The Presidency: With a Good Cough

THE PRESIDENCY

Barely 30 minutes off the operating table, the nation's least patient patient signaled for a pen and scrawled a message to his doctors on the back of a medical form: "Tell me something." The surgeons obediently described the operations to remove a polyp from his throat and repair an abdominal hernia, but their fill-in was far too sketchy for Lyndon Johnson. "Tell me all that took place," he commanded in a second note. Thus began what will doubtless rate as the most exposed convalescence in presidential history.

As if determined to prove that it takes more than "a little stitchin'...

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