Sunday, January 10, 2016

LBJ read his grief speech to the nation the night of November 22 when he arrived at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington. You can watch it here:

You can tell that he's reading from the way that he's speaking. You can also see him looking up and down repeatedly as he is reading.

As he approaches the microphones, he turns to his left slightly and reaches into his left suit pocket for the sheet of paper which has his speech. And you can see it.

This is what he read. 

"This is a sad time for all people. We have suffered a loss that cannot be weighed. For me, it is a deep personal tragedy. I know that the world shares the sorrow that Mrs. Kennedy and her family bear. I will do my best. That is all I can do. I ask for your help--and God's."

He couldn't write a statement as brief as that himself? He needed speechwriters? He couldn't speak from the heart- not even then?Reportedly, three people had a hand in writing those words: Bill Moyer, Jack Valenti, and Liz Carpenter. And that's the best they could do? 

Notice that they didn't even mention John Kennedy. Nothing about him being a great man and a great President. Nothing about his sacrifice, his contribution. Johnson said "it" was a deep personal tragedy for him. It?  So, the loss of John Kennedy got reduced to an it? That hard inanimate pronoun sufficed?  How personal was it if he couldn't even state Kennedy's name and speak of him directly? 

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