Lyndon Johnson, George Smathers

This is an extract from a longer conversation spanning a number of topics. As the conversation turns to fundraising, Smathers raises the topic of the newly vacant ambassadorship to Ireland.

This segment begins about 2 mins into the recording.

George Smathers: Yeah, incidentally, Raymond Guest still wants to contribute to you, but he still wants to be that ambassador to Ireland.

President Johnson: [chuckles] Well, how much is he going to contribute?

Smathers: Well, he'll contribute 50[,000 dollars].

President Johnson: Well . . .

Smathers: Or maybe we can maybe can get more.

President Johnson: He ought to give 100,000 [dollars], as much as that fellow's worth.

Smathers: Well, if he can get it [the ambassadorship], I can get 100,000.

President Johnson: Well, you just—

Smathers: I don't want to bargain with you about it, but—

President Johnson: No, but you just go see what you can do there and you can . . . and I'll have lunch with you. [chuckles]

Smathers: All right. . . . Right. OK. All right. Well, I'll talk . . . and then I'll talk with Bryant—

President Johnson: But don't you—you do it on your own. Don't you do it anything you talked to me about it. But you just find out what you want, what you are authorized to do.

Smathers: Oh, I won't. . . . I'm not going to be authorized to do anything; I'm  just going to visit with him.

President Johnson: Yeah, but I mean—

Smathers: I'm more scared of these people than you are. [President Johnson laughs, and Smathers begins to chuckle too.] Goddamn . . .

President Johnson: [laughing] Well, you thought I, you realize now when I was telling you about Bobby [Baker] that—and being secretary of the committee and the Federal Buildings [chuckles] and so forth—that there was something to it.

Smathers: Oh, geez. I really do. I've been, I'm telling you I—

Conversation continues on the topic of the Bobby Baker scandal.

Original tape courtesy of LBJ Library. This transcript is a working draft. Please let us know if you find important errors.