Lyndon B. Johnson, the junior Senator from Texas, maintains the most rigidly one-track mind in Washington. He is entirely preoccupied with the science of politics. . . . He refuses to be trapped into thinking about or discussing sports, literature, the stage, the movies or anything else in the world of recreation.
-- Paul F. Healy in the Saturday Evening Post, May 19, 1951
The hearings have turned into an inquisition. . . . Johnson and his committee colleagues put on a performance reminiscent of the Un-American Activities Committee.
-- ColumnistLowell Mellett in the Washington Evening Star, October 1, 1949, commenting on the Leland Olds case
Seldom has so colorful, so varied, and so exceptional a band of new Democratic Senators come at once into the Senate as the Democratic Class of '48--freshman Democrats swept into the Senate in the first postwar presidential election of 1948. That was the election to be remembered in history for the wholly unexpected victory of Harry Truman over Thomas E. Dewey. The Class of '48 Democrats, however, were hardly tied to the Truman coattails. On the contrary, most of them ran far ahead of their party's presidential candidate. Keenly appreciative of that fact, they were not humble followers of Truman but independent personalities whose ambitions, idiosyncrasies and rivalries were to shape the history of the Senate and the nation for the next decade. A partial listing of the Democrats elected in 1948 reveals seven extraordinary men.
Russell Long of Louisiana, 30. Son of the assassinated Kingfish Huey Long, he was baby of the class. He came to Washington to redeem the reputation of his father and to quiet the inherited Long volatility long enough to carve a niche for himself in the Senate.