President Lyndon Johnson acquired and used power in ways many would consider blatantly manipulative. A master of influence, he was elected as a US senator at age forty (the average age for senators at the time was fifty-eight) and as the youngest-ever Senate majority leader at age forty-five.1 Historian Robert A. Caro, who won two Pulitzer Prizes for his books about Johnson, describes Johnson’s deliberate approach to building his connections:

Johnson was brilliant in the way he went about choosing mentors. He was very deliberate about it. After he was elected to the Senate—before he was even sworn in—he sought out Bobby Baker, a 21-year-old ...

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