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The young Johnson listening to his elders
Picture credit: Finding Out Vol 13 No 2, 1965

President Lyndon Baines Johnson was solid establishment, if not blue blooded Oligarch.  The thirty-sixth President of the United States had been born to frontier folk in Texas.  The Johnsons went back five generations before his grandfather Sam, to James Johnston (with a “t”) of Currowaugh Virginia, and he may have been the son of an even earlier colonial settler in Nansemond County, born about 1662. His older relatives had fought for the South in the Civil war before establishing small homesteads against the hills that flanked the Pedernales river.

The young LBJ soon moved with his family to Johnson City (population about 100) when he was small.  His grandfather Sam and his grand-uncle James Polk Johnson had founded the town and given it the family name.  Politics was in the blood.

His father was Samuel Johnson and a member of the Texas State Legislature.  Sam married Rebekah Baines whose own grandfather George Washington Baines was President of Baylor University.

For our interest here we might concentrate on the President himself, who married Lady Bird Taylor.  “Lady Bird” being a childhood nick-name that she rather took to heart.  Lyndon’s sister Rebekah married Oscar Bobbit.

The President had two children Luci and Lynda Bird Johnson.  You do get the feeling that this LBJ thing was being somewhat over-worked!.  Lynda married Senator Charles S Robb of Virginia who has held many interesting roles in government, including co-chair of the Iraq Intelligence Committee investigating the intelligence reasons for the Invasion of Iraq and the non discovery of the non existence Weapons of Mass Destruction.  He also served on the Presidents Intelligence Advisory Board.  He worked on the Iraq Study group with that other old warhorse of administrations James Baker III.  Next he was Co-leader of National Security Project (NSP) and then being a member of the Trilateral Commission round matters off.  If, that is, you discount persistent talk of his also being on the Council on Foreign Relations.

So, a family still with its ear firmly on the pulse.

Lyndon’s sister Rebekah had a son too one Phillip Bobbitt who is quite the Henry Adams of his time and perhaps best known for “The Shield of Achilles” which must have rated as every major international politician’s required summer reading back in 2002.

As I say, not perhaps full blown oligarchy, but pretty solid establishment still.

Copyright David Macadam 2012