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Bad news at the ranch?


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This is from a review of THE THIRTY-FIRST OF MARCH, a book about LBJ by his speechwriter Horace Busby:

“Busby watched and listened to Johnson in good times and bad, including the dark period when rumors flew that President John F. Kennedy would drop him from the ticket in 1964. Johnson suspected that Kennedy agreed to visit the Johnson ranch in November 1963 to give LBJ the bad news. In any event, the visit never took place: JFK's trip to Texas ended with his assassination in Dallas.

“The rumor was probably unfounded, Busby says, because dumping Johnson would have been stupid: It would have hurt Kennedy's chances in the South and delighted the Republicans.”

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/a...reviews/3266832

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This is from a review of THE THIRTY-FIRST OF MARCH, a book about LBJ by his speechwriter Horace Busby:

“Busby watched and listened to Johnson in good times and bad, including the dark period when rumors flew that President John F. Kennedy would drop him from the ticket in 1964. Johnson suspected that Kennedy agreed to visit the Johnson ranch in November 1963 to give LBJ the bad news. In any event, the visit never took place: JFK's trip to Texas ended with his assassination in Dallas.

“The rumor was probably unfounded, Busby says, because dumping Johnson would have been stupid: It would have hurt Kennedy's chances in the South and delighted the Republicans.”

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/a...reviews/3266832

Ron,

Looks worth a read. After reading the attachment, it looks like it's not just a snow job. I just hope he doesn't skate around the assassination. There's been so much of that lately that I'm sure it will soon be included as a sport in the Olympics.

Have to disagree with Busby on one thing already. Junking LBJ wouldn't have hurt JFK's chances in '64. JFK was so far ahead in the polls he would have won with Castro as his running mate.

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Mark wrote:

Have to disagree with Busby on one thing already. Junking LBJ wouldn't have hurt JFK's chances in '64. JFK was so far ahead in the polls he would have won with Castro as his running mate.

Mark, your information is in error. I'd be interested in learning its source.

From the report of the House Select Committee on Assassinations:

Despite his narrow election victory, Kennedy's popularity was high at the time he took office. The Gallup Poll showed a 69 percent favorable rating. During his term, that popularity fluctuated, and, in the autumn of 1963. it appeared to be in decline. It was concern over that slump and the implications for the 1964 Presidential contest that led, in large part, to Kennedy's decision to make the ill-fated Texas trap in November 1963.

And this is from the opening narration of Oliver Stone's "JFK":

In November, 1963 John Kennedy travels to Texas, his popularity sagging to 59% largely due to his civil rights stand for which he is particularly hated in the South. Texas is a crucial state for him to carry in '64. With him is Vice-President, Lyndon Johnson and Texas Governor John Connally.

Kennedy's popularity was on a downward trend in the fall of 1963. His re-election was by no means assured.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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FROM ANOTHER SOURCE:

Though the media were enthusiastically supportive of President Kennedy's policies, the country as a whole was increasingly skeptical of "Camelot." In particular, the heavy federal hand in racial matters was driving down JFK's popularity numbers in 1963. Democrats in Texas at the time of his assassination were becoming more, not less, divided over the administration. The Belden Poll in the Lone Star State, which had reflected an approval rate of 76 percent for Kennedy the previous year, had dropped to 50 percent. Nationwide, a Gallup Poll showed that overall approval ratings for Kennedy had fallen from 76 percent to 59 percent during the year.

The initial planning meeting for JFK's re-election campaign was held in mid-November of 1963. At that meeting, Census Bureau Director Richard Scammon informed the President that the drop-off in his numbers "was attributed almost entirely to civil rights." (President Kennedy: Profile of Power, 1993)

Though obviously early, the polls at the time did show JFK beating the probable GOP candidate, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, by a margin of 55 percent to 39 percent. The Kennedys were said to be most concerned about facing new Republican Governor George Romney of Michigan, who had the reputation for being astute in business and devout in his religious beliefs. As the President noted derisively, "People buy that God and country stuff."

The truth is that President Kennedy became much more popular in memory than he was during his last days in office.

The latter is an interesting point. I recall reading that based on polls after the assassination in which people were asked who they had voted for in 1960, Kennedy must have won the 1960 election in a landslide!

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Guest Stephen Turner

Tim.

We had the reverse here in the 80's. I never talked to one person who would admit to voting for Mrs Thatcher.

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Guest Stephen Turner

Yes, Tim, so did millions of my fellow country men and women, the point being very few of them would "Fess up" about it. sorry about the de-tour eveyone, back to the topic.

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FROM ANOTHER SOURCE:

Though the media were enthusiastically supportive of President Kennedy's policies, the country as a whole was increasingly skeptical of "Camelot." In particular, the heavy federal hand in racial matters was driving down JFK's popularity numbers in 1963. Democrats in Texas at the time of his assassination were becoming more, not less, divided over the administration. The Belden Poll in the Lone Star State, which had reflected an approval rate of 76 percent for Kennedy the previous year, had dropped to 50 percent. Nationwide, a Gallup Poll showed that overall approval ratings for Kennedy had fallen from 76 percent to 59 percent during the year.

The initial planning meeting for JFK's re-election campaign was held in mid-November of 1963. At that meeting, Census Bureau Director Richard Scammon informed the President that the drop-off in his numbers "was attributed almost entirely to civil rights." (President Kennedy: Profile of Power, 1993)

Though obviously early, the polls at the time did show JFK beating the probable GOP candidate, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, by a margin of 55 percent to 39 percent. The Kennedys were said to be most concerned about facing new Republican Governor George Romney of Michigan, who had the reputation for being astute in business and devout in his religious beliefs. As the President noted derisively, "People buy that God and country stuff."

The truth is that President Kennedy became much more popular in memory than he was during his last days in office.

The latter is an interesting point.  I recall reading that based on polls after the assassination in which people were asked who they had voted for in 1960, Kennedy must have won the 1960 election in a landslide!

What crap. Who's this "OTHER SOURCE"? Is this "source" saying that a 55-39 lead in the polls had Kennedy's knees knocking? He had another year for campaigning and he would have murdered either of them. The successful resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis gave Kennedy a statesmanlike glow and he would have hammered home the test ban treaty ad nauseum. As you are aware, he was a great debater and he connected to the public. Neutralising the Cold War as an issue and turning the '64 election into a debate about civil rights would have given Kennedy an easy win, despite possibly losing some southern states.

If you're as politically astute as I think you are, we agree that JFK was a certainty to win in '64. That much is plain. Unfortunately, his murderers were just as smart as us. They knew and did something about it.

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Mark, the other significant point is the TREND of the numbers. His support was going down not up.

In another thread you accused me of rewriting history. Well, the 59% number and the downward trend was noted in Stone's "JFK" film.

59% is not a significantly high percentage of popularity for an attractive, incumbent president.

Now you know I had differences with JFK. But all I am doing here is reciting the facts, man. Moreover, historians--and the commentators at the time--agreed that his popularity was declining becausae of his support for civil rights. He was correct for supporting civil rights (and I agreed with his position on civil rights) so in fact it was a "badge of honor" that he was losing support in the south.

Would he have been re-elected? Probably. And had Bobby's plans for the second invasion of Cuba occured on schedule, he CERTAINLY would have been re-elected--handily.

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Mark, the other significant point is the TREND of the numbers.  His support was going down not up.

In another thread you accused me of rewriting history.  Well, the 59% number and the downward trend was noted in Stone's "JFK" film. 

59% is not a significantly high percentage of popularity for an attractive, incumbent president.

Now you know I had differences with JFK.  But all I am doing here is reciting the facts, man.  Moreover, historians--and the commentators at the time--agreed that his popularity was declining becausae of his support for civil rights.  He was correct for supporting civil rights (and I agreed with his position on civil rights) so in fact it was a "badge of honor" that he was losing support in the south.

Would he have been re-elected?  Probably.  And had Bobby's plans for the second invasion of Cuba occured on schedule, he CERTAINLY would have been re-elected--handily.

Tim,

As you are well aware a TREND LINE is established from a grouping of polls, not just one poll in isolation. If you care to examine JFK's trend line from the time of his inauguration in 1961, you'll find it points upwards not downwards. Just place all polls taken during his Presidency on a graph then draw a line connecting them all, and see whether it slopes up or down.

As for your assertion that "most historians and commentators at the time" agreed JFK's popularity was in decline because of civil rights issues, that's selective presentation of the facts at its worst. Tell me the names of commentators who predicted JFK would lose in '64. Civil rights was a difficult issue but JFK was determined to change the public's mindset on this-- and he had the advantage of incumbency to help him. How dopey would the Republicans have looked in an election fought on civil rights policy?--they didn't even have one. They had a no-policy policy.

It may have appeared to you at the time that JFK was in trouble, but you were looking at the world through the eyes of an arch Republican. You were just hoping he was in trouble. And I doubt your claim that you supported civil rights legislation in '63--you were a tryhard, arch Republican for heaven's sake.

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Mark wrote:

And I doubt your claim that you supported civil rights legislation in '63--you were a tryhard, arch Republican for heaven's sake.

I am a member of the party of Lincoln, the great Emancipator, and the radical Republicans.

You are a member of the party of Harry Byrd, and the other Southern Democrat KKKers who abused the rights of black people for so many years. It was YOUR party that made an evil alliance with Southern racist Democrats to get elected nationally.

Please, Mark, don't call me a xxxx. Not nice! As I stated, I literally hated Southernors for the way they treated blacks and civil rights workers.

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Mark wrote:

If you care to examine JFK's trend line from the time of his inauguration in 1961, you'll find it points upwards not downwards. Just place all polls taken during his Presidency on a graph then draw a line connecting them all, and see whether it slopes up or down.

Mark, are you just talking off the top of your head?

If you have the numbers to support your statement, please post them. Otherwise, please do not make unsupported statements of "fact".

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Mark wrote:

And I doubt your claim that you supported civil rights legislation in '63--you were a tryhard, arch Republican for heaven's sake.

I am a member of the party of Lincoln, the great Emancipator, and the radical Republicans.

You are a member of the party of Harry Byrd, and the other Southern Democrat KKKers who abused the rights of black people for so many years.  It was YOUR party that made an evil alliance with Southern racist Democrats to get elected nationally.

Please, Mark, don't call me a xxxx.  Not nice!  As I stated, I literally hated Southernors for the way they treated blacks and civil rights workers.

Tim,

You're asking me to suspend disbelief on this. An eager, enthusiastic supporter of the Republican Party--it's also the party of Barry Goldwater as well as Lincoln--arguing passionately with fellow party members for the cause of civil rights. In 1963?. It's incongruous. It doesn't fit. I don't believe it.

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So you call me a xxxx, Mark? Merely on the basis of my party affiliation? (Well, I've been called worse things!)

And Mark I never stated, did I, that I argued strongly with fellow party members for civil rights. So why did you imply that I had?

You noted it was in 1963. I don't think I even belonged to the Young Republicans yet.

And by the way Goldwater was no racist, even though he did not support the civil rights legislation. He was one of the first to practice integration in his stores in Arizona.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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