To close associates he used his fear of dying in office as his main reason for retiring. His father and grandfather had both died at age 64, and in fact LBJ died when he was 64 - two days after his second term would have ended.
LBJ brought America some grand visions. Medicare and the Great Society chief among them. He was in office during a time of great change in American society, a time of change that can only be put in focus through the filter of history.
President Obama is facing far worse poll numbers and he is also in office during a time of deep discontent over establishment politics. We should also consider the string of potential political killers that are only going to get more attention as we approach the general election next year.
- Fast and Furious
- American Jobs Act and ineffective stimulus bills
- Stubborn unemployment hovering around 9.1%
- Historic deficits
- Stagnation in Afghanistan and instability in Iraq
- Loss of Majority in the House and a tenuous grip on the majority in the Senate