LBJ’s great rule of life: “Don’t tell a man to go to Hell unless you can send him there.”

25 Feb
LBJ pulling yet another beagle's ears (His own dog was named Little Beagle Johnson (LBJ)

LBJ pulling yet another beagle’s ears.  His own dog was named Little Beagle Johnson (LBJ)

While surfing the internet tonight I dam across this little nugget, Lyndon Baines Johnson’s “Rules of Life”. The ebullient LBJ was a larger than life character who contemporaries descibed as highly driven, ambitious and devoid of any interests or past-times outside politics.

Though mainly remembered now as the President who even further embroiled the US in the Viet Nam war (a policy he inherited from JFK) too many forget his personal campaign for massive social reform, entitled: The Great Society. You can find the text of LBJ’s first Great Society speech here

While some of these rules encapsulate his own very earthy style, not to mention his cynical approach to the apparatus of government and office, others – especially number 7 – are worth noting by anyone considering a life in politics.

1. “Never trust a man whose eyes are too close to his nose.”

2. “Always be sure to have 25% cotton in your undershirts; otherwise your titties will itch.”

3. “Remember the CIA is made up of boys whose families sent them to Princeton but wouldn’t let them into the family brokerage business.”

4. “The fact that a man is a newspaper reporter is evidence of some flaw of character.”

5. “When you are handshaking on the campaign trail, never let the other fellow grab your hand first—grab his hand and elbow and throw him past.”

6. “Before getting into a motorcade, always go to the bathroom and pee.”

7. “Don’t tell a man to go to Hell unless you can send him there.”

8. “When things haven’t gone well for you, call in a secretary or a staff man and chew him out. You will sleep better and they will appreciate the attention.”

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