The Administration: Winding Down

At the White House, there was an unaccustomed air of casualness, an unfamiliar atmosphere of tranquillity. President Johnson went through the normal busy week—a state dinner for Norway's King Olav, a jet excursion to Illinois, the appointment of a new ambassador to the U.N. But something was missing, some factor had disappeared from the unique Johnsonian equation. Both the shock and euphoria that followed the President's March 31 abdication speech had disappeared, and the Johnson Administration was slowly, inexorably winding down toward its self-set demise on January 20, 1969.

The signs, to be sure, were scarcely perceptible. Flying to Chicago...

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