There is a darker explanation for how Lyndon Johnson really got on the 1960 Democratic ticket: blackmail and intimidation tactics. Anthony Summers interviewed JFK's longtime secretary Evelyn Lincoln:

"During the 1960 campaign, according to Mrs. Lincoln, Kennedy discovered how vulnerable his womanizing had made him. Sexual blackmail, she said, had long been part of Lyndon Johnson's modus operandi abetted by Edgar. "J. Edgar Hoover gave Johnson the information about various congressmen and senators so that Johnson could go to X senator and say, 'How about this little deal you have with this woman?' and so forth. That's how he kept them in line. He used his IOUs with them as what he hoped was his road to the presidency. He had this trivia to use because he had Hoover in his corner. And he thought that the members of Congress would go out there and put him over at the Convention. But then Kennedy beat him at the Convention. And well, after that Hoover and Johnson and their group were able to push Johnson on Kennedy. "LBJ," said Lincoln, "had been using all the information that Hoover could find on Kennedy during the campaign and even before the Convention. And Hoover was in on the pressure on Kennedy at the Convention."17

Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri was the man whom John Kennedy was courting heavily to be his vice president. Reporter Nancy Dickerson, who was very close to LBJ, interviewed Symington campaign advisor Clark Clifford about JFK's courtship of Symington and the meetings involved. Dickerson:

"The first was a luncheon at Kennedy's Washington house, where, through Clifford, he offered the vice presidency to Symington, provided Symington's Missouri delegation votes went to Kennedy. Symington turned down the deal. The second conversation, which took place in Los Angeles, was a repeat of the first, and again it was refused. The third conversation was in Kennedy's hideaway in Los Angeles, during which he told Clifford that he was fairly certain of a first-ballot victory and asked if Symington would be his running mate. As Clifford later told me, 'There were no strings attached. It was a straight offer.' The Symington and Clifford families conferred, Symington agreed to run, and Clifford relayed the news to Kennedy.

"Clifford was playing a unique role: He was not only Symington's campaign advisor, but JFK's personal lawyer as well. He is one of the world's most sophisticated men, and he does not make mistakes about matters like this. As he told me, 'We had a deal signed, sealed, and delivered.'"

Seymour Hersh discovered the same thing when he interviewed Clark Clifford and JFK insider Hy Raskin for his book The Dark Side of Camelot.

JBJ and JFK"Johnson was not being given the slightest bit of consideration by any of the Kennedys," Hy Raskin told Hersh. "On the stuff I saw, it was always Symington who was going to be the vice president. The Kennedy family had approved Symington ..." "It was obvious to them that something extraordinary had taken place, as it was to me," Raskin wrote. "During my entire association with the Kennedys, I could not recall any situation where a decision of major significance had been reversed in such a short period of time. . . . Bob [Kennedy] had always been involved in every major decision; why not this one, I pondered ... I slept little that night."18 John Kennedy told Clark Clifford on July 13, 1960: "We've talked it outâ??me, dad, Bobbyâ??and we've selected Symington as the vice president." Kennedy asked Clark Clifford to relay that message to Symington "and find out if he'd run. ... I [Clark Clifford] and Stuart went to bed believing that we had a solid, unequivocal deal with Jack."19

John Kennedy, after what must have been a brutal night of dealing with Lyndon Johnson and Sam Rayburn, told Clifford on the morning of July 14, 1960: "'I must do something that I have never done before. I made a serious deal, and now I have to go back on it. I have no alternative.' Symington was out and Johnson was in. Clifford recalled observing that Kennedy looked as if he'd been up all night."20

In sum, on July 13, 1960, John Kennedy had a deal "signed, sealed, and delivered" for Senator Stuart Symington to be his VP. Then "poof!" in a cloud of magician's smoke, suddenly Lyndon Johnson miraculously and inexplicably appears as the VP selection for JFK by the morning of July 14, 1960, stunning media and inside political observers. This type of black magic sorcery was a staple of LBJ's political career. Two other good examples of black magic would be the 1948 Box 13 ballot box stuffing, which made LBJ the Democratic Senate nominee, and the other one would be the 1952 murder conviction of LBJ's personal hit man Malcolm Wallace, who was convicted of murder "with malice aforethought" and given a mind-blowingly lenient sentence of five years probation with no time in jail for Wallace's conviction of the October, 1951 murder of Doug Kinser in Austin.

The JFK assassination itself became the most prime example of LBJ's black magic. Johnson was within days of not just being dropped from the 1964 Democratic ticket, but of being politically executed, personally destroyed, and publicly humiliated by the Kennedys. A Life magazine exposé on LBJ's corruption and vast wealth was due to be published within a week. A SWAT team of reporters was combing through LBJ's financial transactions in central Texas. At the very moment when JFK's Dallas motorcade was slowing on Elm Street, Don Reynolds was testifying to a closed session of the Senate Rules Committee about LBJ's kickbacks and corruption.

Then presto! Magically, mysteriously, and tragically, John Kennedy is dead. Lyndon Johnson becomes president, and the media exposeÌ?s and Senate investigation into LBJ's corruption are deep-sixed.

This was not without the help of H. L. Hunt and the Texas oil industry, which helped navigate, fund, and advise Johnson's career in exchange for prized government contracts and favorable legislation. The oil magnate would later be one of the top financiers of the assassination in Dallas. To Madeleine Brown, he was yet another wealthy Texas businessman in close orbit around her frequent lover, Lyndon Johnson.

"We may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war," Hunt said to Madeleine Brown after Johnson's loss to Kennedy in the primaries. He believed that Johnson, as vice president, could control the green Kennedy, eventually ascending to commander- in-chief, able to protect and promote Texas oil and other interests through legislation. Richard Nixon later specifically told Maurice Stans and his fundraisers in a memo: "Don't take money under any circumstances from H. L. Hunt."21

Following Johnson's acceptance of the vice presidential spot on the ticket, Bobby remarked to Charles Bartlett, a journalist and family friend: "Yesterday was the best day of my life, and today is the worst day of my life."22

 



17 Summers, Anthony, Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, p. 272.
18 Hersh, Seymour, The Dark Side of Camelot, pp. 124-25.
19 Hersh, Seymour, The Dark Side of Camelot, pp. 124-25.
20 Hersh, Seymour, The Dark Side of Camelot, p. 126.
21 Stans, Maurice, The Terrors of Justice, p. 134.
22 Shesol, Mutual Contempt, pg. 57.