Wright 1964

From February, 3, 1964, just after 9pm Washington time, a few hours before the filing deadline in the Texas Democratic primary:

President Johnson: [There’s] a lot of things I can do for you. I can take care of you here if you lost. You wouldn’t be gambling anything. But . . .

[Break.]

Congressman Jim Wright: [laughing nervously] Here we are about, what? Four hours before the filing [deadline]—

President Johnson: Oh, less than that—two or three.

Wright: Yeah. Yeah. That’s right—two or three. Anything would have to be postmarked from here by midnight this time.

[Break.]

President Johnson: See, you and [Congressman] Joe [Kilgore]: now he’d [Governor John Connally] rather Joe run, ‘cause Joe’s got some money.

Wright: Sure. Yeah.

President Johnson: And I’d rather you run ‘cause you’ve got some votes. That’s the way I feel about it.

I’d rather nobody run if Don Yarborough wouldn’t run [for governor]—from the national picture. I think it’s bad to get all the labor split up, and fighting, and so forth.

But I think you have got a chance to beat [Senator Ralph] Yarborough; I don’t think Joe has. That’s my judgment; now, I may be wrong.

Wright: Yeah.

President Johnson: I think if you get on that ticket with John, and let him keep his arm in a sling [recovering from being shot in the Kennedy assassination] and keep your tongue in your mouth, I think you could go places. And I always have thought so.

I just think you just quit shaking hands and dodgin’ and dartin’ around everyplace in the country, and stay on that television every time somebody gives you a dollar.

[Break.]

President Johnson: Now, how much are you willing to gamble? It all? You want to come back to the House, or do you want to shoot the works if you can, with John, and if you lose [in the Senate primary], get something else?

[Break.]

President Johnson: I’d damn sight rather have a six-year term in the Senate than where you are. If you lost—if you lost, I’d take care of you with something else, whatever you wanted.

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