The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power

Caro, Robert A.

Knopf, 2012

pp. 181 - 182

Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Vice-Presidency was extremely painful. He had no power and little to do. He adopted an approach to meetings that consisted of saying almost nothing. When asked for his opinion “Johnson would answer in monosyllables—and in a voice so soft that sometimes it could not be heard . . . One of his tactics throughout his life—one of the techniques he employed to bend people to his will—had been to make them feel sorry for him, to pity him, until, moved at last by his distress and sad state, they gave way, at which point he would promptly revert to his normal self, with a speed and thoroughness so dramatic that they made it obvious that this sad demeanor was indeed only a tactic.”