Nation: The Professional

Starting with John Kennedy's race for the Senate in 1952, Lawrence Francis O'Brien's string of major political successes has included J.F.K.'s 1958 reelection, the presidential victory in 1960 and then Lyndon Johnson's landslide in 1964. As Hubert Humphrey knew when he persuaded the veteran tactician to serve as his campaign manager and as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, O'Brien's impact in any campaign is not merely talismanic. In the art of political organization, Larry O'Brien is a dry-land Nelson. In J.F.K.'s words, "he is the best election man in the business."

The...

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