The Presidency: I Need to Talk


"Why don't you all come in my office after lunch and we'll have a—what do you call it—an impromptu press conference," said the President to White House reporters one morning last week.

At 4:10 that afternoon, 150 newsmen stood shoulder to shoulder in the oval office for one hour and 33 minutes while Lyndon Johnson, not inhibited by the presence of television, lounged comfortably behind his desk—and talked on and on and on about every subject under the moon.

First, the President urged those in the back of the room to speak up if they could not hear. But when a...

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