Sunday, September 18, 2016

the last book I ever read (Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, excerpt fourteen)

from Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus by Rick Perlstein:

Lyndon Johnson, in Austin, was more vigilant. He was on the phone with Bill Moyers constantly, gorging himself with good news. At 5:45 p.m. he asked about Kentucky (final total: LBJ, 64 to 36), Indiana (65 to 33), New Jersey (66 to 34), and Oklahoma (56 to 44). At 5:52 he learned, unsurprisingly, that Goldwater was winning South Carolina (final total: 59 to 41), but that the Democratic ticket was on a pace toward carrying Ohio, whose governor had offloaded his convention delegates to Goldwater certain that the backlash would carry the Republican to victory, by a million and a half votes. At 6:22 the President looked into Maryland (65 to 35), Connecticut (68 to 32), Vermont (66 to 34, Democratic for the first time ever), North Carolina (a border-state landslide for LBJ, 56 to 44), Minnesota (64 to 36), and Georgia (Goldwater, 55 to 44). The news wasn’t enough to cheer him. “I’m afraid of Vietnam,” he told Moyers in between returns. “We’re in trouble in Vietnam, serious trouble,” he repeated to Hubert Humphrey. Congratulating his former attorney general on his projected New York Senate victory, Johnson, sounding perhaps a bit more pleading than he had intended, asked: “If you get any solution on Vietnam just call me direct, will you?”

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