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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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I immediately shifted to “sympathy.” So the sentence came out, “Mr. President, I want you to know that you certainly have our continued sympathy,” or words to that effect.

The whole thing was, of course, ludicrous, given the tragic circumstances. It was a crazy thing. Then, of course, I learned later that Johnson had phoned something like fifteen hundred people in the course of a few days after the assassination. I don't know whether it would be physically possible to phone fifteen hundred people, now that I say that, but at least that was the figure that I had seen somewhere. He certainly phoned hundreds of people around the country to simply establish a personal contact with them in the very few days after the assassination. This was about thirty hours after the assassination when I got this call.

During the next few weeks I heard from him on a couple of more occasions, one time in connection with the appointment of Tom [Thomas C.] Mann as his special Latin American representative.

But I, and I'm sure many other people, thought that this telephoning habit of the president really was pretty silly and was embarrassing. I didn't really think he should do it, although naturally everybody is flattered to get a telephone call from the president. Nevertheless, I thought that this wasn't really right. So I'm rather relieved to say that for the last several months I haven't heard from him at all. I think that somebody must have finally suggested to him shortly after this period of November, December, January, that he really ought to quit doing this, because I think he really has cut down a great deal on this wild spree of

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