Story Notes: “The Right Man for the Job”

Story Notes for “The Right Man for the Job” by K.G. Anderson, published in More Alternative Truths: Stories from the Resistance

Adlai Stevenson II ran three times for president (1952, 1956, and 1960) and served as President Lyndon B. Johnson’s ambassador to the United Nations. During one of presidential campaign, a college student assured Stevenson that he had “the vote of every thinking American;” Stevenson quipped in reply that he’d need a good deal more than that. Stevenson’s father, U.S. vice president under Grover Cleveland, is credited with the saying “Your public servants serve you right.”

Political commentator Molly Ivins wrote hundreds of columns and dozens of books, and enjoyed river rafting. She dismissed rumors of a Trump presidency in 2000, and the quote in the story from her about “the stories we don’t get” is verbatim.

Walter Cronkite, famed CBS new anchor from 1962 to 1981, was one of a group of well-heeled Manhattan apartment dwellers that attempted to stop the construction of Trump Tower in their neighborhood in 1999.

Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, was shaped by his experiences as an elementary school teacher in rural Texas. When Johnson was serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, his family lived in the same neighborhood as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Johnson was credited with crafting sweeping social justice and education programs under a plan referred to as “The Great Society.” A colorful Texas politician, Johnson drank Cutty Sark and drove a Lincoln convertible. He had an elaborate and expensive multi-nozzle high-powered shower installed in the private quarters of the White House—a contraption that his successor, Richard Nixon, ordered demolished and replaced with a normal shower.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover earned the wrath of Lady Bird Johnson when information about the sexual activities of top Johnson aide Walter Jenkins was given to the press. Hoover is believed by historians to have collected information on U.S. presidents and used that information to control government policy while heading the FBI for nearly half a century (1924 through 1972).

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) crossed party lines in 1964 to vote for Democrat Lyndon Baines Johnson for president. McConnell, at the time an intern in the office of Republican Senator John Sherman, said he did it because Johnson’s opponent, Republican Barry Goldwater, had opposed the Civil Rights Act.

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