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MAY 31, 2012


Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we continue our report on Chapter 7 of the book by Kenneth P. O’Donnell & David F. Powers with Joe McCarthy.  It is published by Little, Brown & Company.

The title of Chapter 7 is HOW LYNDON GOT ON THE TICKET.

Kenneth O’Donnell says that Philip Graham*, the publisher of the Washington Post in 1960, began to promote LBJ for Vice-President of the United States.

*Philip Leslie Graham (1915-1963) was publisher & co-owner of the Washington Post.  Born in South Dakota, he was raised in Miami.  

He was a graduate of the University of Florida & Harvard Law School.  His wife was Katharine Graham.   

In 1963, while suffering from mental problems, Mr. Graham committed suicide. 

Kenny admits that personally he didn’t care who JFK’s picked for VP…..“as long as it wasn’t Johnson.”

JFK received a congratulatory telegram from Lyndon Johnson that same day which said:

“LBJ now means Let’s Back Jack.”

When JFK asked Dave Powers to set the alarm early so he could meet with LBJ, Dave said to himself “My God, he’s going to offer it to Lyndon.”

The next morning, Jack asked Dave how many Southern votes he had gotten on the 1st ballot.**

**JFK polled only 13 Southern delegates out of 409.  LBJ polled 307. 

 This statistic I think clearly explains the difficult situation JFK faced.  While he may have personally preferred some other running mate, LBJ would bring to the 1960 Democratic ticket a chance to win in November.

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