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Why was President Johnson more successful than President Kennedy in pushing his...

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kristenmarieb... | Student, Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted November 6, 2012 at 3:57 AM via web

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Why was President Johnson more successful than President Kennedy in pushing his measures through Congress?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 6, 2012 at 4:11 AM (Answer #1)

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There are two main reasons for this.

First, President Johnson got a great deal of support due to sympathy for President Kennedy.  Once Kennedy was assassinated, he became a heroic figure in the eyes of many.  This mean that there was much more pressure on Congress to approve his agenda as something of a memorial to him.

Second, President Johnson was a very skilled legislator.  He had been in Congress for decades and had been a highly effective leader in the Senate.  Johnson was famous for his skill at cajoling other members of Congress to vote as he wanted.  He also, of course, had many contacts and personal relationships in Congress.  Kennedy lacked all of these things and was therefore much less successful in pushing Congress to pass his agenda.

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