Clint Hill - Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford

pp. 211-212
The president truly believed that if he could just get a face-to-face meeting with the leader of the Vietcong, if he could figure out what the man needed, and what we could provide, he could sway him, manipulate him, just as he did to get things passed through Congress.
By this time the reporters had been in the White House for well over an hour, but Johnson had one more thing he wanted to share. “Come on with me,” he said. “I want to show y’all something.”
Back to the mansion and upstairs they went, down the hall to the Lincoln Bedroom. The centerpiece of the large room was the bed itself, which, with its intricately carved mahogany headboard that stood against the wall like the back of a throne, had been witness to a century of presidential burdens.
“Sit down on the bed,” President Johnson said to the reporters.
“Oh no, Mr. President,” they said. “We can’t sit on that bed.”
The president insisted. “No, I want you to sit on the bed. Everybody else does. We have visitors who come here and sleep on the bed.”
Muriel Dobbin, the spunky, red-haired, Scottish-born reporter for the Baltimore Sun, and the only female of the group, piped up and said, “All right, Mr. President, I’ll sit on the bed.”
The fellows followed her lead, and once they were seated, the president explained why he’d brought them up there. In a somber voice, he said, “I come down here virtually every morning about two o’clock, and I sit on that bed. I pick up the phone and I call the Situation Room, and I say, ‘How many of my boys are out there?’ ”
The only light in the room was coming from the hallway, so it was difficult to see the president’s expression, but the desperation in his voice was unmistakable.
“I may stay here through the night, and I keep calling to find out how many of my boys didn’t come back today.” The reporters sat there, speechless. This was a side of Lyndon Johnson none of them had ever seen before. He walked over to a portrait of Abraham Lincoln and said, “You know, doing what is right is easy. The problem is knowing what is right.” He looked up at the president who had weathered the burdens of the Civil War and said, “I sure hope I have better generals than he did.”
p. 346
Agnew was disgusted by the demonstrators. In his speech at the fundraiser in New Orleans, he said, “Education is being redefined at the demand of the uneducated to suit the ideas of the uneducated. The student now goes to college to proclaim rather than to learn. The lessons of the past are ignored and obliterated in a contemporary antagonism known as ‘The Generation Gap.’ A spirit of national masochism prevails, encouraged by an effete core of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.”