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LBJ was ‘in the house’ at the Washington, DC private screening of Rob Reiner’s “LBJ” at The National Archives – a venue steeped in history and most befitting a former President. Actor Woody Harrelson, who plays the 36th President of The United States, seemed elated to be in the midst of countless real former Presidential assistants as he mixed and mingled with Lynda Bird Johnson and her family as well as many of LBJ’s former staff and colleagues including his Chief of Protocol Ambassador Lloyd Hand. “I thought it was fantastic,” Hand told us. “I saw the play in New York and I saw the HBO movie. I take nothing away from Bryan Cranston – a great director – but this captured more of LBJ than any portrayal I’ve seen.”

“I just told Woody that I was honored and privileged to work for LBJ when he was majority leader, Vice President and President. It must have been a very, very challenging role for him; but he portrayed more of him, more of his personality. It’s all true: LBJ was very tough and all of that, but he also had a soft side and they brought that out,” added Hand. “You could see how concerned President Johnson was about not being liked and all of that. I saw moments like that, but he had it in him – the power and the ability – to acquire and use the power he got. The other key thing about the President was his timing. He knew when the time was right to push something and he took it. Robert Caro said that in one of his books (Means of Ascent). It was Johnson who pulled open the curtains of the voting booth. Johnson changed the course of history. Whether you like him, or you don’t like him, he did. Johnson passed many pieces of legislation and all of them were very important: The Civil Rights Act, The Voting Rights Act, Medicare and Medicaid, The Housing Act, Conservation, The National Endowment of the Arts and more. Those are the more popular ones, but he did more things than people ever realize.”