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By Jason Dick Posted at 12:01 a.m. on May 14, 2012
Senate Republicans have their summer beach reading taken care of, thanks to Texas Sen. John Cornyn.
Cornyn, the host of Thursday’s caucus lunch, handed out hardback copies of Robert Caro’s just-released book, “The Passage of Power,” the fourth volume in his masterly series on the life and political career of another Texan, one-time Senate Majority Leader and President Lyndon Johnson.
Cornyn’s gift continues a tradition among Senate Republicans of offering a parting gift at the weekly lunch, usually some sort of swag from the host’s home state.
Caro’s book was released amid a swirl of hype May 1 — President Bill Clinton even penned a review of it for the New York Times. Caro’s previous three books on Johnson, “The Power Broker,” “Means of Ascent” and “Master of the Senate,” won wide recognition, including a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award, and they earned him a reputation as one of America’s leading biographers.
The latest installment profiles Johnson’s years as vice president under President John F. Kennedy through Kennedy’s assassination and Johnson’s elevation to the presidency. It, too, has been winning rave reviews.
Several GOP Senators were seen leaving Thursday’s lunch toting the 736-page tome under their arms on their way out of town. Sen. Roger Wicker (Miss.) joked that it was assigned reading for the weekend — or perhaps, more realistically, for the August recess.
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Warren Rojas is a Heard on the Hill columnist for Roll Call, having previously worked as the founding dining editor for Northern Virginia Magazine and also as a tax reporter for Tax Notes. @WARojas
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