Student or Learner
Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?
She recalls her husband's scathing words about his Texan Vice-President Lyndon Johnson, whom he reluctantly made his number two because of the need for a southerner to balance the ticket.
scatting words = sarcastic words
balance the ticket = practice of choosing a running mate based on specific ideology, geography, race, gender, or other characteristics in order to strengthen one's own chance of being elected.
"Scathing" usually implies more than just sarcastic; it means caustic, mean-spirited and downright hateful. When a politician "balances" his ticket, it means that he is selecting a running mate whose idealology is similar to his own, but who also has qualities different from his own. For example, John F. Kennedy was a young Irish Catholic from Massachusetts. The American South is a very large geographic area with millions of voters, and a lot of Southerners were/are distrustful or disdainful of Northerners, especially wealthy Ivy League ones like JFK. Lyndon Johnson was a "good ol' boy" from Texas who was a Democrat like Kennedy, but unlike Kennedy he lived on a ranch, he cussed like a sailor, he preferred good barbecue over fine cuisine and had none of Kennedy's elegant, upper-crust manners or affectations. Southerners who wouldn't normally have voted for a New Englander like JFK changed their minds when LBJ was added to the ticket.