White House, Lyndon Johnson, Doris Kearns Goodwin discussed on The Takeout with Major Garrett

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Hope you had a great holiday season. So who's the guest? Well, if you were to come up with a list, maybe ten people that, you know, maybe you see on television. You read his or her book, I really love to have that. Person I'm willing to bet for eighty to ninety percent of my audience. This woman would be on that list who is it Doris Kearns Goodwin. Pulitzer prize winner bestselling author. Popular historian, learned historian, everything you would want an American person of letters to be doors currents good when it's great to have you on. So glad to be this is going to be fun. It's gonna be fine. Where are we? So we're at the Willard hotel, which has its own historic resonance in our nation's capital. We'll get to that. In a second. Cafe Duparc is the restaurant on the second full. Dr our waiter will be here momentarily. It's in the evening, and because of this particular medium's ability to shatter the space time continuum, you're hearing this and seeing it on January fourth twenty nine thousand nine we're not exactly recording it on January fourth twenty nine hundred nine. So one thing I want to say because you're hearing this and seeing as on January fourth twenty nineteen is happy birthday to you doors. Thank you. It happens to be very day. But we are going to be broadcast. Exactly what I think a lot of people my audience. So I know I know doors curtains Goodwin. But do you really know her I would love for you to tell my audience the story of how? This all got started as an intern in the Johnson administration because I didn't even know that story. And I thought I knew you pretty well, let's start there. So what happened is when I was twenty four years old. I was selected as a White House fallow. This fabulous program, Colin Powell was the White House fellow Wesley Clark you get to work for a year. Either. At a cabinet office are in the White House staff. I was a graduate student at Harvard when I was selected and we had a big dance at the White House. Then that we were selected president Johnson did dance with me. But not that peculiar there are only three women out of the sixteen White House fellows, but as he twirled around the floor in quite large fashion. He whispered that he wanted me to be assigned directly to him in the White House. But it was not to be that simple because in the months leading up to my selection, while I was at graduate school like so many young people, I was active in the anti Vietnam war movement, and a friend of mine, and I had this is nine hundred sixty seven okay for now. Everybody can figure out exactly how old I am in two thousand nine hundred at any rate. I sent an article with a friend. Into the new Republican. We hadn't heard anything and all of a sudden two days after the and the White House the article was against Lyndon Johnson. It came out with their title how to remove Lyndon Johnson from power. So I was certainly would kick me out of the program whole program the whole the whole program he was wanting to do things like that. Right. An incredibly he just told the people bring her down here for a year. And if I can't win over Nolan can giddy. So he did it win me over personally. He never changed my feeling about the war. But the most interesting formidable an incredible character. I mean, not only worked for him in the White House. But then accompanied him to his ranch to help him on his memoirs, and he was so sad. In those last year said he opened up to me in ways that he never would have had I known him at the height of his power. That's fascinating revelation. You just made tell me a little bit more about how can you be? So certain of that that's an amazing revelation that if he hadn't if he'd known you when he was so more so much more powerful. He wouldn't have been able to open up, and he wouldn't have had time. You know, he was on the ranch, and he was lonely, and he was trying to come to terms with the fact that his domestic legacy, which is extraordinarily and fifty years later. We're finally realizing what he did that he knew it had been cut into the war. And I happen to be there. And I'm not sure sometimes why he chose me to tell so much too. I think part of it was that. I was a good listener. And he was a great storyteller. I mean, fabulous colorful anecdotal stories. I later discovered that many of them weren't true. But it was no great colorful. It. Didn't mean they weren't colorful makes a good story. And he just chose me. Maybe he knew I was young historian. Maybe I was from Harvard, and they would those Harvard's that might write the history. But for whatever reason I spent a lot of time at the ranch. And I went back there not long ago, and it just.

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