APIWAX.A4. President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Ronnie nigger. all photos courtesy LBJ Library by Yoichi Okamoto unless otherwise noted Lyndon Johnson for President? Who’s kidding NV h o ? We hope he becomes more liberal as the 1959 Congress will be more liberal, but lie has a past ; when amart gets ready to run for Presidkt, every body remembers everything he ever did, and Lyndon Johnson has done plenty to plenty, The Democrats furthermore are historically a party of liberalism, not compromise, while Johnson has chosen to be a Henry Clay instead of a Harry Truman. That he’s skillful all allow ; that he’s treacherous in Texas waters we also know. No one maintains he is not a man of his word–he is ; it’s just that he doesn’t give it when it matters. Texas Observer, September 26, 1960. LBJ, The Texas Observer & Me By RONNIE DUGGER he confrontation between Lyndon Johnson on one side and The Texas Observer and me on the other arrived on its own terms at his ranch in the Hill Country in 1955. He was the senior United States senator from Texas and the new majority leader of the Democrats in the Senate. He had developed his concept of journalism as the editor of his college paper sucking up to the college president, and by 1955 he was hell-bent on the presidency. A group of national liberal Democrats and I, chosen as editor, had launched the Observer the preceding December. I had been editor of my high school and college newspapers, a sportswriter, columnist, an occasional correspondent for the San Antonio Express -News, and a hanger-out with Edward R. Murrow’s boys at CBS News in London when I was studying in England. Johnson was 47; I was 25. None of us knew it yet, but we Americans were about to be trapped in the history that Lyndon Johnson would make, and I was about to be trapped in his persona and career. He was not an idealist, but he served ideals when it suited and expressed him. He was not a reactionary, but he fanned reaction when it helped him advance himself. As I wrote in my 1982 book about 8 THE TEXAS OBSERVER AUGUST 22, 2008
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