The Presidency: At the Perigee

The mercurial man who is President of the U.S. is given to periods of great ebullience and monumental gloom. Lately Lyndon Johnson has found himself at the perigee. He is more somber, subdued and preoccupied than at almost any time since he entered the White House.

This brooding mood was apparent in his lackluster performance at the United Nations' 20th anniversary celebration in San Francisco two weeks ago. In Austin, Texas, last week, he slipped away from church services without stopping for the usual round of friendly handshaking. The green fields and warming sun at his Texas ranch normally soothe him,...

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