Skip to main content

View Diary: InstaRefuted (92 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  How LBJ tried it, and fell on his face (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adam B

    When LBJ was elected VP he had the same idea--and he got shot down in about two seconds. From Robert A. Caro's Master of the Senate:

    Then, coming over to [his chief political adviser and Senate liaison man Bobby]Baker and standing close to him, Lyndon Johnson Lowered his voice dramatically..."Just between you and me and the gatepost, Bobby," he said, "I'm workin' it out with [Sen.] Mike [Mansfield] and Hubert to attend meetings of the Senate Democratic Caucus.  Maybe even preside over 'em. That way I can keep my hand in. I can help Jack Kennedy's program, and be his eyes and ears. Whatta you think of that?"

    Baker later said he was "horrified." He said:

    Surely [LBJ] knew that prerogatives of membership were jealously guarded, that no member of the executive branch--even a Lyndon Johnson--would be welcomed in from the cold.

    When VP-elect LBJ insisted he be included in the Senate Democratic caucus, a motion to permit him to do so passed, but only as a "recognition of Johnson's achievements." Johnson was quietly pressured backstage to go away and leave the Senate alone. He insisted, and only his mentor, Richard Russell, could make him see the light. LBJ caved, and did not appear in the Senate again until January 1963, by which time he was no longer a threat to anyone. He ceremonially  convened the Caucus, and left.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site