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  LBJ And Jackie Kennedy
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ContributorThe Sunset Provision 
Last EditedThe Sunset Provision  Jan 06, 2008 11:34pm
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MediaTV News - Columbia Broadcasting System CBS News
News DateSaturday, September 19, 1998 05:00:00 AM UTC0:0
Description In the wake of the Kennedy assassination in 1963, a gentle, thoughtful Lyndon Johnson made extraordinary efforts to comfort a distraught young window, reports CBS News Correspondent Eric Engberg.

Ten days after the assassination, he called to invite Jackie Kennedy to the White House any time, and praised her strength.

"You got the president relying on you, and this is not the first one you had," said President Johnson. "So there's not many women running around with a good many presidents. So, you just keep that in mind, and you got the biggest job in your life."

Three weeks later, Mr. Johnson had a daring idea to appoint Mrs. Kennedy as ambassador to Mexico. In a conversation with his press secretary, Pierre Salinger, he noted that during his years as vice-president, while other Kennedys denigrated him, she was friendly.

"She was always nicer to me than anybody in the Kennedy family," said LBJ. "She always took my children and she just made me feel like I was a human being. So, I'd just like to...that's the biggest thing I got, and I think it'll just revolutionize Latin America."

Former aides to LBJ say Mrs. Kennedy politely declined the Mexico post. On January 9, 1964, the president invited Mrs. Kennedy to visit the White House. She said no. The tragedy was still too close.

"I can't come down there," said Mrs. Kennedy. "I was going to tell you. I've really gotten hold of myself. You know I'll do anything for you...I'll talk to you on the phone. I'm just scared I'll start to cry again."

"Oh, you never cried," answered LBJ. "Honey, I never saw anyone as brave as you."

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