Friday, October 5, 2012
LBJ Library: President LBJ State of the Union Address, 1/12/66: President Johnson at The Height of His Power
In January, 1966 President Lyndon Johnson was at the height of his power, just being elected in 1964. With an overwhelmingly landslide where he won something like forty States and 60% of the Popular Vote and an overwhelming Democratic Congress, of around 290 seats in the House, 67 in the Senate. Yes he had the Southern Caucus in Congress but he also had Progressive Republicans as well and with this Progressive Democratic/Republican Coalition, was able to pass the Civil and Voting Rights Act. In 1964 and 65, as well as his Great Society, President Johnson if anything had too much power, because he wasn't sure what to do with all of it and if anything probably felt untouchable. Without a strong Republican Opposition in Congress or around the country and I believe thats where he got trouble in Vietnam, which started in 1965, where our involvement there went. Downhill but his popularity tanked in 1966, because of the Vietnam War and Congressional Republicans, as well as potential Presidential Candidates like Richard Nixon. Who campaigned for Congressional Republicans, in 1966 were rewarded the benefits of President Johnson's unpopularity.