I have concluded that I should not permit the Presidency to become involved in the partisan divisions that are developing in this political year.
With America’s sons in the fields far away, with America’s future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world’s hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office — the Presidency of your country.
Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.
Lyndon Baines Johnson, on the dignity of an office at such a troubled moment that he could not, in good faith, occupy it. His concern, intelligence, and self-effacement seem to come from an impossibly distant place and time.