LBJ Gets Pantsed

When Lady Bird Johnson passed away last week at 94, some in the media reported her ponderings about how the Johnson administration would be remembered. This post may help, for you can’t have a full grasp of President Lyndon Baines Johnson‘s personality and influence until you hear him ordering a few pairs of custom-made slacks over the phone from the Haggar Clothing Company.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I came of age in an era when political leaders had hidden tape recorders and knew how to use them. But unless you’re an investigative reporter, who can actually listen to all of that stuff? I can only imagine the job of a White House transcriptionist: meetings followed by phone calls followed by more meetings, deal after deal, day after day. Pretty dull, right?

Thank God for the good folks of the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. They’ve compiled an amazing oral history collection overflowing with recordings and transcriptions from the Roosevelt thru the Nixon White Houses. Fascinating stuff for students and history buffs alike, these materials paint an amazing picture of our government at work in times of war and peace, depression and recovery.

And times, such as this in August of 1964, when the Chief Executive of the United States needed to personally add some items to his wardrobe. Stick with it…you’ll be glad you did, although it’s not necessarily for the younger kids.

Of course, if your younger kids want to listen to a tape recording of President Johnson from 1964, you could have much larger issues to deal with.

Johnson, who could have made an excellent tailor if he hadn’t gone into politics, may have even belatedly inspired the folks at Haggar to take a lighter approach to their own advertising.

Such is the power of the Oval Office.

craig hodgkins

PS: If you’re not used to context links, click here for LBJ.

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~ by Craig Hodgkins on July 19, 2007.

2 Responses to “LBJ Gets Pantsed”

  1. When Bill Clinton gets pantsed, I bet your blog traffic will spike into the stratosphere. LBJ may not be Bubba, but what a character nevertheless.

  2. my favorite LBJ story is that he used to hang out outside the Congressional restrooms when he was a junior senator. When a person of note came by to use the facilities, LBJ would pretend to answer nature’s call as well, thus giving him the opportunity to introduce himself. gotta love politics….

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