On November 22, 1963 Lyndon Baines Johnson became the 36th President of the United States following the blackwash of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. However, his aspiration for the highest office in the land began old ages earlier. Johnson was nominated for President of the United States at the Democratic National Convention by the Speaker of the House of Representatives Sam Rayburn ( Staff ) . Speaker Rayburn was a friend and wise man to Johnson, and helped steer him through the halls of power in Washington. Johnson did non win the nomination, but the support he did have helped impel him to be on the ticket with the immature forepart smuggler from Massachusetts John Kennedy. After the tragic loss of Kennedy, Johnson was left with a cabinet of people loyal to his predecessor, and he needed to keep the stableness. LBJ was good cognizant of the historical president set by Andrew Johnson that took office after the blackwash of Lincoln, and was non traveling to allow that go on to him. He needed to do a smooth passage of power, and one time that had taken topographic point he would be ready to take on the run of ’64.
Johnson ‘s triumph was about assured in July of 1964, after the Republican National Convention in San Francisco, when the Ultra Conservative Barry Goldwater was selected for the ticket. Goldwater had already been caricaturized by his fellow Republicans as a political Neanderthal and a war trader. Now LBJ needed to merely sit back and number the ballots. However, the rumours were drifting around the White House that Johnson could excel Franklin D. Roosevelt ‘s record 60.8 % of the popular ballot. “ This became Johnson ‘s goalaˆ¦a landslide would be the last and mightiest measure in his consolidation of power ” ( Novak 489 ) . This sort of electoral consensus would give him the purchase he would necessitate to ordain his “ Great Society ” .
Johnson was a skilled politician ; he could acquire things done inside the bypass, and knew how to acquire the ballots back place in Texas. But on the other manus, running a national run was non his strong suit. His 1960 command for the Democratic nomination for President was a catastrophe, and his 1964 command was non off to a good start either. When the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City kicked off, Johnson had non even named a run director. He tried a twosome of people for the occupation, but in the terminal the lone 1 who truly qualified for the occupation was Lyndon himself. Johnson played mayhem with his staff, he had two separate people in charge of his agenda, Jack Valenti and Larry O’Brian, and both tried to keep the Presidents everyday, with small success. He would alter his programs on a minute ‘s notice so jet off to a new location. He besides had tonss of address authors that “ worked in teamsaˆ¦ But at the President ‘s insisting, one group did non cognize of the others being. [ They ] worked in an ambiance of about entire confusion, with small cardinal way of clear thought of what the star performing artist was traveling to make following ” ( Novak 491 ) .
If the outward elements of his run construction looked rickety, “ one component of scheme was devised in relatively order-and highly secretive-fashion. It was known as the Anti-Campaign ” ( Novak 492 ) . The Anti-Campaign was a propaganda machine consisting of a twelve DC Democrats, and it was Johnson ‘s babe. He watched over it like it was one of his girls. “ Its members were security-conscious and good versed in the propaganda of politicsaˆ¦ the occupation was easy defined: embarrass the Republicans, acquire under Barry Goldwater ‘s tegument ” ( Novak 492-493 ) . Some of the Anti-Campaign undertakings were, go throughing out bulletins that contained negative stuff to churches around the state. Another would be utilizing letters to the editor ; they would acquire a Republican concern leader that was tilting to Johnson, to compose a missive assailing Goldwater ‘s policies as he rolled into town for run address. A major part of the Anti-Campaign was the Frontlash, Johnson ‘s ain add-on to political vocabulary. “ Johnson had examined [ the ] polls for grounds of the fearful backlash-Democratic votersaˆ¦ deserting to Goldwater because of bitterness against the Negro Revolution. Alternatively, he found far more Republican electors deserting to Johnson and quickly dubbed it the Frontlash ” ( Novak 493 ) . The Frontlash worked for two grounds, one a misgiving of Goldwater and secondly Johnsons accomplishment at constructing a consensus.
The Johnson run hired a Madison Avenue publicizing house to make a series of telecasting and wireless musca volitanss to scare the American people about “ the mere idea of Barry Goldwater in the White House ” ( Novak 495 ) . However, a twosome of the musca volitanss were criticized even by Democrats as traveling excessively far. “ In one, a manus reached to press a atomic button, and immerse the universe into atomic war. In another, a small miss pulled petals from a daisy, and with each petal that fluttered to the land, a gloom-laden voice recited the countdown for the fire of an intercontinental ballistic missile ” ( Novak 495 ) . “ The terrorization ad was immediately perceived as a portraiture of Barry Goldwater as an extremist. In fact, the Republican National Committee spelled this out by stating, “ This ad implies that Senator Goldwater is a foolhardy adult male and Lyndon Johnson is a careful adult male. ” ‘ ( Museum of the Moving Image ) That is the consequence that Johnson ‘s squad wanted, and they got it. The “ Daisy Girl ” merely ran one clip as a paid topographic point, but is considered one of the best run ads of all clip. Sing all the elements of LBJ ‘s “ slapdash, shoddy run construction ” ( Novak 492 ) the Anti-Campaign is was the greatest component and brought Johnson the landslide he was looking for.
As in most runs, particularly if you are dawdling behind, there is the hope for the October surprise. And this was no exclusion, the Republicans were looking for anything that could stain Johnson, and it eventually arrived. “ On October 7, Walter Jenkins was arrested-along with an inmate of an old soldiers ‘ home-in the work forces ‘s room at the YMCA, one block West of the White Houseaˆ¦for “ disorderly behavior ” a euphemism for incomprehensible going from accepted sexual behavior. ” ( Novak 503 ) Jenkins was no mere employee, for 20 five old ages he was Johnson ‘s confidential helper. The RNC helped fan the fires and spread the narrative to any intelligence bureau that would listen. While the whole clip the Johnson Campaign was seeking to stamp down the narrative. The narrative was excessively large and it went out all across the state. However, the narrative was lost in the yearss that followed by immense intelligence from Russia, Great Britain and China. To the discouragement of the Goldwater run the narrative would hold no impact with the electors of America. Sing the manner Johnson ran his life and his run he was non hurt by bad imperativeness, and was looked on favourably by the media and the American people. LBJ went on to win all but five of the provinces in the Electoral College race, and garnished 61 % of the popular ballot dramatis personae that twelvemonth. This surpassed the record set by FDR, giving Johnson the purchase he was seeking.
At first glimpse one would non believe that the 1964 Johnson/Goldwater and the 2008 Obama/McCain races could hold anything in common. On the reverse they have several things in common, non merely the Republican versus Democrat aspect that most all federal elections have. For starting motors both Johnson and Obama ran against Republican Senators from Arizona. As a affair of fact, John McCain now holds the Senate place vacated by Barry Goldwater in January of 1987, following his retirement from political relations. Another similarity is that both Johnson and Obama raised unprecedented sums of run financess for their races. Johnson received big parts from Republican concern work forces, who were afraid of the viewed instability of Goldwater. Obama besides had great success in fund elevation, thru the usage of the cyberspace. Peoples who supported Obama could easy do contributions from anyplace at any clip by merely by logging on to Obama ‘s run web site and come ining their recognition card information. During both of these election old ages the Democratic campaigner ran with the impression of spread outing federal plans to assist the American people. Johnson had his head set on the “ Great Society ” , whose chief ends were the riddance of poorness and racial unfairness. Obama brought to the run trail an extension of the “ Great Society ” by assuring cosmopolitan wellness attention for all Americans. Finally, this comparing of the two truly did n’t affair who the Republicans ran, they were non traveling to win in either election 1964 or 2008. In 1964 Goldwater was non merely running against a scene President, in Johnson, but he was running against the memory of the late assassinated John F. Kennedy. This event was fresh on the heads of American people, and would be impossible to get the better of. In 2008 McCain was running a run in which he was seeking to distance himself from an unpopular Republican President in George Bush. At the same clip the economic system was in problem and military was involved in a popular war in Iraq. The American people were clamouring for alteration and McCain was non it. Even sing that these two elections were separated by over 40 old ages they both have interesting similarities and lone clip will state how the Obama Presidency will turn out.
The 1964 Johnson race for the White House was an unconventional muss, compared to other Presidential races. LBJ wanted the American people to believe he was uninterested in the run, but in world it was wholly he cared approximately. He would delegate undertakings to one squad, and without the cognition of anyone else make the same assignment to other squads. Duplicate in undertakings was rampant in his run and he wanted concluding blessing on every item. Johnson kept his full staff in the dark, and would wing off the grip to any and all subsidiaries, including his married woman. Johnson ne’er was a elusive adult male, but he was able to environ himself with capable people that could acquire the occupation done without clear way. In the terminal LBJ got the triumph and the result that he wanted, and that fact can non be taken away from his bequest.
Museum of the Moving Image. “ 1964 Johnson VS. Goldwater. ” 2008. The Living Room Candidate. 12 October 2009 & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1964 & gt ; .
Novak, Rowland Evans & A ; Robert. Lyndon B. Johnson: The Exercise of Power. New York: The New American Library Inc. , 1966.
Staff, LBJ Library Archives. “ President Lyndon B. Johnson ‘s Biography. ” Lyndon Baine Johnson Library and Museum. 12 October 2009 & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/johnson/archives.hom/biographys.hom/lbj_bio.asp & gt ; .