3 November 2011

LBJ elected on this day in 1964: underrated president & underrated speaker

Today is the anniversary of Lyndon B Johnson's victory over Barry Goldwater in the US presidential election of 1964.

Although presidents Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton and Obama have all been recognised as great communicators, LBJ was no mean performer either. I hadn't realised this until seeing a clip shown by David Murray, editor of Vital Speeches of The Day, in his presentation at this year's annual conference of the UK Speechwriters' Guild.

I haven't been able to find the actual one he showed on YouTube, but the ones above and below are both historically interesting and well worth watching.

Had LBJ not become bogged down in the Vietnam war, his domestic political achievements, especially on civil rights, would have arguably earned him a place among the greatest of all American presidents. And, although he may not have been in the same league as Reagan or Obama in the oratory stakes, he was better at it than most.

1 comment:

Aaron said...

Absolutely. Kennedy may have said much, but it was LBJ that enacted the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.