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One Sunday morning Lady Bird said to me, standing at the third floor of the White House -
- there's a railing there, where you look down on a hallway on the second floor. She stood
there, looking down, and said--this is just before lunch. She said: “You've got to help
I said, “Sure. What do you mean?”
She said, “Well, you know the people in the East that are your friends, and you could get
them to help him. He's uncomfortable with the eastern--” What she was talking about was
the eastern establishment. She said it with such sincerity and such pleading that I felt
sorry for her and for him, because I knew the kind of heartache he was facing. I think he
went too far in trying to appease the memory of Jack Kennedy.
The first couple of weeks, when you went into the White House, there were almost two
people in every office--one Johnson's person and one the Kennedy person. I said to him:
“You know, you can't operate with a double staff.” I wasn't quite as blunt as that, but that
was what I was getting at.
And he gave me a lecture. He said: “Those are Kennedy's men, and I'm going to honor his
memory; and if they want to stay in there, they can stay in there.”
Well, they were taking advantage of him--because they were using the White House to
make their appointments and get jobs and everything else. And do whatever favors they
could do before they left the White House.
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