"Johnson was terribly possessive of her time, more and more as he came closer to death. She was seeing many men at this point in her life but had no real attachments until she met Richard Goodwin six months before Johnson's death."
One time Doris Kearns gave a lecture and said that Lyndon Johnson had compared her to his mother. [LBJ's mother was quite the enabler of him; as was Lady Bird.] When Kearns comments became public and appeared in print, LBJ said:
"So I'll just take the knife out of my heart and close up the wound, and we'll have you back here and we won't look back in pride or shame. We'll just start from here and we'll go on with your book without Parade. We're both still alive and that's what counts.”
Kearns has later admitted that Lyndon Johnson used to crawl into bed with her and just talk, but with nothing else going on....
As for me, I am not buying that nothing else went on. The Doris Kearns case is just another example of Lyndon Johnson's ability to manipulate people and even turn them into sychophants protecting his legacy decades later. Jack Valenti would be another good example.
"They both took copious notes. In the interview Kearns told the reporters that her relationship with President Johnson was extraordinarily complicated, that she was still having trouble placing it in perspective, that she was troubled about how to handle her personal relationship with Johnson when she published her own book.
She told them that the essence of their relationship was that LBJ was in love with her, the he "pressed me very hard sexually the first year," that he courted her aggressively, the he asked her to marry him, that he was jealous of other men in her life."
[Sally Quinn, Washington Post, 8/24/75 "A Tale of Hearts and Minds"]
My comment: Really, this kind of behavior from Lyndon Johnson was typical. It is how he behaved his whole life, and I don't just mean sexually. I am referring to his narcissism, neediness, ability to manipulate people, ability to turn folks into sycophants and slaves and have them do things they would not normally do.
I guess this just reproves the old saying that women love power; even if power is a old bloated, craggy man and a paranoid, mendacious, delusional nut job.
I was a graduate student at Harvard in the Political Science Department when Kearns was writing her LBJ book — the gossip at Harvard was always that she was LBJ’s lover — Kearns was first and foremost an opportunist — if sleeping with LBJ advanced her career, I doubt she hesitated.”