Well, I have," Johnson said.

-225-

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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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