Lyndon B. Johnson: The Exercise of Power

By Rowland Evans; Robert Novak | Go to book overview

Chapter XXI IN SEARCH OF A RECORD

It has been suggested that if be [ Johnson] learned on the morning of November 4 that he had lost ten states, be might decline to serve, saying that he just didn't want to be President unless he could be President of all the people.

-- Richard H. Rovere in The Goldwater Caper

Campaigning in Indiana early in October, 1964, Lydon Johnson flew the short hop from East Chicago to Indianapolis with Matthew Welsh, the Democratic Governor of Indiana, as his guest aboard Air Force One. Not since Franklin D. Roosevelt beat Alf Landon in 1936 had a Democratic candidate for President carried Indiana. Not since Harry Truman came within striking distance of Thomas E. Dewey in 1948 had the presidential contest there been close. Now, a beaming Welsh carried glad tidings for his party's leader. Based on his own political survey of the state, the Governor predicted the President would carry Indiana with a comfortable 55 percent of the vote. Johnson's face darkened at the news. "God, that's close," he said without a trace of humor.

Thus, the presidential campaign of 1964 was a contest not just for victory, for Johnson's victory was assured on July 16 at the Republican National Convention in San Francisco. The very moment the party's right wing seized control for the first time since 1924, ignored the consensus, and nominated Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, the November result was assured. The campaign for President, 1964, was never a contest at all, as ill-matched as Harding and Cox in 1920, or Roosevelt and Landon in 1936.

The Republican nominee was running not only against Johnson but also the ghost of John F. Kennedy and the tragedy of Dallas. It is doubtful that any Republican nominee would have had much chance, but certainly not Goldwater, who was beaten almost 2 to 1 in public-

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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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