December 21, 1966. One of the Governors present at the ranch on Dec. 21, 1966, is John Connally of Texas, who has just won election to a third term with 74% of the vote. His relationship with the President has lately become more fraught: Connally opposes two pieces of 1966 legislation supported by the White House: raising the minimum wage and repeal of right-to-work provisions in the Taft-Hartley Act. Especially egregious to Connally was the FBI monitoring of Texas voter registrations in March 1966. According to George Christian, who worked for both men:
"Connally wanted to be independent. He didn’t want to be identified as just ‘Lyndon’s boy John’ type of thing. He had his own views on things.He was quite upset at some of the things that the federal government was doing in Texas, and he sounded off. If he didn’t like it, he’d call Marvin Watson or Willard Wirtz or whoever he could get to‑‑….The President made reference from time to time that John was more conservative than he was, ‘John doesn’t feel the same as I do on that,’ or something to that effect. But he knew it. He might think in his own mind, ‘Old John’s wrong on that.’ But I never heard him say anything mean or anything of that nature about John Connally. Now I heard him say some things about lots of people, but I don’t recall him ever, ever referring to John Connally in any demeaning fashion. In the first place he had very great respect for him. And one of the few people I think that the President just really has up on a pedestal."
Transcript, George Christian Oral History Interview IV, 6/30/70, by Joe B. Frantz. Photo is LBJ and Gov. Connally (in foreground) at the Houston Astrodome, 04/09/1965, #A267-12. Both from the LBJ Presidential Library.
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