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http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-we-keep-writing-about-jfk/2013/10/24/de308c56-3765-11e3-ae46-e4248e75c8ea_story.html

Why we keep writing about JFK

By Thurston Clarke

Washington Post

October 25, 2013

From this article that is not to be missed:

“The trustees of the Truman Library chose de Kooning to paint the notoriously restless Kennedy because she had a reputation for being “the fastest brush in the East,” capable of finishing a portrait after a single sitting. When she arrived at the Kennedy family’s Palm Beach, Fla., estate on Dec. 31, 1962, she planned on making some quick sketches before finishing the portrait in a temporary studio in West Palm Beach. She had expected, she said, the monochrome man of the newspaper photographs. Instead, Kennedy struck her as “incandescent, golden,” “bigger than life” and inhabiting “a different dimension.” After a single morning she decided that he was too intriguing and changeable to capture in one portrait. She stayed for four days, drawing dozens of sketches, charcoals and watercolors, and working on several oil portraits at once.”

……..

“Three days before going to Dallas, he told Lincoln he was thinking of replacing Lyndon Johnson with North Carolina Gov. Terry Sanford as his running mate in 1964, but he did not share this bombshell with his brother Bobby, with whom he often spoke several times a day. Not surprisingly, Bobby later dismissed the conversation as a fabrication, telling historian Arthur Schlesinger, “Can you imagine the president ever having a talk with Evelyn about a subject like that?” Yet when former Cabinet member Abe Ribicoff went sailing with Bobby several months after Dallas, he was shocked to discover that he knew things about John that Bobby did not, confirming his impression that the president had “exposed different facets of himself to different people.”

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I think this is also important.

"In a 1986 set of recollections by close associates of Johnson, I found that, according to speechwriter and adviser Horace Busby, two weeks before JFK traveled to Texas, Johnson told Busby that when he was with the president in Austin on the evening of Nov. 22, he would tell him he had decided against running for vice president in 1964 and would instead return to Texas to run a newspaper. Busby doubted that he was serious and thought that LBJ just wanted the president to cajole and flatter him. But given Kennedy’s increasing estrangement from Johnson, it is possible that he would have accepted his offer with alacrity."

It shows that, at least in LBJ's mind, he wasn't a shoe-in for the VP spot, and was anxious to save face by leaving office before he was dumped.

Now, just think about it. You're an organized crime figure, or an oil baron, or an intelligence agency, friendly to Johnson. And Johnson tells you he's gonna leave, before they force him out. Do you let this happen, and HOPE Kennedy replaces Johnson with someone who'll serve your interests? Or do you take the bull by the horns, and act?

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Guest Robert Morrow

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-we-keep-writing-about-jfk/2013/10/24/de308c56-3765-11e3-ae46-e4248e75c8ea_story.html

Why we keep writing about JFK

By Thurston Clarke

Washington Post

October 25, 2013

From this article that is not to be missed:

“The trustees of the Truman Library chose de Kooning to paint the notoriously restless Kennedy because she had a reputation for being “the fastest brush in the East,” capable of finishing a portrait after a single sitting. When she arrived at the Kennedy family’s Palm Beach, Fla., estate on Dec. 31, 1962, she planned on making some quick sketches before finishing the portrait in a temporary studio in West Palm Beach. She had expected, she said, the monochrome man of the newspaper photographs. Instead, Kennedy struck her as “incandescent, golden,” “bigger than life” and inhabiting “a different dimension.” After a single morning she decided that he was too intriguing and changeable to capture in one portrait. She stayed for four days, drawing dozens of sketches, charcoals and watercolors, and working on several oil portraits at once.”

……..

“Three days before going to Dallas, he told Lincoln he was thinking of replacing Lyndon Johnson with North Carolina Gov. Terry Sanford as his running mate in 1964, but he did not share this bombshell with his brother Bobby, with whom he often spoke several times a day. Not surprisingly, Bobby later dismissed the conversation as a fabrication, telling historian Arthur Schlesinger, “Can you imagine the president ever having a talk with Evelyn about a subject like that?” Yet when former Cabinet member Abe Ribicoff went sailing with Bobby several months after Dallas, he was shocked to discover that he knew things about John that Bobby did not, confirming his impression that the president had “exposed different facets of himself to different people.”

Robert Kennedy - a lying little punk. Here he is stabbing one of the most loyal Kennedyites - Evelyn Lincoln - in the back. And he is doing it for political reasons - would not look good for him to having been trying to annihilate LBJ. Heck, might have even triggered the JFK assassination.

Evelyn Lincoln's notes confirm that JFK told her he was kicking LBJ off the ticket and possibly replacing Col. Cornpone with Gov. Terry Sanford of NC. Confirmed in Lincoln's meticulous notes.

RFK in November, 1963 was orchestrating the political execution of Lyndon Johnson - with a LIFE media expose and a Senate Rules Committee investigation that he was feeding all the LBJ dirt to.

Robert Kennedy was feeding damaging information on Lyndon Johnson's corruption to the Senate Rules Committee in fall, 1963, in attempt to destroy LBJ

In a series of interviews for this book, Burkett Van Kirk, who was chief counsel in 1963 for the Republican minority on the Rules Committee, told me of his personal knowledge of Bobby Kennedy's direct intervention. "Bobby was feeding information to 'whispering Willie'" - the nickname for Senator John Williams. "They" - the Kennedy brothers, Van Kirk said - "were dumping Johnson.." Williams, as he did earlier with Donald Reynolds's information about Lyndon Johnson, relayed the Kennedy materials to the senior Republican on the Rules Committe, Carl Curtis. The attorney general thus was secretly dealing with Williams, and Williams was dealing secretly with Curtis and Van Kirk. The scheming was necessary, Van Kirk told me, because he and his fellow Republicans understood that a full-fledged investigation into Bobby Baker could lead to the vice president. They also understood, he said, that the chances of getting such an investigation where slim at best. The Democrats had an overwhelming advantage in the Senate - sixty-seven to thirty-three - and in every committee. The three Republicans on the ten member Rules Committee, Van Kirk said, had little power. "We never won one vote to even call a witness," he told me. The investigation into Bobby Baker and Lyndon Johnson would have to be done in a traditional manner - by newspaper leak.

Van Kirk, who was named after his grandfather Senator E. J. Burkett of Nebraska, said that Bobby Kennedy eventually designated a Justice Department lawyer that fall to serve as an intermediary to the minority staff; he began supplying the Republicans with documents about Johnson and his financial dealings. The lawyer, Van Kirk told me, "used to come up to the Senate and hang around me like a dark cloud. It took him about a week or ten days to, one, find out what I didn't know, and two, give it to me." Some of the Kennedy-supplied documents were kept in Williams's office safe, Van Kirk said, and never shown to him. There was no doubt of Bobby Kennedy's purpose in dealing with the Republicans, Van Kirk said: "To get rid of Johnson. To dump him. I am as sure of that the sun comes up in the east."

[seymour Hersh, "The Dark Side of Camelot," pp. 406-407]

LIFE Magazine, being fed damaging info by RFK, was on the verge of running a story on 11/29/63 that would have annihilated Lyndon Johnson’s political career once and for all

Source: James Wagenvoord who in 1963 was the 27 year old assistant to LIFE Magazine’e managing editor; this issue would have been dated 12/6/63 and mailed out 11/29 and 11/30/63 (Friday/Saturday mailing)

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=14966&st=0

James Wagenvoord to John Simkin (in November, 2009):

“I've been reading through you web site and believe that I can add one of the final jigsaw puzzle pieces that affect the timing of JFK's Dallas trip and the nervousness of LBJ during the weeks preceding the killing. At the time I was the 27 year old Editorial business manager and assistant to Life Magazines Executive Editor. Beginning in later summer 1963 the magazine, based upon information fed from Bobby Kennedy and the Justice Department, had been developing a major newsbreak piece concerning Johnson and Bobby Baker. On publication Johnson would have been finished and off the '64 ticket (reason the material was fed to us) and would probably have been facing prison time. At the time LIFE magazine was arguably the most important general news source in the US. The top management of Time Inc. was closely allied with the USA's various intelligence agencies and we were used after by the Kennedy Justice Department as a conduit to the public. Life's coverage of the Hoffa prosecution, and involvement in paying off Justice Department Memphis witnesses was a case in point.

The LBJ/Baker piece was in the final editing stages and was scheduled to break in the issue of the magazine due out the week of November 24 (the magazine would have made it to the newsstands on Nov.26th or 27th). It had been prepared in relative secrecy by a small special editorial team. On Kennedy's death research files and all numbered copies of the nearly print-ready draft were gathered up by my boss (he had been the top editor on the team) and shredded. The issue that was to expose LBJ instead featured the Zapruder film. Based upon our success in syndicating the Zapruder film I became Chief of Time/LIFE editorial services and remained in that job until 1968.”

Biography of James Wagenvoord: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKwagenvoord.htm

Edited by Robert Morrow
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Guest Robert Morrow

Phil Brennan in 1963 was very aware of RFK's attempts to destroy LBJ:

http://home.earthlink.net/~sixthfloor/brennen.htm

Some Relevant Facts About the JFK Assassination Phil Brennan
Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2003 There's an explosive new book that lays out a very detailed - and
persuasive - case for the probability that the late President Lyndon Baines
Johnson was responsible for the assassination of President John F.
Kennedy.

I say persuasive because the author, Barr McClellan, was one of LBJ's top
lawyers, and he provides a lot of information hitherto unknown to the general
public - much more of which he says is buried in secret documents long
withheld from the American people.

"The American public has waited forty years to hear the truth about the JFK
assassination," McClellan says. "For government agencies to withhold
critical evidence and not cooperate with the [1998 investigation conducted
by the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB)] is a form of
obstruction of justice. Under the requirements of the Freedom of Information
Act, the public should be granted access to these documents."

According to McClellan and Doug Horne, a former ARRB investigator, hundreds
of relevant documents were withheld from the 1998 investigation into the
JFK assassination. They believe that these materials are now in the
possession of the National Archives, relocated from sealed files previously
controlled by the CIA and FBI.

McClellan also asked for a formal review of the evidence in his book, "Blood,
Money & Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K.," which establishes a direct
connection between LBJ and an individual involved with the assassination
and cover-up.

"At this time we need to see what else is missing and what else would be helpful
to presenting the entire truth," McClellan continued. "The Senate
Judiciary Committee and the Department of Justice could make the request
of the National Archives and should do so."

Now, in normal circumstance I would tend to view this latest explanation of who
was behind the killing of JFK as exactly that - just another theory among
dozens. But the circumstances are not normal. Poll after poll establishes that
an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that the official verdict of the
Warren Commission is simply not borne out by what little is known publicly
about the case.

McClellan's new book adds to those facts and names a second suspect he says
was a longtime assassin for Lyndon Johnson, whom he portrays as ...
well, as being homicidal whenever he or his many concealed interests were
threatened.

Add to that the incredible inconsistencies in the FBI and Secret Service
investigations, which reek with the stench of cover-up, and one can't escape
the conclusion that if LBJ did nothing else in dealing with the aftermath of
the assassination, he sure as hell clamped a lid on any evidence that
contradicted the official finding that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone
gunman acting solely on his own initiative.

I report all of this as a prelude to revealing what I know about the matter but have
never before written about - in the beginning, because I had a wife and
seven children to protect, and since, because I had no reason to revisit the
matter.

Let's start with this: McClellan and others before him have discussed the fact that
LBJ faced some pretty awful prospects, including not only being dumped
from the 1964 ticket but also spending a long, long time in the slammer as a
result of his role in the rapidly expanding Bobby Baker case - something few
have speculated about because the full facts were never revealed by the
media, which didn't want to know, or report, the truth.

Sometime in early 1963 I was approached by a young lady with whom I had
worked on Nixon's 1960 campaign staff. She asked me if I would meet with
her fiancé, who was in great difficulty - and in danger of being murdered.

At the time I was on the staff of the House Republican Policy Committee, and
one of my assignments was to keep my bosses up to date on what was
going on behind the scenes in the Cold War, analyzing intelligence that
came our way and otherwise engaging in a never-ending clandestine, back-
alley war with the Democrat majority.

I was also writing a Washington column for Bill Buckley's National Review
magazine under the cover name Cato, a fact known only to the top GOP
House leadership, which allowed me to do the column as long as I didn't use
my byline or write it on government time.

Moreover, in my Cato column I had recently broken the story about the Billie Sol
Estes scandal, which involved Estes' crony, Lyndon Johnson.
The young lady knew all that, and that's why she came to me. I agreed to meet
with her fiancé, a South Carolinian named Ralph Hill. We met at the Market
Inn, had a couple of martinis, and Hill told me his tale of woe.

He had come to Washington some time before and was steered to a fellow South
Carolinian, one Bobby Baker, the powerful secretary of the Senate and a
very close associate of Vice President Lyndon Johnson.

To make a long story short, Baker advised Hill to go into the vending machine
business and promised him he'd arrange to get some major defense
contractors to install the machines, which vended soft drinks, sandwiches,
cigarettes and the like.

There was only one catch - Baker wanted under-the-table payoffs for his part in
setting up what would be a very lucrative business opportunity with tens of
thousands of potential customers who worked in defense plants.

True to his word, Baker got a number of defense contractors to agree to allow Hill
the exclusive right to install his vending machines on their premises. It was
an opportunity to print money by the barrel, and with those golden
contracts in hand, Hill was able to go to the bank and borrow all the funds he
needed to buy the vending machines and go into business. For a while he
prospered - as did Baker.

But whatever he was paying Baker was not enough to satisfy the man who, for all
intents and purposes, had the Senate under his thumb. He saw that the
members of the Democrat majority got whatever they wanted - money, bimbos,
LBJ's help, you name it. They were all in his pocket.

He could arrange multimillion-dollar contracts for the defense industry or take
them away if he wanted. He was LBJ's guy and was all-powerful and a very
dangerous man to have as an enemy, a fact Ralph Hill learned when
Baker put the bite on him for bigger payoffs.

The problem for Hill was that he had big payments to make on the loans he'd
taken out to buy the equipment and set himself up in business, had
some pretty steep overhead, and simply didn't have enough left over to
boost his payments to Baker.

He tried to explain that fact of life to Baker, but the secretary of the United States
Senate wasn't having any. He simply repeated his demands and threatened
Hill that if he didn't pay up he'd see that Hill lost all those juicy defense plant
contracts.

Bad went to worse, Baker made good on his threats, and Hill was facing
bankruptcy. Moreover, it was made known to him that if he didn't simply fold
his tent and go off without making trouble for Baker, he might meet with an
unfortunate - and probably fatal - accident.

But Hill was facing bankruptcy and the loss of everything he had, and he simply
would not give up. He was fighting for his life. And he had the guts to hang in
there.

He asked me to help him. But I was completely a creature of the House side of
Capitol Hill - the Senate side was foreign territory and, I hate to admit it, I
didn't even have the vaguest idea of who this Bobby Baker, the Senate's
imperial potentate, was.

I told Hill that his only way out was to expose Baker publicly, to get the story out
- once it was public, Baker could not afford to retaliate. I advised Hill to file
suit against Baker, laying out all the sordid details in the complaint, and once
he had served Baker, to give me the complaint papers and I'd see that
the media on the Hill got their hands on copies.

He did and I did - and I now found myself a potential target, not only of Baker's
but of the media as well, but that's another story. I was able to get
only two reporters to write the story - the late Clark Mohlenhoff, one of the
best investigative reporters in Washington, and one other whose name I
don't recall.

For the most part, the Washington press corps kept the lid on the story - until the
late Bob Humphrey, then the GOP Senate leadership's spokesman, an
incredibly gifted strategist and a mentor, asked me to tell the story to the late
Delaware Republican Sen. John Williams, a crusader for good
government and a crackerjack of an investigator.

Sen. Williams asked me to introduce him to Hill and I did. They got together with
some Senate investigators for the GOP minority and Hill told them the whole
story, including the part played by Vice President Johnson. Williams
got his committee to launch an investigation and the lid came off.

A few days later, the attorney general, Bobby Kennedy, called five of
Washington's top reporters into his office and told them it was now open season
on Lyndon Johnson. It's OK, he told them, to go after the story they
were ignoring out of deference to the administration.

And from that point on until the events in Dallas, Lyndon Baines Johnson's future
looked as if it included a sudden end to his political career and a few years
in the slammer. The Kennedys had their knives out and sharpened for him
and were determined to draw his political blood - all of it.

In the Senate, the investigation into the Baker case was moving quickly ahead.
Even the Democrats were cooperating, thanks to the Kennedys, and an
awful lot of really bad stuff was being revealed - until Nov. 22, 1963.

By Nov. 23, all Democrat cooperation suddenly stopped. Lyndon would serve a
term and a half in the White House instead of the slammer, the Baker
investigation would peter out and Bobby Baker would serve a short sentence and
go free. Dallas accomplished all of that.

Sometimes I wonder: If I had not met Hill and convinced him to go public with the
story, and the Bobby Baker case and Lyndon's part in it had not come out as
a result, would Dallas not have happened? I don't like to think about that.

And that's why I am convinced that McClellan is on to something. I hope he
persists. There's an incredible amount of sordid government corruption that
needs to be aired in public. As McClellan says, it's about time that the
American people learned the truth about the death of John Fitzgerald
Kennedy.

And a lot more.

* * * * * *

Phil Brennan is a veteran journalist who writes for NewsMax.com. He is editor &
publisher of Wednesday on the Web (http://www.pvbr.com) and was
Washington columnist for National Review magazine in the 1960s. He also
served as a staff aide for the House Republican Policy Committee and
helped handle the Washington public relations operation for the Alaska
Statehood Committee which won statehood for Alaska. He is also a trustee
of the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a member of the Association of Former
Intelligence Officers.

He can be reached at phil@newsmax.com.

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Guest Robert Morrow

LBJ was not just "aware" the Kennedys were out to destroy him - he was obsessed with this.

GEORGE REEDY FROM HIS BOOK LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON: A MEMOIR:

"That other man had to be Robert Kennedy, whom he regarded as the focal point for all the forces who sought the downfall of Lyndon Johnson." [Reedy, 6]

"This occurred when he was vice president and obsessed with the idea that Bobby Kennedy was directing an anti-LBJ campaign. His elevation to the presidency made absolutely no difference. Brush after brush took place with the journalists who, in the early days of his administration, accepted him as a miracle worker to be treated with downright reverence. Eventually, however, his conviction that they were opposed to him created an opposition- always the outcome of paranoia. He did not attribute this to his own shortcomings but to the machinations of the man he regarded as his arch foe. At this stage of the game, Bobby was helpless to do him much mischief but LBJ still believed that there was a plot for which the press was the principal instrument." [Reedy, p. 70]

"I never fully understood this or other similar episodes. In the back of his mind, it is possible that he believed these visits were inspired by Bobby Kennedy as part of a "plot" to delete the name LBJ from the ticket in 1964. This had become an obsession with him- a conviction that peopled the world with agents of the president's brother all seeking to do him in. Someone- I never found out who- very actively fed this belief and kept him in a perpetual state of anxiety. This reached major proportions with the outbreak of the Billy Sol Estes and Bobby Baker scandals....

There was absolutely nothing to keep Johnson's name in the Billy Sol Estes story except the LBJ refusal to deal with the press. He covered up when there was nothing to cover and thereby created the suspicion that he was involved somehow. His reasoning was simple: The whole thing existed as a Bobby Kennedy plot and to talk about it to the press was to help Bobby Kennedy.

About the same thing happened in the Bobby Baker scandal except that in this instance he was really close to the central figure in the expose. He had considered Bobby as virtually a son and succeeded in promoting him to be secretary of the Senate Majority at an age when Bobby should have been in knee britches."

[Reedy 134-135]

"But Johnson refused to accept the obvious explanation. He insisted that it stayed in the press because of conscious pressure from Bobby Kennedy, who, he claimed, was holding daily briefings with the sole purpose of knifing LBJ in the back. He was so convinced of the existence of these meetings that I made a personal effort to check on them myself. There was not the least bit of evidence that they were taking place or had taken place. I am not a master spy but it is hardly likely that during that period the attorney general of the United States could have engaged in such an organized effort without one of my newspaper friends tipping me off.

This viewpoint did not impress Johnson in the slightest. He merely said I was "naive" and that he would demonstrate the truth to me. The next time the two of us were together with a correspondent, he lectured the man on how wrong it was to ask stooge questions and then said: "I know all about those briefings downtown." It became apparent at once the correspondent did not know not know about them but that did not stop LBJ. He continued his lectures to other correspondents- a practice that led to some speculation as to his mental stability. Fortunately, the speculation did not appear in print.

These episodes were merely ludicrious. Much more serious was his interpretation of all his relations with the administration as involved with "plots." He resisted- to the point of hysteria- the round-the-world trip which later became famous for his discovery of Bashir, the camel driver, in Karachi.... He raved, at least to me, that Bobby Kennedy was trying to set him up.

[Reedy, pp. 136-137]

Whatever the reality, however, the LBJ paranoia continued to mount. He was convinced that Bobby Kennedy had virtual control over the nation's press and that this control was being used to pave the way for a "dump LBJ" campaign in 1964. This was a period in which he proceeded to "hang around" the outer offices of the White House- something like a precinct captain sitting in the anteroom of a ward leader hoping to be recognized. It was not a very propossessing sight and certainly not worthy of a man of his stature."

[Reedy, p. 147]

Edited by Robert Morrow
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Guest Robert Morrow

Lyndon Johnson told Liz and Leslie Carpenter that he was get off the 1964 Democratic ticket before the Kennedys could kick him off of it.

Fall, 1963

(Bobby Baker had resigned as Secretary of the Senate on 10/7/63)

But denying any intent to dump Johnson was good politics. There is no doubt that if scandal sank the vice president, not a tear would have been shed in the White House. More important, Johnson believed the Kennedys wanted him off the ticket. Shortly after the Baker scandal broke, Johnson had dinner with friends, including Liz and Leslie Carpenter. Johnson's car took the couple home and Johnson rode with them. "Park in the driveway and let's talk a few minutes," Johnson said. "I think I'm going to announce that I'm not going to run again for vice president so that I can get off that ticket before they try to knock me off. What I would like to do is go back to Texas and be president of Southwest Texas State Teachers College."

[Randall Woods, "LBJ: Architect of American Ambition, p. 414, Leslie Carpenter oral history]

Lyndon Johnson told Robert Novak in summer,1962 that the Kennedys were losing the cold war against the Soviet Union, losing to conservatives in Congress and that Robert Kennedy was planning to dump him off the 1964 Democratic ticket.

Robert Novak later married Geraldine, an aide to LBJ

Notice how Johnson is telling Novak in the summer of 1962 how the Kennedy Administration was "losing" the cold war to the Russians. This is before the fall, 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. I imagine Johnson was using these same arguments with the generals, the Texas oil men and the military intelligence in the lead up to the JFK assassination.

Robert Novak:

"After a Texas-style cookout, LBJ reclined, nearly prone, by the swimming pool. It was just the two of us drinking Scotch, and he spoke with a candor he never bestowed on me before or after. He felt the Kennedy administration was in serious trouble, losing the cold war to the Soviet Union and losing the legislative war to conservatives in Congress. He said that he had done everything the Kennedys had wanted, including foreign missions that only guaranteed him bad publicity.

He was repaid with insults and humiliation, especially from the attorney general. Johnson was sure Bobby Kennedy was plotting to dump him in 1964. "But I'm going to fool them," he said. "I'm going to pack it in after the term ends and go home to Texas." That would have been a huge scoop, but I knew Johnson was just blowing off steam.

As for going back to Texas, the political environment there was hardly more congenial for LBJ than it was in Washington. Johnson's protege, John B. Connally, had just won the Democratic nomination for governor of Texas, which still all but guaranteed election in Texas. As secretary of the Navy, Connally had been the highest Kennedy administration official bearing the LBJ brand.

But campaigning for governor, Connally removed the brand. With JFK and LBJ both unpopular in Texas, Connally ran against the administration he had just left, and won. Talking about Big John in that summer evening in 1962 led Johnson into self-pity. "John has turned my picture to the wall," LBJ told me. "You know I would never turn his picture to the wall.""

[Robert Novak, "The Prince of Darkness," p. 90-91]

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“Three days before going to Dallas, he told Lincoln he was thinking of replacing Lyndon Johnson with North Carolina Gov. Terry Sanford as his running mate in 1964, but he did not share this bombshell with his brother Bobby, with whom he often spoke several times a day. Not surprisingly, Bobby later dismissed the conversation as a fabrication, telling historian Arthur Schlesinger, “Can you imagine the president ever having a talk with Evelyn about a subject like that?” Yet when former Cabinet member Abe Ribicoff went sailing with Bobby several months after Dallas, he was shocked to discover that he knew things about John that Bobby did not, confirming his impression that the president had “exposed different facets of himself to different people.”

Robert Kennedy - a lying little punk. Here he is stabbing one of the most loyal Kennedyites - Evelyn Lincoln - in the back. And he is doing it for political reasons - would not look good for him to having been trying to annihilate LBJ. Heck, might have even triggered the JFK assassination.

Your take on this is just wrong, Robert. Read the excerpt again. It cites RFK's reaction to Evelyn Lincoln's comment as evidence JFK compartmentalized his associates, and never shared his thoughts--all his thoughts--with anyone. That's JFK 101. Nothing new about that.

If you re-read the words attributed to RFK, moreover, you'll see that he didn't deny what Lincoln said, only that JFK would tell her something like that. That's probably his pride talking. "If he didn't tell me his decision, how could he have told her?"

But no, you have to go straight to "lying punk." Please keep in mind that this is the Education Forum, and not the "let's unfairly insult the dead" forum.

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I don't know. I suspect that RFK - especially when speaking to a historian - was entirely capable of rewriting history, regardless of the reputation of the hired help. (And...was Schlesinger still on the Kennedy payroll at this time?) I don't see a Dump Lyndon set-up with Life proceeding without RFK, former campaign manager.

Edited by David Andrews
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I think this is also important.

"In a 1986 set of recollections by close associates of Johnson, I found that, according to speechwriter and adviser Horace Busby, two weeks before JFK traveled to Texas, Johnson told Busby that when he was with the president in Austin on the evening of Nov. 22, he would tell him he had decided against running for vice president in 1964 and would instead return to Texas to run a newspaper. Busby doubted that he was serious and thought that LBJ just wanted the president to cajole and flatter him. But given Kennedy’s increasing estrangement from Johnson, it is possible that he would have accepted his offer with alacrity."

It shows that, at least in LBJ's mind, he wasn't a shoe-in for the VP spot, and was anxious to save face by leaving office before he was dumped.

Now, just think about it. You're an organized crime figure, or an oil baron, or an intelligence agency, friendly to Johnson. And Johnson tells you he's gonna leave, before they force him out. Do you let this happen, and HOPE Kennedy replaces Johnson with someone who'll serve your interests? Or do you take the bull by the horns, and act?

Pat, my interpretation of this is that LBJ was laying the preliminary groundwork for an alibi in the event he was publicly accused right after JFK was assassinated of orchestrating the murder from behind the scenes (or from the top of the pyramid) so that he could achieve his lifetime goal of being President of the United States of America.

What helped drive him crazy after he achieved his goal was the constant yelling of the kids outside the White House, "Hey, hey, LBJ, who you gonna kill today?" His actions resulted in the deaths of over 50,000 American service men and women in Vietnam - in addition to the death of his predecessor. Shakespeare would have written a whole play about LBJ's lust for power with LBJ waking up at night in the White House and seeing the ghosts of JFK and other past presidents standing at the foot of his bed pointing their fingers at him in as accusatory fashion.

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I think this is also important.

"In a 1986 set of recollections by close associates of Johnson, I found that, according to speechwriter and adviser Horace Busby, two weeks before JFK traveled to Texas, Johnson told Busby that when he was with the president in Austin on the evening of Nov. 22, he would tell him he had decided against running for vice president in 1964 and would instead return to Texas to run a newspaper. Busby doubted that he was serious and thought that LBJ just wanted the president to cajole and flatter him. But given Kennedy’s increasing estrangement from Johnson, it is possible that he would have accepted his offer with alacrity."

It shows that, at least in LBJ's mind, he wasn't a shoe-in for the VP spot, and was anxious to save face by leaving office before he was dumped.

Now, just think about it. You're an organized crime figure, or an oil baron, or an intelligence agency, friendly to Johnson. And Johnson tells you he's gonna leave, before they force him out. Do you let this happen, and HOPE Kennedy replaces Johnson with someone who'll serve your interests? Or do you take the bull by the horns, and act?

Pat, my interpretation of this is that LBJ was laying the preliminary groundwork for an alibi in the event he was publicly accused right after JFK was assassinated of orchestrating the murder from behind the scenes (or from the top of the pyramid) so that he could achieve his lifetime goal of being President of the United States of America.

What helped drive him crazy after he achieved his goal was the constant yelling of the kids outside the White House, "Hey, hey, LBJ, who you gonna kill today?" His actions resulted in the deaths of over 50,000 American service men and women in Vietnam - in addition to the death of his predecessor. Shakespeare would have written a whole play about LBJ's lust for power with LBJ waking up at night in the White House and seeing the ghosts of JFK and other past presidents standing at the foot of his bed pointing their fingers at him in as accusatory fashion.

You could be right. I find the Shakespearian angle quite interesting, and own a copy of MacBird!

P.S. I think it was "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids you gonna kill today?"

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