He [Lyndon Johnson] hated the war. He hated having anybody put in harm away. But he believed that what we were doing is what we had to do for our commitments with SEATO, for many reasons. And he was carrying forth a policy that he had inherited. And he tried and got us to the peace table in 1968.
Lynda Bird Johnson Robb
Much of the conventional wisdom associated with Vietnam was highly inaccurate. Far from an inevitable result of the imperative to contain communism, the war was only made possible through lies and deceptions aimed at the American public, Congress, and members of Lyndon Johnson's own administration.
H. R. McMaster
When downed American pilots were first taken prisoner in North Vietnam in 1964, U.S. policy became pretty much to ignore them - part and parcel of President Lyndon B. Johnson's determination to keep the costs of his increasingly futile military escalation in Southeast Asia from the public.
I think I governed effectively. I don't have any doubts about that. I had the benefit, when I was in office, of having an excellent relationship with the Republican Party. We had superb bipartisan support and we had the highest batting average of any president since the Second World War, except Lyndon Johnson. He had a little better average than I did.
My recurring nightmare is that someday I will be faced with a panel: Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson all of whom will be telling me everything I got wrong about them. I know that Johnson's out there saying, 'Why is it that what you wrote about the Kennedys is twice as long as the book you wrote about me?'
Doris Kearns Goodwin
My recurring nightmare is that someday I will be faced with a panel: Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson all of whom will be telling me everything I got wrong about them. I know that Johnson's out there saying, 'Why is it that what you wrote about the Kennedys is twice as long as the book you wrote about me?
Doris Kearns Goodwin
When I got back to NY had the opportunity to work with the beginning years of the poetry project which was founded with money from the OEO under Lyndon Johnson to work with alienated youth on the lower East side. This was extraordinary, to be able to help then to create a culture that would capture the energy that I felt at Berkley.
Years of concentration solely on work and individual success meant that in his retirement [Lyndon Johnson] could find no solace in family, in recreation, in sports or in hobbies. It was almost as if the hole in his heart was so large that even the love of a family, without work, could not fill it.
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Lyndon Johnson wanted to emancipate the whites as much as people of color, because he knew how, particularly in the South, but not only in the South, we were so restricted. And he wanted everybody to live up to the best that God gave them and use those tools of education and have good health care, to be able to do the things to make America great.
Lynda Bird Johnson Robb
Lyndon Johnson knew how to make the most of such enthusiasm and how to play on it and intensify it. He wanted his audience to become involved. He wanted their hands up in the air. And having been a schoolteacher he knew how to get their hands up. He began, in his speeches, to ask questions.
Robert A. Caro
One doesn't simply write about Lyndon Johnson. You get the Johnson treatment from beyond the grave - arm around you, nose to nose. I should admit that he also reminds me of my father, quite an overbearing and narcissistic character. And in some ways, he reminds me of myself. Another workaholic.
My mother missed having dinner with Lyndon Johnson because she couldn't find the right hat to wear. While my father went off to the white house to break bread with the President, my mother, who's not a things and stuff person, stayed at the hotel and tried on 10 different hats and missed dinner.
When Kennedy could not get the civil rights bill passed - and he was the big liberal - Lyndon Johnson came in and it got passed, and he was the conservative and the southerner. So sometimes in politics, to get something done, it takes a special kind of knowledge and a special kind of person, but it doesn't always follow the party lines.
President Lyndon Johnson's high spirits were marked as he circulated among the many guests whom he had invited to witness an event he confidently felt to be historic, the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.... The bill that lay on the polished mahogany desk was born in violence in Selma, Alabama, where a stubborn sheriff... had stumbled against the future.
Martin Luther King
Within days of Richard Nixon's inauguration in January 1969, national-security adviser Kissinger asked the Pentagon to lay out his bombing options in Indochina. The previous president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, had suspended his own bombing campaign against North Vietnam in hopes of negotiating a broader cease-fire.
Three American presidents-Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson-have asked the question: What do we get from aiding Pakistan? Five-Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama-have wondered aloud whether Pakistan's leaders can be trusted to keep their word.
I really didn't have any particular inspiration ? a little (Dick) Cheney and Al Gore in there somewhere. And there's probably a little bit of Lyndon Johnson, too ? a combination of all vice presidents that I've known. And a little bit of what Ray Wise thinks about how to play the vice president. But I'm waiting to play the president in the big time.
The view that we know less than we thought we knew about how to change the human condition came, in time, to be called neoconservatism. Many ... , myself included, disliked the term because we did not think we were conservative, neo or paleo. (I voted for John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey and worked in the latter's presidential campaign.) It would have been better if we had been called policy skeptics; that is, people who thought it was hard, though not impossible, to make useful and important changes in public policy.
James Q. Wilson
Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of our age is the subsiding of all other concerns to the predominance of politics. And thus, we have succumbed to a Lyndon Johnson-like dependence upon the power of the state. The tragic result has been that all of life has been politicized, and if the new social engineers have their way, politics will increase in power - especially in its power to penetrate into our everyday lives and rule our destinies. For in fact politics has become, for many of the political elite, a kind of state religion.
There's a story about when President Lyndon Johnson visited NASA and as he was walking the halls he came across a janitor who was cleaning up a storm, like the Energizer bunny with a mop in his hand. The president walked over to the janitor and told him he was the best janitor he has ever seen and the janitor replied, "Sir, I'm not just a janitor, I helped put a man on the moon." See, even though he was cleaning floors he had a bigger purpose and vision for his life. This is what kept him going and helped him excel in his job.
I call upon both Republicans and Democrats to work with us to have a national ID card that is free and accessible. President Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King recognized was the greatest step for society was that short step into the voting booth. If we are to be true to their courage and conviction, we must make that short step as easy as possible. Surely, if we can land a spaceship on Mars, we can certainly put a voter ID card in the hand of every eligible voter.
Liberals cling to the idea that critics of welfare are motivated by greed or callous disregard for the less fortunate. In fact, during the twenty-five years that followed Lyndon Johnson's declaration of war on poverty, U.S. tax payers spent $3 trillion providing every conceivable support for the poor, the elderly, and the infirm. Private foundations spent scores of billions more, and private and religious charities even more. Nevertheless, as Ronald Raegan later quipped, 'in the war on poverty, poverty won.'
There's a reason you probably haven't heard much about this aspect of the heartland. This kind of blight can't be easily blamed on the usual suspects like government or counterculture or high-hat urban policy. The villain that did this to my home state wasn't the Supreme Court or Lyndon Johnson, showering dollars on the poor or putting criminals back on the street. The culprit is the conservatives' beloved free-market capitalism, a system that, at its most unrestrained, has little use for smalltown merchants or the agricultural system that supported the small towns in the first place...
Since Jimmy Carter, religious fundamentalists play a major role in elections. He was the first president who made a point of exhibiting himself as a born again Christian. That sparked a little light in the minds of political campaign managers: Pretend to be a religious fanatic and you can pick up a third of the vote right away. Nobody asked whether Lyndon Johnson went to church every day. Bill Clinton is probably about as religious as I am, meaning zero, but his managers made a point of making sure that every Sunday morning he was in the Baptist church singing hymns.
President Lyndon Johnson's administration was known for his War on Poverty. President Obama's will become notable for his War on Prosperity. We're speaking, of course, of Obama's plans to hike income taxes on the most wealthy 2 or 3 percent of the nation. He's not just raising the top rate to 39.6 percent; he's also disallowing about one-third of top earner's deductions, whether for state and local taxes, charitable contributions or mortgage interest. This is an effective hike in their taxes by an average of about 20 percent.
[Richard Bedford Bennett] was the richest Prime Minister and the only millionaire to hold office before Pierre Trudeau. His money obviously colored his thinking - colored it true blue - but he did not consider it a political drawback. No leader, he said, could serve the public properly if he was constantly looking over his shoulder at the shadow of debts. This theory is now widely accepted in the United States where it has become practically impossible for a non-millionaire to run for high office without selling pieces of himself like a prize-fighter. Yet the public still suspects a self-made millionaire like Lyndon Johnson while revering the much-richer John F. Kennedy, who got it all from his father.
Ask him about the cemeteries, Dean!" In 1966 upon being told that President Charles DeGaulle had taken France out of NATO and that all U.S. troops must be evacuated off of French soil President Lyndon Johnson mentioned to Secretary of State Dean Rusk that he should ask DeGaulle about the Americans buried in France. Dean implied in his answer that that DeGaulle should not really be asked that in the meeting at which point President Johnson then told Secretary of State Dean Rusk: "Ask him about the cemeteries Dean!" That made it into a Presidential Order so he had to ask President DeGaulle. So at end of the meeting Dean did ask DeGaulle if his order to remove all U.S. troops from French soil also included the 60, 000+ soldiers buried in France from World War I and World War II. DeGaulle, embarrassed, got up and left and never answered.
Lyndon B. Johnson
Of the things I had not known when I started out, I think the most important was the degree to which the legacy of the McCarthy period still lived. It had been almost seven years since Joe McCarthy had been censured when John Kennedy took office, and most people believed that his hold on Washington was over... among the top Democrats, against whom the issue of being soft on Communism might be used, and among the Republicans, who might well use the charge, it was still live ammunition... McCarthyism still lingered... The real McCarthyism went deeper in the American grain than most people wanted to admit... The Republicans' long, arid period out of office [twenty years, ended by the Eisenhower administration], accentuated by Truman's 1948 defeat of Dewey, had permitted the out-party in its desperation, to accuse the leaders of the governing party of treason. The Democrats, in the wake of the relentless sustained attacks on Truman and Acheson over their policies in Asia, came to believe that they had lost the White House when they lost China. Long after McCarthy himself was gone, the fear of being accused of being soft on Communism lingered among the Democratic leaders. The Republicans had, of course, offered no alternative policy on China (the last thing they had wanted to do was suggest sending American boys to fight for China) and indeed there was no policy to offer, for China was never ours, events there were well outside our control, and our feudal proxies had been swept away by the forces of history. But in the political darkness of the time it had been easy to blame the Democrats for the ebb and flow of history. The fear generated in those days lasted a long time, and Vietnam was to be something of an instant replay after China. The memory of the fall of China and what it did to the Democrats, was, I think, more bitter for Lyndon Johnson than it was for John Kennedy. Johnson, taking over after Kennedy was murdered and after the Kennedy patched-up advisory commitment had failed, vowed that he was not going to be the President of the United States who lost the Great Society because he lost Saigon. In the end it would take the tragedy of the Vietnam War and the election of Richard Nixon (the only political figure who could probably go to China without being Red-baited by Richard Nixon) to exorcise those demons, and to open the door to China.