JUNE 1, 2012
HOW LYNDON GOT ON THE TICKET IV
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 admits that he was “furious” when he learned the next morning that JFK was going to offer the Vice-Presidential slot on the ticket to LBJ.
What upset Kenny the most about the situation was that he & other Kennedy staffers had promised labor & civil rights leaders that LBJ would NOT be on the ticket.
“I felt that we had been double-crossed.”
The only private place where JFK could talk to Kenny was the bathroom.
Kenny writes that he said to JFK:
“This is the worst mistake you ever made. Are we going to spend the campaign apologizing for Lyndon Johnson….?”
Ken tells us that what JFK said next he would NEVER forget:
“I’m 43….& I’m the healthiest candidate for President…..I’m not going to die in office. So the Vice-Presidency doesn’t mean anything.”
JFK went on to say that as a narrowly elected President he would not be able to “live with” LBJ as the Senate majority leader. So, moving him up to VP would solve that problem.*
*Mike Mansfield, a man JFK felt he could trust & depend on, would become Senate Majority Leader when JFK became President.