News & Politics

Seen at Lunch: LBJ, on the Wall at the Palm–at Last

The nation’s 36th president finally gets his image on the restaurant’s wall—in a bolo tie, no less.

Photograph by Lyndon Boozer.

Having one’s face on the wall of the Palm is a Washington perk, even if trying to figure out who qualifies and why is befuddling. Who are some of those people? But there’s no debate about presidents being included among the chosen, even though for some reason, for all these years, Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th president, was not. Until now.

LBJ’s painted image, while not exactly larger than life like the man, is wedged between former president Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the left, and former president Gerald Ford to the right. They reign over the restaurant’s preferred power table, number 49.

Why did it take so long to get Johnson’s face on the wall? That’s a good question. The Palm’s corporate office in New York said no one can get his or her picture up if he or she held office before the DC Palm opened, in 1972. A close examination shows that not to be entirely true, a fact noticed especially by AT&T’s Lyndon Boozer, whose mother, Yolanda, was LBJ’s personal secretary. Boozer took up the matter with Tommy Jacomo, who has the title of “executive director,” but is, by many people’s estimation, the real face and force of the Palm. Boozer was at the Palm for lunch today and was escorted to the spot in the dining room where he could see the endearing result of his effort: Johnson in a bolo tie engraved with the letters “LBJ.”

And if you’re wondering, yes, Boozer was named after Johnson.