Media reports of Texas Republican Convention goers being relegated to the outerbanks of accomodations in Tampa  bring a smile and warm memories of  more favorable treatment for our state’s delegates. Of course the Texas  R’s location is where it is  simply because their presence–and comfort–are not relevant to the processs this year. They did not play any key role in selecting  the nominee, and a Republican victory in Texas this fall is a foregone conclusion.

 It is a dramatic contrast to back in 1964, when Texan President Lyndon B. Johnson was being renominated for a full term at the Democratic Convention in Atlantic City.  He had become president on November 22, 1963 following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  Texans were riding high. So it was no surprise that the Texas delegation was seated directly in front of the podium.  Housing of the delegates was equally favorable. Power or the perceptionof power makes all the difference.

To repeat an earlier story from that year, some particpants willl long remember the delegation seated just behind them–from Massachusetts. Old timers will recall that there was  not a lot of love lost between Presdent Johnson and former Attorney General Robert  Kennedy. Despite their alienaion, Kennedy was granted a speaking opportunity on the program.  But when he rose to speak, most of the Texans sat on their hands.  That is when Joan Kennedy, then wife of Senator Edward Kennedy became incensed, jumped into the aisle and screamed to the delegates;” Stand up, your SOBs!…Stand up!

Most of us stood up.

–Julian Read

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