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President Affirms that V.P. Johnson Will Remain on Ticket

May 9, 1962 - President Kennedy said today that Vice President Johnson would be on the Democratic ticket again in 1964 “if he chooses to run.” Mr. Johnson is constantly involved in the highest affairs of state and is “invaluable” to the Administration, the President stated. This unusual Presidential endorsement for a Vice President, normally the forgotten man of American politics, was given in answer to a question at Mr. Kennedy’s news conference. The question referred to rumors in Texas that Mr. Johnson might be dropped from the ticket in 1964. The President was asked if he expected “that either end of the Democratic ticket would be different in 1964.” “Well, I don’t know about what they’ll do with me, but I’m sure that the Vice President will be on the ticket if he chooses to run,” Mr. Kennedy said. “He participates in all of the major deliberations. He’s been in the Congress for years. He’s invaluable.” Those who are in touch with the Vice President are convinced that he still cherishes the hope of becoming the Democratic Presidential candidate in 1968. They believe he realizes that his chances now depend solely on Mr. Kennedy’s decision and that he is determined to do nothing that could give offense to the President. He never holds news conferences. He keeps tight restraints over all information about his non-public activities. He rarely talks to reporters and, when he does, only off the record. Even his confidential utterances are likely to be compliments to Mr. Kennedy. One of Washington’s foremost political realists, Mr. Johnson has been quoted as saying, “I am as close to the President as the President wants me to be, and no closer than the President wants me to be.”

#JFK #1960s #history #OTD #podcast #politics #LBJ

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