Summer, 1960. John Kennedy has just won the Democratic presidential nomination. It is time to pick a Vice-Presidential candidate. First thing in the morning, on the day after his nomination victory, Kennedy asks Lyndon Johnson to join the ticket. Many of Kennedy’s advisors and supporters don’t just think this choice is unwise, they hate Johnson and see him as a symbol of Southern intolerance and repression. Kennedy’s closest advisor, his brother Robert, despises Johnson and apparently tries to sabotage the selection even after it was already made.
Likewise, some of Johnson’s closest advisors were opposed to him becoming Vice President and Johnson is not even on the radar of most national journalists and pundits. Johnson’s mentor and father figure, Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, was adamantly against the idea.
There were many obvious reasons why Johnson seemed like an unlikely VP selection.
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