The TO, Yarborough, & Postcards

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 1:27 pm by wcnews

Today at Postcards - Trail ver., Gardner Selby posts on a recent Texas Observer article on a liberal Texas icon, Ralph Yarborough’s Ghost, it’s a good read. In his post he points out what is most likely an “factual hiccup” in the TO article, while making one of his own.

Error by TO:

A minor wonder: I thought I spotted a factual hiccup in a line suggesting that then-Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson joined Gov. Allan Shivers of Texas in supporting Republican Dwight Eisenhower for president in 1956—an unlikelihood, it seems, because Johnson was a Senate leader with national aspirations in the Democratic Party. I’ll stand by to be corrected, though if so, I’ll start wondering if maybe the Observer missed the big story—Johnson backing a Republican four years before running as the Dems’ vice presidential nominee.

Here’s the actual paragraph from the TO:

Yarborough was a leader of the liberal Democratic faction in the days when the Texas party was led mostly by conservatives and Dixiecrats—among them Gov. Allan Shivers, who, along with Gov. John Connally and LBJ, backed Republican Dwight Eisenhower in the 1952 presidential election.

Googled for a while and couldn’t find, and didn’t expect to either, a reference to LBJ endorsing Eisenhower, Connally either for that matter, but yes Gov. Allan Shivers, and his “right wing Shivercrats”, did (see here).

Selby’s error is here:

Anyway, the Observer article brings the feisty-and-sometimes-hardheaded Yarborough to light while also illuminating the old courthouse-to-courthouse style of stumping. Nobody campaigns like that any more, perhaps for good reason, given that we get information in many other ways. To be fair, I’m not convinced it was entirely effective even then; photographs accompanying the printed version of this article show at least a couple of distracted, if not bored, Texans in the crowds watching Yarborough speak outside county courthouses.

Someone did last year. Just goes to show how much attention Selby was paying to David Van Os’ campaign last year. Where he took his Whistle Stops campaign to every county courthouse, all 254 of them, in Texas. Oh well, he’s only the political reporter for the paper.

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