Sherwin Markman, who served on Lyndon B. Johnson’s White House staff from 1965 to 1968, will speak Monday at East Central University.
He will discuss “What President Obama Can Learn from LBJ” at 7 p.m. in the Atalola Theatre in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center. His presentation is free and open to the public.
Markman will address Johnson’s masterful way of working with Congress, a unique skill that gained passage of such extraordinary and then-controversial legislation as the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Medicare and others.
He will talk about his personal experiences with the “Johnson treatment” and will illustrate LBJ’s style by playing excerpts from secretly recorded telephone conversations of the president.
Those examples, among other things, illustrate LBJ’s amazingly successful efforts to win essential cooperation from powerful Republicans and resistant southern Democrats, Markman said, thus demonstrating Johnson’s belief, expressed when Dwight Eisenhower was president, that the country is far better off when the other political party, in that case the Democrats, work with a popular president rather than forever opposing him.
Following his service to the president, Markman was a senior trial lawyer for Hogan & Hartson until 1992, representing a variety of clients that included Howard Hughes, Willard Zucker and Robert Vesco.
He is the author of a novel, “The Election,” and the co-editor of “Lyndon Johnson Remembered: An Intimate Portrait of a Presidency” and “Chief of Staff: Lyndon Johnson and His Presidency.” He also is an accomplished sailor.
Markman, of Rock Hall, Md., is concluding a speaking tour at several universities and will be Ada for a few days visiting his daughter, son-in-law and three of his grandchildren.
His lecture is sponsored by ECU’s Phi Alpha Theta, the History and Native American Studies Department and Dr. Charlie Peaden of ECU’s Political Science Department. For more information, contact Dr. Tom Cowger at 580-559-5419 or Peaden at 580-559-5422.