I am not Robert Caro, so this will not be a comprehensive accounting of all the many ways in which Lyndon Johnson was a power-savvy political maneuverer and extremely weird dude in general. I have not even been alive for as many years as Robert Caro has been documenting the weirdness of our 36th President. That’s how weird of a guy he was.
Instead, this article is just going to focus on how weird LBJ was specifically with respect to his own dick. Honestly, even that seems too ambitious for a single blog post.
You know how the internet uses phrases like “assert dominance” or “alpha af” in an ironic way, usually in reference to some bizarre behavior that if done in real life would just leave people confused, not intimidated? That’s literally how LBJ lived his entire life. I am not using the term “literally” figuratively here. The way LBJ used his penis to assert dominance in everyday interactions is literally indistinguishable from an “assert dominance” meme.
For instance, did you know that:
(1.) President Johnson named his penis “Jumbo“ and would refer to it as such to his Congressional colleagues? He did. (Source: This review of Master of the Senate, the third installment in Caro’s LBJ series.) And that’s the tamest thing on this list. We’re just getting started here.
(2.) He also liked to whip “Jumbo” out to show people at work. “[I]f a colleague came into a Capitol bathroom as he was finishing at the urinal there, he would sometimes swing around still holding his member … hooting once, ‘Have you ever seen anything as big as this?,’ and shaking it in almost a brandishing manner as he began discoursing about some pending legislation.” (The New York Review of Books)
(3.) According to this review of A Mind of Its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis, “Lyndon B. Johnson once answered reporters badgering him about why the United States was in Vietnam with a simple, unmistakable off-the-record gesture: he unzipped, pulled out his penis and said, ‘This is why!’ ” (I do hope he sent all the widows and families a dick pic in the mail, so they would know their loved ones didn’t die in vain. “But why — why did Johnny have to die?! This war, it’s all so senseless!” [receives dick pic] “Oh. Oh wow.”)
(4.) When working from his Texas ranch during his presidency, LBJ liked to load a cooler of beer into his Lincoln and drive around aimlessly while having a few drinks. This forced panicked Secret Service agents to chase him, and they’d catch up when he took a pit stop. During one of these stops, a gust of wind blew Johnson’s urine onto the leg of a Secret Service agent, who said, “Sir, you’re pissing on my leg.” Johnson’s response: “I know. That’s my prerogative.” (The Secret Service: The Hidden History of an Enigmatic Agency via Cracked)
(5.) Sometimes urine just wasn’t enough, though: Johnson also enjoyed forcing staffers to talk to him in the bathroom while he was taking a shit. (Technically this one involves LBJ using his own poop as a means of dominance rather than his penis, but still — it was right there, inches away.) As described in this review, “he would oblige aides to take dictation standing in the door of his office bathroom while he went about emptying his bowels, as if in some alpha-male ritual assertion of his primacy.”
As you might imagine, this was mortifying for everyone involved — except, apparently, President Johnson. On one occasion, National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy was so embarrassed by this ritual that he stood in the corner of the bathroom and faced the wall so as not to be forced to look at the President while he took a dump. Not satisfied, LBJ yelled at Bundy to come closer, causing him to nearly back into the President’s naked lap.
(6.) Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hear the President of the United States talk about his own “nuts” or “bunghole” in the Oval Office? (Again not technically his dick, per se, but close enough.) Well, today’s your lucky day, because here is an actual recording of LBJ discussing (relevant portion of the transcript follows):
LBJ: “…And another thing – the crotch, down where your nuts hang – is always a little too tight, so when you make them up, give me an inch that I can let out there, uh because they cut me, it’s just like riding a wire fence. These are almost, these are the best I’ve had anywhere in the United States…”
Tailor (Joe Haggar): “Fine.”
LBJ: “But, uh when I gain a little weight they cut me under there. So, leave me , you never do have much of margin there. See if you can’t leave me an inch from where the zipper [burps] ends, round, under my, back to my bunghole, so I can let it out there if I need to.”
(7.) He was also quite obsessed with the amount of water pressure he could have pointed at his junk, and reportedly refused to accept any argument that outfitting the shower with the demanded features—including one nozzle aimed “directly at the president’s penis”—would require a great deal of plumbing work. “If I can move 10,000 troops in a day, you can certainly fix the bathroom any way I want it,” Johnson told the staff (Vanity Fair review of The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House).
And these are just the times he was weird about his dick THAT WE KNOW ABOUT. Can you imagine all the times he got drunk and did something even weirder with his dick, and then woke up the next morning like “Hooh boy, really crossed the line with that one. Better keep this quiet.”
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