Tuesday, June 19, 2012

In addition, Senator Bradley provided one bit of assistance that he was unusually (almost uniquely, in fact) qualified to give. Many of the men who had been present on the Senate floor during the 1950s had told me how Lyndon Johnson was so tall that he “towered” over senators in the well as he stood at his Majority Leader’s front-row desk one step above it, and how his eyes were almost at the level of the clerks and the presiding officer on the dais across the well. Bill Bradley, as I realized from perusing an old program I had kept from a Princeton University basketball game, was six feet four and a half inches tall, just slightly taller than Johnson. When, near the end of the wonderful day on the floor that he arranged for me, he asked if there was anything further he could do to be of assistance, I said there was. The then Majority Leader, Bob Dole, wasn’t at his desk. I asked Senator Bradley if he would mind going over and standing at it, so I could get a picture of precisely to what degree Johnson had in fact “towered” as he stood there. Bill was gracious enough to comply. Since this was an opportunity I was not likely to have again, I was determined to get the picture fixed firmly in my mind no matter how long that took. After a while, I realized that Bill had been standing there for quite some time, and that he was in fact looking at me as if to inquire if he had been there long enough. I said I would appreciate it if he would stand there a while longer, and he did, uncomplainingly—for as long as I needed.

from the notes to Master of the Senate by Robert Caro

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