To Wait Around

I could never understand why anyone would ever agree to be the Vice President of the United States; four years, or even eight, completely wasted. Absolutely nothing of any consequence ever accomplished! I guess that’s why I ended up in a line of work where there was always work to be done every day; not hard work, but work that required one to really pay attention, to be in the moment and think clearly at all times, where there was always a clear right answer.

It must have been torture for him, to wait around for a clearly superior man, and one who didn’t ever let him forget it. “You don’t have do this, Joe, you really don’t.” Surely that’s at the root of his trying so hard to do something really important, really soon. He’s old, but he hasn’t forgotten the dismissive condescension. He will never forget and one day he’ll be big in the history books, not for killing 15 people, but for something really big, really good, which would have made his mother very proud.

Like most before her, she has begun to disappear from the scene, to wait out her time of obscurity and irrelevance, but with her own unique twist of always standing behind and a little to the right of the President at public events. Maybe she could look dignified in a way that would dress up this very ordinary, unaccomplished and very old man at least a little bit. She could wait. She wanted to be ready and very near by when the time came.

I wonder whether LBJ knew he had to be ready that dark day in Dallas, to be sworn in at two thirty-eight? Was he really the type to wait around, to accomplish nothing at all?