Lyndon B. Johnson: The Exercise of Power

By Rowland Evans; Robert Novak | Go to book overview

Chapter XIX THE GREAT SOCIETY

LBJ has been hurling himself about Washington like an elemental force. To be plain about it, be has won our admiration in the last fortnight.

-- T. R. B. in The New Republic, May 2, 1964

It is quite obvious that every day in every way Mr. Johnson is liking the presidency better and better. Not only liking it--he is beginning to shape the office for his unique brand of leadership.

-- The Reporter, May 7, 1964

On the Easter weekend of March 28-29, 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson drove his Lincoln Continental at high speed near the LBJ Ranch in an uninhibited joyride that bad a most unfortunate impact on his infant presidency. Fast rides over the smooth, empty black-tops in the Texas bill country had always been part of the entertainment for Johnson's guests on the ranch. With one hand on the wheel and the other holding the speaker of his radio-telephone, shouting orders to secretaries and ranch hands, Johnson displayed himself in all his elemental exuberance.

It was, quite simply, great fun. But now Johnson was President of the United States, and his passengers that Easter weekend were four members of the Washington press corps--three of them female. Later, one of the girls related the hilarious events of the day to her colleagues in the press and the story of the President's daredevil driving began to find its way into the newspapers. At a press conference on Saturday, April 4, the President was asked about published reports "that you had hit speeds of perhaps up to ninety miles an hour in a zone with a speed limit of seventy miles an hour." These reports, the questioner continued, were creating "concern that you are putting yourself in danger."

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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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