The Presidency: Back in the Ring

Throughout the congressional recess and his own convalescence, Lyndon Johnson remained serenely aloof from partisan politics. When he returned to the ring last week, the President showed that he had lost none of his old élan for upstaging the opposition. Waiting until only a few hours before the G.O.P.'s Ev Dirksen and Gerry Ford were to take to TV with their "little State of the Union" message, Johnson summoned the White House press to witness a series of top-of-the-bill turns deftly calculated to steal front-page space from the Republicans.

For his first act, Lyndon marched in with Sargent Shriver and...