THE PRESIDENCY: The Meaning of the Cordovans

When President Lyndon Johnson once showed up for some morning ceremonial duties in a gray suit and brown shoes, the people traveling with him were immediately alert for a change in the day's doings. Johnson was fastidious about the trappings of office, and even the slight dissonance of brown and gray hinted a new mood or schedule.

Sure enough, L.B.J. jetted off secretly to Viet Nam and a conference with his field commanders. While in flight he changed his gray suit to a rancher's outfit of twill so that he would look more like a soldier when he reviewed the...

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