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Connolly and LBJ, Continued

Steve Fehr

There's a bit more to the story of the Lyndon Johnson photos in the conference room of Fairfax Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D).

As The Post mentioned in its Monday morning piece on Connolly's four year record as chairman, the series of photos, known as "The Johnson Treatment," show the then-Senate Majority Leader strongarming a committee chairman.

Connolly, who worked in the presidential campaigns of Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy, said he had no admiration for Johnson. The photos were a gift from his staff, which knew that he'd read "Master of the Senate," the latest volume from Johnson biographer Robert Caro.

Connolly said what fascinated him about Johnson, as depicted by Caro, was his work in passing the first federal civil rights legislation in the late 1950s. Johnson, who wanted to run for president, knew he couldn't do it as long as he was closely associated with the southern segregationist wing of the Democratic Party. His championing of the legislation was a way to achieve a political separation, not necessarily to advance social reform.

"He did the right thing for the wrong reasons," Connolly said.

So has he ever done the right thing for the wrong reasons in politics?

"I hope not," Connolly said.

By Steve Fehr  |  October 17, 2007; 4:26 PM ET
Categories:  Bill Turque , Election 2008/Congress , Fairfax County Board of Supervisors , Fairfax County Chairman's Race 2007 , Gerald E. Connolly  
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