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A Racist President Named Lyndon B. Johnson!

  • Broadcast in Psychology
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Johnson's success in the Senate made him a possible Democratic presidential candidate. He was the "favorite son" candidate of the Texas delegation at the Party's national convention in 1956. In 1960, after the failure of the "Stop Kennedy" coalition he had formed with Adlai Stevenson, Stuart Symington, and Hubert Humphrey, Johnson received 409 votes on the only ballot at the Democratic convention, which nominated John F. Kennedy. Tip O'Neill, then a representative from Kennedy's home state of Massachusetts, recalled that Johnson approached him at the convention and said, "Tip, I know you have to support Kennedy at the start, but I'd like to have you with me on the second ballot." O'Neill replied, "Senator, there's not going to be any second ballot."[26]
Kennedy realized that he could not be elected without support of traditional Southern Democrats, most of whom had backed Johnson. Therefore, Johnson was offered the vice-presidential nomination. Some sources (such as Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.'s) state that Kennedy offered the position to Johnson as a courtesy and did not expect him to accept. Others (such as W. Marvin Watson) say that the Kennedy campaign was desperate to win the 1960 election against Richard Nixon and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., and needed Johnson on the ticket to help carry Southern states. According to still other sources, Kennedy did not want Johnson as his running-mate and did not want to ask him. Kennedy's reported choice was Symington. Johnson decided to seek the Vice Presidency and with Speaker Rayburn's help pressured Kennedy to give him a spot.[27]
At the same time as his Vice Presidential run, Johnson also sought a third term in the U.S. Senate.