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Author Topic: Was JFK going to drop LBJ from the 64 Ticket ?  (Read 3593 times)

Offline Steve M. Galbraith

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Re: Was JFK going to drop LBJ from the 64 Ticket ?
« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2018, 07:26:45 PM »
There are a lot of books I could read. Could you provide, in a nutshell, the arguments Caro used to explain why JFK was campaigning in Texas while he was planning on dropping LBJ? Wouldn?t campaigning in a state he wasn?t about to do something negative to be more productive?

Can you provide a Chapter and page reference?

Since different versions of a book may come with different page numbers, something like ?Chapter 4?, which runs from pages 129 through 157, on page 154 contains this . . .? would be helpful.



If Caro failed to address this issue, it would cause me to suspect his judgment. Even if he is right. A good historian should anticipate and deal with any obvious flaws with his theory.

Here's Caro in 2013 on the issue. It's brief but interesting. My guess is that JFK hadn't yet decided on what to do (if he still though he would need Texas, would he have dropped LBJ for Connally?).
                                         ________________________

Question: Was it a given that LBJ would have been on the ticket for a second Kennedy term?

Caro: No. It was a very open question. When you talk about the president?s trip to Texas in November 1963, there is a very revealing element. Kennedy invited Gov. Connally to come to Washington to meet with him about the trip. He didn?t invite LBJ.

When I was visiting Connally on his ranch, I talked to him about this. He told me that the Johnsons knew he was coming to Washington and they had invited him over for dinner. Then they found out that he was meeting with the president and that Johnson hadn?t been invited.

Source/link: https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2013/10/25/qa-robert-caro-on-viewing-kennedy-through-lbjs-eyes
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 07:43:34 PM by Steve M. Galbraith »

Offline Richard Smith

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Re: Was JFK going to drop LBJ from the 64 Ticket ?
« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2018, 08:01:26 PM »
There are a lot of books I could read. Could you provide, in a nutshell, the arguments Caro used to explain why JFK was campaigning in Texas while he was planning on dropping LBJ? Wouldn?t campaigning in a state he wasn?t about to do something negative to be more productive?

Can you provide a Chapter and page reference?

Since different versions of a book may come with different page numbers, something like ?Chapter 4?, which runs from pages 129 through 157, on page 154 contains this . . .? would be helpful.



If Caro failed to address this issue, it would cause me to suspect his judgment. Even if he is right. A good historian should anticipate and deal with any obvious flaws with his theory.

I just recommended the book.  Not volunteering as your research assistant.  Caro is the foremost historian on LBJ.  All you have to do is Google him if you want to know his credentials.  If you are interested in the topic, read his book.  If not, don't.  I've explained his arguments as best I can remember.  LBJ was increasingly unpopular in the south because of his evolving stance on Civil Rights.  As a local politician running for office in Texas in his earlier career, LBJ was never a civil rights advocate.  Once his aspirations became the presidency, he realized that he could not be viewed as a southern segregationist and win national office.  So he alienated many of his previous supporters in places like Texas by strongly supporting Civil Rights.  As a result, it's not clear that dropping LBJ from the ticket would have hurt JFK in Texas.  In fact, it might have helped him in the South depending on who he decided to replace him with.  Perhaps another more popular Southerner.  I don't think any decision had been made on dropping LBJ by Nov. 22.  So your question contains a false premise as to why JFK would campaign in Texas while planning on dropping LBJ.  He had not made any decision at that point. 

btw:  Caro who has reviewed more documents and interviewed more people associated with LBJ than anyone else indicated he came across no evidence of his involvement in the JFK assassination.  And Caro has leveled some fairy damning criticisms of LBJ.  So it is not a case of subject envy.

Offline Steve M. Galbraith

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Re: Was JFK going to drop LBJ from the 64 Ticket ?
« Reply #32 on: March 01, 2018, 08:21:10 PM »
I just recommended the book.  Not volunteering as your research assistant.  Caro is the foremost historian on LBJ.  All you have to do is Google him if you want to know his credentials.  If you are interested in the topic, read his book.  If not, don't.  I've explained his arguments as best I can remember.  LBJ was increasingly unpopular in the south because of his evolving stance on Civil Rights.  As a local politician running for office in Texas in his earlier career, LBJ was never a civil rights advocate.  Once his aspirations became the presidency, he realized that he could not be viewed as a southern segregationist and win national office.  So he alienated many of his previous supporters in places like Texas by strongly supporting Civil Rights.  As a result, it's not clear that dropping LBJ from the ticket would have hurt JFK in Texas.  In fact, it might have helped him in the South depending on who he decided to replace him with.  Perhaps another more popular Southerner.  I don't think any decision had been made on dropping LBJ by Nov. 22.  So your question contains a false premise as to why JFK would campaign in Texas while planning on dropping LBJ.  He had not made any decision at that point. 

btw:  Caro who has reviewed more documents and interviewed more people associated with LBJ than anyone else indicated he came across no evidence of his involvement in the JFK assassination.  And Caro has leveled some fairy damning criticisms of LBJ.  So it is not a case of subject envy.

Well stated. Although it's not clear to me that LBJ's support for civil rights was hurting him that much in Texas. He did receive 63% of the Texas vote when he ran for reelection in 1964. Unlike the other Southern states Texas at that time didn't have Jim Crow segregation (remember several black citizens of Ft. Worth attended the breakfast that morning; and the TSBD didn't have segregated bathrooms or lunch rooms). So any civil rights bill wouldn't have affected the state too much; certainly not as much as those states practicing segregation.

Just to add: LBJ received 55% of the vote for the Senate in 1954. Six years later he ran for the Senate again (yes, while also on the ticket with JFK) and received 58% of the vote. So his pro-civil rights views seemingly didn't hurt too much.

It's interesting to note that four days after the assassination that LBJ called Rev./Dr. King up asking for his support on the civil rights bill. He told King that the legislation was still stuck in the House (in a sub-committee!) and that Congress was going to adjourn without passing it.

Dallek suggests that the Kennedys were waiting for the Baker investigation to conclude before making any decision. He says they were leaking stories about possibly dropping LBJ. That is, covering themselves.

« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 08:28:22 PM by Steve M. Galbraith »

Offline Richard Smith

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Re: Was JFK going to drop LBJ from the 64 Ticket ?
« Reply #33 on: March 01, 2018, 08:35:54 PM »
Well stated. Although it's not clear to me that LBJ's support for civil rights was hurting him that much in Texas. He did receive 63% of the vote when he ran for reelection in 1964. Unlike the other Southern states Texas at that time didn't have Jim Crow segregation (remember several black citizens of Ft. Worth attended the breakfast that morning; and the TSBD didn't have segregated bathrooms or lunch rooms). So any civil rights bill wouldn't have affected the state too much; certainly not as much as those states practicing segregation.

Just to add: LBJ received 55% of the vote for the Senate in 1954. Six years later he ran for the Senate again (yes, while also on the ticked with JFK) and received 58% of the vote. So his pro-civil rights views seemingly didn't hurt too much.

It's interesting to note that four days after the assassination that LBJ called Rev./Dr. King up asking for his support on the civil rights bill. He told King that the legislation was still stuck in the House (in a sub-committee!) and that Congress was going to adjourn without passing it.

Dallek suggests that the Kennedys were waiting for the Baker investigation to conclude before making any decision. He says they were leaking stories about possibly dropping LBJ. That is, covering themselves.

It wasn't just Texas at play but the entire South that LBJ would have had issues with his new founded love of Civil Rights.   And that was just one reason cited by Caro.  I haven't read the book in a few years, but he also referenced LBJ's legal troubles, bad advice during the Cuban missile crisis (advocating bombing/invasion), almost total exile from the JFK staff, loss of political power in the senate etc.  It would have been a pretty bold move to drop him though.  And JFK was not exactly a political maverick.  I think he would only have done so if absolutely convinced he had too.  I don't recall if Caro made this claim, but I do recall reading somewhere that a potential run by RFK in 1968 could have been a factor in dropping LBJ to set Bobby up as the front runner.  I think the results from 1964 election are not particularly relevant since LBJ rode a wave of post-assassination popularity that didn't crash until Vietnam.  Obviously, if JFK had lived that wouldn't have happened.  Caro makes a good case that in the hundred days or so following the assassination LBJ's presidency was among the most productive in history.  There was a wave of good will that came his way that allowed him to get things done.  And I suppose that is one reason that CTers are always suspicious of him because he so clearly benefited from the assassination.  But alas that is not proof of his involvement.  Of which there is none.

Offline Steve M. Galbraith

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Re: Was JFK going to drop LBJ from the 64 Ticket ?
« Reply #34 on: March 01, 2018, 08:46:02 PM »
It wasn't just Texas at play but the entire South that LBJ would have had issues with his new founded love of Civil Rights.   And that was just one reason cited by Caro.  I haven't read the book in a few years, but he also referenced LBJ's legal troubles, bad advice during the Cuban missile crisis (advocating bombing/invasion), almost total exile from the JFK staff, loss of political power in the senate etc.  It would have been a pretty bold move to drop him though.  And JFK was not exactly a political maverick.  I think he would only have done so if absolutely convinced he had too.  I don't recall if Caro made this claim, but I do recall reading somewhere that a potential run by RFK in 1968 could have been a factor in dropping LBJ to set Bobby up as the front runner.  I think the results from 1964 election are not particularly relevant since LBJ rode a wave of post-assassination popularity that didn't crash until Vietnam.  Obviously, if JFK had lived that wouldn't have happened.  Caro makes a good case that in the hundred days or so following the assassination LBJ's presidency was among the most productive in history.  There was a wave of good will that came his way that allowed him to get things done.  And I suppose that is one reason that CTers are always suspicious of him because he so clearly benefited from the assassination.  But alas that is not proof of his involvement.  Of which there is none.

True, but it seem to me that it wouldn't matter who JFK had on the ticket with him IF civil rights had passed. After its passage (if it did) he was going to lose much of the South, receive the blame, whether LBJ was still on it or had been replaced. At least the deep/Jim Crow states.

Would JFK had not faced a backlash in the South if he had replaced LBJ with RFK? Or a northerner? Whoever he chose would have had to endorse the legislation.

Frankly, I don't think the legislation would have been passed at that time if he hadn't been assassinated. Not in 1963 or 1964. Maybe if JFK had won a landslide election he could have muscled it through. But the Kennedys were simply not very good working with Congress.

 

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