George Packer (Togo 1982-83) on Kennedy, Obama, and L.B.J.
[George Packer (Togo 1982-83) put up this item yesterday on The New Yorker website. It is really a smart piece on presidents, vice presidents, and how history repeats itself.] In one of those coincidences that get you thinking in historical analogies, President Obama announced support for same-sex marriage just a few days after the publication of Robert Caro’s fourth volume on the life of Lyndon B. Johnson, “The Passage of Power.” Obama arrived at his position in very much the way that John F. Kennedy decided to put the force of the White House behind civil rights: slowly, reluctantly, and with a big assist from his overlooked, often ridiculed Vice-President. I spent the summer of 1980 as an intern at a legal-aid office in southern Alabama, and in the houses of poor black people I got used to seeing a sign on the wall that said, “The three who set . . .Read More
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