On January 20, 1969, Richard Nixon first entered the White House as president of the United States, toured all the rooms of the residence and when he reached the bathroom of the presidential room Bramó: "Disable that thing!"The "thing" was the shower or rather the hydraulic ingenuity that the previous tenant of the White House, Lyndon B. Johnson (Texas, 1908-1973), had ordered to build to ensure that his genitals received the water pressureThat corresponded.
According to the ex -correspondent of the White House, Kate Andersen Brower, in his book La Residencia: Within the private world of the White House, the plumbing was one of Johnson's first concerns.President number 36 of the United States wanted a shower exactly the same as he had in his house.The requirements were simple, he needed a pressure "equivalent to a fire hose" and two nozzles: one that pointed to his butt and another to Jumbo, a name with which he referred to his penis.Before the resignation of the chief of plumbing of the mansion, Johnson threatened: "If you can't fix that shower, I will have to move back to my house."
During the five years that this demanding tenant was in the White House, the plumbing team worked in an invention in which tens of thousands of dollars were invested from the budget allocated to security.Every time a setback arose, Johnson, which Julio II by accepting Miguel Ángel, threatened them: "If I can move 10,000 soldiers in one day, you can fix the bathroom as I want."The Sistine Chapel took a year less to take shape than jumbo hydromassage.
Johnson had arrived at the White House in a way as dramatic as unpredictable.Kennedy was part of the delegation that crossed the streets of Dallas when a shot forever changed the history of the United States.Hours after that rumble that paralyzed the country, the Texan swore his position at the Air Force One. He had been a congressman, senator and leader of the minorHis ballot companion, but never thought he would get to her in such a bitter way.
Kennedy and he could not be more opposite.One had been the most genuine representative of what some call into "the coastal elites" and had been looked at the top of the Democratic party thanks to the contacts of his wealthy father and the help of two essential elements in the television policy that endsTo be born: it was thin and had good hair.The other, on the contrary, had been raised in the most absolute poverty, had risen thanks to his teson and thin hair and the disproportionate facial features of him were very far from the attractive Kennedy.Something that he did not ignore, but that he liked to despise."I have accidentally been with more women than Kennedy on purpose," he often boasted.
Despite these differences, they had common hobbies: women who were not their wives - Johnson had dozens of adventures and at least two long -term lovers who exhibited without shame - and bathe naked in the White House pool. Kennedy used to do it surrounded by women who weren't Jackie, Johnson was not the company. Anyone who came to visit him could be in a matter of minutes dive in the water even if he had not wear the right clothes. He did not care as the interlocutor was the evangelist leader Billy Graham, the Hollywood Mandamás Jack Valenti or five journalists from the Look magazine who had come to interview him with his head Mike Cowles in the lead. “What happens with you, Mike? Are you afraid of seeing me naked? Come here and undress with me, ”the president shouted when he saw the journalist, as collected by the book The Presidents vs. The Press: The Endless Battle Between The White House and the Media. From the Founding Fathers to Fake News. Minutes later, the five were drinking bare whiskey while praying so that the first lady did not appear through the pool. Jumbo did not impress the group. "Like most of his men," said Cowles, "Lyndon was not a very attractive naked figure."
It was not the only time that the press had to contemplate soon a president of its splendor.According to the book of the White House reporter Frank Cormier, Lbj: The Way He was, one afternoon Johnson undressed at the reporters who followed his campaign at the Air Force One: “He took off his underwear and stood naked andstirring a towel to emphasize his words while talking about economics. ”
The journalists who covered the information of the White House were familiar with such gestures and even with others even more reprehensible.Once, in an informal corrillo, someone asked him why the United States was still at war with Vietnam and Johnson took Jumbo from the pants saying: "For this."
Not only the press suffered its inexhaustible exhibitionism. After Kennedy's death, Johnson kept many of his cabinet members and they had to familiarize themselves with some of their customs in which Jumbo made an appearance as if one of the presidential pets were. Like, for example, when he interrupted a working meeting to call him the tailor complaining that the pants he had done not felt good. "I am quite well gifted and if it makes me normal pants I feel tight as if a fence jumped, that is, give me about five more centimeters to hang my balls," he told him finishing with a loud belch. It might seem the cursing of a counterclockwise, but no, the complete audio is available on YouTube. Apart from his genitals, Johnson was obsessed with information control. The president had ordered to place microphones that recorded all the conversations that were held in the oval office and install phones even in the bathrooms he used with the open door to continue giving orders while he made use of them.
Precisely, in the Baños del Capitol, Jumbo had another moment of glory that Robert Caro collects in The Biography The Years of Lyndon Johnson.When a colleague entered them while the president was using the urinary, he held his penis in his hands and shouted: "Have you ever seen something as big as this?"But coinciding with him in urinary was not the most unpleasant thing that could happen.One day, after drinking several beers in the official car, he proceeded to relieve his bladder on the edge of the road and the wind launched part of his urine in the direction of one of the members of the Secret Service.When the agent told him that he was urinating in his leg, Johnson replied: "I know, that is my privilege."
For many it was difficult to understand why Kennedy had chosen him as his vice president, but the answer is simple: he needed the votes he contributed. The 1960 elections were not the triumphal walk that the television image of a smiling Kennedy in front of a sweaty Nixon made us believe. They settled for less than one hundred thousand votes - to contextualize, in the last Biden elections he obtained almost seven million votes more than Trump - and that little margin made clear the relevance of the votes that Johnson tied in the south. A deeply racist and anchored south in the past that did not see with good eyes the ideas of racial integration of that Catholic young man from Massachusetts. Although in the surroundings of Kennedy there were many who detest Johnson not even they could ignore his charism and the ability to influence him in the party. No one knew the strengths and weaknesses of his colleagues and rivals like him. And nobody used them so ruthlessly. His way of asserting his opinion involved canceling his personal space, which sometimes included shoves, screams and blows to the pimples. An image so frequent and characteristic that was called "the Johnson treatment." As described by The Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, "after you applied it you felt like a San Bernardo had licked your face for an hour."
But the abominable "Johnson treatment" also served to radically transform the United States. Under his mandate, measures were applied that for Kennedy had only been a dream. With his ability to tell the senators of North and South what they wanted to hear, he managed to approve the Civil Rights Law in a congress that had been rejecting it for almost a hundred years. He also brought the law that prevented racial discrimination in the voting centers of the South, the Law of Justa Housing and the Higher Education Law, founded public television, created a free medical insurance for the elderly and people without resources, fostered Measures in favor of the environment and approved legislative projects that ended racial segregation. Under the umbrella of what was called the Great, Johnson promoted an agenda against racism and poverty as no other president in the history of the United States. And always with the awareness that what he was doing would take its toll on his party. As Jack Bernhardt points out in The Guardian: “Johnson recognized in private that with the signing of the Civil Rights Law he would lose the Democrats in the south during a generation, but he knew he had to do. He spent his vast political capital in the war against poverty not because he was a winner of votes, much less, but because he saw the inequality of the United States as a stain in the country. Johnson represents the stupidity of trying to separate leaders in "good" and "bad", and in a moment of growing polarization and militancy, this is a vital lesson. "
In 2014, Obama claimed a Johnson overshadowed by the light and shadows of Kennedy and Nixon.During the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Law he declared: “Despite the power he received when he reached the Oval Office, he never forgot what he meant to be marginalized.He knew that the trouble he suffered are the same as others were suffering out there….He used the presidency to make life better to citizens, which is for what he is. ”And pointing to himself as one of the beneficiaries of his policies, Obama added: “Those norms opened the doors to me, it is for them that I am here today.Millions of people from my generation collected the witness that he lay us and we have a debt to pay. ”
Despite his achievements, his political capital was overshadowed by his role in Vietnam, an inherited war from which he did not know how to leave on time and that exhausted his revenue.So much that, in an unprecedented movement for a man with such anxious power, he preferred not to present himself to re -election and return to his Texas ranch.When he left the White House he had managed to approve almost fifty initiatives that modernized American society as no other president has achieved in more than two centuries, but he had not achieved that shower to have the right pressure for Jumbo.
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