Lyndon Johnson

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RNC Recycles LBJ 'Daisy' Ad to Bash Obama on Gitmo

Classic incendiary spot doesn't age well in Michael Steele's hands

(Newser) - RNC chairman Michael Steele has rolled out an ad remixing an LBJ classic on nuclear war to warn about the danger of closing Guantanamo. The infamous 1964 spot used images of a little girl plucking petals off a daisy juxtaposed with a nuclear explosion to illustrate the risk of Armageddon....

Obama's Plans Require a Lot More Hands

Federal workforce could expand by 100-250K, experts say

(Newser) - President Obama’s ambitious budget and stimulus plans will require the government to hire scores of new workers, the Washington Post reports. Analysts put the number between 100,000 and 250,000 spread among various agencies, the biggest expansion of the federal workforce since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society days....

Conservatives Must 'Obstruct and Delay' Obama: Kristol

GOP can check rush toward big government

(Newser) - The “day of reckoning” has come for Republicans, writes William Kristol in the Washington Post. On Tuesday, President Obama delivered “the most unabashedly liberal and big-government speech” since Lyndon Johnson, and seems poised to undo the whole Reagan agenda. “Conservatives can’t win politically right now,”...

Lone Star Political Clout Rides Into Sunset

After fifty years of political clout, Texas has lost its primacy as national king-maker

(Newser) - The booming voices of Texas politics have, for the first time in half a century, fallen silent, writes Bryan Burrough in the Washington Post. After vast deposits of oil wealth propelled Lone Star personalities like LBJ and both Bushes to the White House, as well as several influential leaders like...

Hoover's FBI Launched Gay Probe on Valenti

LBJ aide turned Hollywood figure was secretly scrutinized

(Newser) - Before his long presidency of the Motion Picture Association of America, Jack Valenti served as a top White House aide to LBJ. Recently declassified files show that, at the same time, the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover was investigating whether Valenti, who died in 2007, was gay. Although no proof...

LBJ Biographer Aims for Eternity
 LBJ Biographer 
 Aims for Eternity 

LBJ Biographer Aims for Eternity

Tireless writer published average of one book every ten years

(Newser) - Lyndon Johnson's biographer takes his work seriously—so much so, he didn't cover LBJ's presidency for 30 years, Newsweek reports. Rising from the tabloid world in the 1960s, Robert Caro first wrote a painstaking biography of New York mogul Robert Moses. Next came a volume on LBJ's youth; Caro even...

Belafonte, Sotheby's Cancel MLK Auction

King estate disputes ownership of papers

(Newser) - Sotheby's has canceled the auction of three Martin Luther King documents amid an ongoing feud between their owner—Harry Belafonte—and the King estate, the New York Times reports. MLK's heirs contend that Belafonte is not the rightful owner of the papers, which include an important King speech on Vietnam...

LBJ Saw 'Treason' in Candidate Nixon's Actions

(Newser) - As the tumultuous 1968 presidential campaign closed, Lyndon Johnson learned of attempts by Richard Nixon's aides to undermine peace efforts in Vietnam, actions he referred to as "treason," The final batch of audio recordings made during LBJ's administration, released yesterday by his presidential library, capture the frustration of...

Washington Faces Seismic Shift
 Washington Faces Seismic Shift 

Washington Faces Seismic Shift

Obama will be one of the most powerful presidents of the modern era, says Politico

(Newser) - The election of a relatively young black man to the presidency carries obvious historical significance—but beyond the symbolism, John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei write for Politico, last night marked one of the most momentous political transformations in modern American history. The rout of the Republican party means that...

An Obama Win Would Belong to LBJ
An Obama
Win Would Belong to LBJ

An Obama Win Would Belong to LBJ

Run is confirmation of slow change since Civil Rights Act

(Newser) - Unless the polls are wrong, the winner of today’s election is clear: Lyndon Baines Johnson. “We have lost the South for a generation,” Johnson said when he signed the Civil Rights Act. Well, “for that generation, time’s up,” Richard Cohen writes in the Washington ...

White Obama Support Defies Doubters
 White Obama Support 
 Defies Doubters 


White Obama Support Defies Doubters

44% of white voters swing to Obama

(Newser) - A minority of white voters—44%—are now supporting Barack Obama, but he trails by less than previous Democratic presidential candidates, reports the New York Times, including Bill Clinton. Both the impact of racial attitudes and the proportion of white voters in the electorate have diminished, analysts say. In a...

How Would Cool Hand Obama Govern?
 How Would 
 Cool Hand 

How Would Cool Hand Obama Govern?

Brooks asks: How would someone so calm actually govern?

(Newser) - Barack Obama, like LBJ and Bill Clinton, may rise from an outsider's position to the highest echelon of American politics. But while those presidents sought power for respect or public adoration, writes David Brooks, Obama exudes an "untroubled self-confidence" in the mold of FDR and Ronald Reagan. Watching Obama's...

After 43 Years, LBJ's Dream Is Realized Tonight
After 43 Years, LBJ's Dream Is Realized Tonight

After 43 Years, LBJ's Dream Is Realized Tonight

Voting Rights Act paved the way for Obama's candidacy, writes Caro

(Newser) - As Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination tonight, author Robert A. Caro will be remembering another speech: Lyndon Johnson's 1965 address to Congress urging the passage of the Voting Rights Act. In that speech, which reduced Martin Luther King to tears, LBJ "adopted the great anthem of the civil...

Candidates' Family Trees Have Far-Flung Limbs

Jolie-Pitt family could be split by ties to Clinton, Obama, genealogist finds

(Newser) - The Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt household might have trouble choosing a Democratic candidate: It turns out Barack Obama is a distant cousin of Pitt’s and Hillary Clinton is a relative of Jolie’s. The author of a new genealogical survey cautions voters not to be too swayed—but it seems...

Bush Approval Rating Hits New Low: 31%

Ratings hit their lowest yet on war's 5th anniversary

(Newser) - More than two-thirds of Americans now think George W. Bush is doing a poor job, according to a new poll that pegged his approval rate at 31%—a new low. The director of the CNN poll noted that the hefty 40-point drop in Bush's approval ratings since the start of...

Family, DNA Cast Doubt on JFK Love Child

His mother says she never met Kennedy; hair sample no match

(Newser) - A Texas-born investment banker's claim to be the love child of JFK is suddenly looking far less credible. The person who would know—his mom—says she never met John F. Kennedy, or any Kennedys for that matter, ABC News reports. Jack Worthington's reputable career and resemblance to Kennedy has...

Clinton Rolls Out 'Nuclear Option' TV Spot

'Red phone'-style ad asks: Who will keep your children safe?

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton today debuted an ad hinting at dire consequences of electing a commander in chief who isn’t “tested," ABC News reports. "It's 3am and your children are asleep," a voice says over images of sleeping infants. "There's a phone in the White House,...

How US Tried to Whack Castro
How US Tried to Whack Castro

How US Tried to Whack Castro

CIA devised creative means to remove Cuban president

(Newser) - Despite several assassination attempts against Fidel Castro, the Cuban president stepped down Tuesday on his own terms. The CIA came up with at least eight sometimes-kooky ways to oust the leader, CNN reports, most of which were not carried out:
  • Chemical attack on the air of his radio station.
  • Cigars

Hillary Praises MLK, Gets Tepid Response

Hopeful rouses little excitement at event honoring King

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton faced a smattering of applause, scattered boos, and a few walkouts at a Martin Luther King, Jr. event in New York today, ABC reports. "Each of us, no matter who we are and where we started from, is a beneficiary of Dr. King," she told the...

Fateful 1963 Xmas Card Missing on Tour

Greeting never sent out after JFK assassination

(Newser) - Visitors on a White House Christmas tour have noticed something missing—a rare 1963 greeting card that John F. Kennedy signed before his fateful trip to Dallas, Reuters reports. President and Jacquelyn Kennedy signed fewer than 30 of the cards, which were never sent out. "They are the most...

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