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00:00:00 - First impressions / Clements' background

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Partial Transcript: The following is an unrehearsed interview with George E. Reedy, former press secretary to President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Segment Synopsis: The interviewer begins by asking Reedy how he first met Earle Clements and what his first impressions were. Reedy says they were always quite close, and that Clements first struck him as an "extraordinarily nervous person." Reedy attributes much of Clements' success to his experience and background in Kentucky politics, particularly its history as a border state significantly divided in terms of political leanings.

Keywords: Congressmen; Democrats; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; First impressions; House of Representatives; John McCormack; Johnson, Lyndon; Lyndon Johnson; McCormack, John; Morton, Thruston; Nervousness; Political parties; Republicans; Speaking characteristics; Thruston Morton

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Kentucky--Politics and government; Political concepts and ideologies; Politicians; Politicians--Kentucky; Politics and government

00:06:28 - Clements as Governor and Senator

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Partial Transcript: Now Clements, after his service in the House, he, he was elected two terms in the House, but resigned in November of 1950, uh, or, excuse me, resigned in 1947 to, uh, become Governor of Kentucky.

Segment Synopsis: Reedy describes in detail the complexities of the workings of the Senate, the difficulties in learning to navigate those complexities, and the advantage that is held by those who truly understand the workings of the Senate, describing the latter group of people as the "inner circle" for the "club."

Keywords: Affluence; Alben Barkley; Barkley, Alben; Chapman, Virgil; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Garrett Withers; Governors; Inner circles; Political navigation; Senators; Social circles; Virgil Chapman; Withers, Garrett

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Kentucky--Politics and government; Political concepts and ideologies; Politicians; Politicians--Kentucky; Politics and government; United States. Congress. Senate.

00:10:43 - Democratic National Convention

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Partial Transcript: In 1951, shortly after Clements became a member of the Senate, you were, I believe, a staff member of the Senate Preparedness Committee...

Segment Synopsis: Reedy confirms that Clements was not very active in the formation of the Universal Military Training Law, but that Clements would have been for it. They then discuss the Democratic National Convention in 1952. They also discuss the effect that the Democratic factions had on putting forth candidates and policies.

Keywords: Adlai Stevenson; Alben Barkley; Barkley, Alben; Chandler, Happy; Credentials; Democratic National Convention; Democratic factions; Democrats; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Happy Chandler; Mississippi delegation; Senate Preparedness Committee; Stevenson, Adlai; Texas delegation; Universal Military Training Law; Wilson Wyatt; Wyatt, Wilson

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Democratic Party (U.S.); Political concepts and ideologies; Politicians; Politics and government; United States. Congress. Senate.

00:17:27 - Clements on the Democratic Policy Committee

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Partial Transcript: Well, Clements rose to a position of power in the, in the Senate very quickly, you've already commented on that some. Uh, being named early to the Democratic Policy Committee, uh, you've indicated that, that at the time he went on the Policy Committee, it probably wasn't a very effective organization.

Segment Synopsis: Reedy discusses the Democratic Policy Committee and Clements' role while on the committee.

Keywords: Bills; Committees; Democratic National Convention; Democratic Policy Committee; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Johnson, Lyndon B.; Legislation; Lyndon B. Johnson; Majority whips; Minority whips

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Democratic Party (U.S.); Politicians; Politics and government; United States. Congress. Senate.

00:22:47 - Clements on the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee

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Partial Transcript: Clements was Chairman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee also, from '52 to '54, I believe. Uh, how effective did you think he was in that position?

Segment Synopsis: Reedy says that Clements was very effective as Chairman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, confirming that he both enjoyed and thrived in the position.

Keywords: Campaign funds; Democratic Senate Campaign Committee; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Political campaigning; Political campaigns; Senators

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Democratic Party (U.S.); Politicians; Politics and government; United States. Congress. Senate.

00:25:29 - 1952 Congressional election / 1953 Democratic National Convention

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Partial Transcript: In the 1952 congressional election, the Democrats lost control of Congress.

Segment Synopsis: Reedy talks about Clements' reaction to the Democratic Party's loss in the Congressional election of 1952. He talks about whether he believes Clements wanted to be chairman of the Democratic Party at the national convention in 1953.

Keywords: Chairman; Control; Cooper, John Sherman; Democratic National Convention; Democratic Party National Chairmen; Democrats; Dwight D. Eisenhower; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; John Sherman Cooper; Losses; Political candidates; Steven Mitchell; U.S. Congress

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Democratic Party (U.S.); Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969; Elections; Politicians; Politics and government; United States. Congress. Senate.

00:28:30 - Clements' relationship with Lyndon B. Johnson

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Partial Transcript: Now how--uh, would, would you talk a bit about the relationship between Clements and Lyndon Johnson?

Segment Synopsis: Reedy discusses Clements' close relationship with Lyndon Johnson and discusses their similar political styles. He discusses their influence on one another.

Keywords: Attitudes; Decisions; Disagreements; Divisions; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Friendship; Influence; Lyndon B. Johnson; North; Personal life; Personalities; Private life; Reconciliation; Relationships; South

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Democratic Party (U.S.); Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973; Politicians; Politics and government; United States. Congress. Senate.

00:33:10 - Clements as Democratic Whip

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Partial Transcript: Uh, f--uh, an author by the name of Steinberg in a book called "Sam Johnson's Boy," uh, indicates that Johnson...

Segment Synopsis: Reedy discusses Clements as Democratic Whip and Lyndon Johnson as Minority Leader. He discusses whether Clements was effective in his position, as well as the complicated process of passing bills in the Senate. He talks about Clements in the role of Acting Majority Leader during Johnson's leave of absence. He talks about Clements' political philosophy.

Keywords: "Arm-twisting"; Acting Majority Leader; Attitudes; Bills; Deals; Democratic programs; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Effectiveness; Goals; Ideological; Illnesses; Jim Murray; Kentucky; Labels; Leadership; Left of center; Legislation; Media; Minority Leader; Moderates; Murray, Jim; Personalities; Political philosophy; Power; Press; Process; Productivity; Responsibilities; Senators; Styles; Support; Tactics; Tempers

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Democratic Party (U.S.); Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973; Politicians; Politics and government; United States. Congress. Senate.

00:43:32 - Eisenhower administration / Joseph McCarthy

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Partial Transcript: Some have alleged that Johnson and Clements as Democratic leaders in the Senate failed to criticize the Eisenhower administration sufficiently.

Segment Synopsis: Reedy begins to discuss Clements and Johnson's reactions to the Eisenhower administration. He talks about Joseph McCarthy and his effectiveness in his accusations of Communism.

Keywords: Accusations; Communism; Communists; Credibility; Criticism; Dangerous; Dwight D. Eisenhower; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Facts; Joseph McCarthy; Speeches

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Democratic Party (U.S.); Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969; Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973; McCarthy, Joseph, 1908-1957; Politicians; Politics and government; Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ); United States. Congress. Senate.

00:46:53 - Clements on civil rights issues

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Partial Transcript: As governor of Kentucky, Clements had, had pushed very hard for ending discrimination against blacks.

Segment Synopsis: Reedy discusses Clements' views on and work towards integration. He talks about other Southern senators' views on the issue.

[This segment contains racially insensitive language.]

Keywords: Constituents; Difficulty; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Political philosophy; Racial discrimination; School integration; Segregation in education; Senators; Southern; Southern Manifesto

Subjects: African Americans--Civil rights--Kentucky; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Integration; Kentucky--Politics and government; Politicians; Politicians--Kentucky; Politics and government; Race discrimination.; Race relations--Kentucky

00:49:53 - Clements' defeat in the 1956 election

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Partial Transcript: How effective was Clements in debate on the Senate floor?

Segment Synopsis: Reedy discusses Clements' effectiveness as a speaker. He talks about Clements' defeat in the 1956 election by Thruston Morton. He talks about whether Clements' position on a social security bill impacted the outcome of the election. He talks about Clements' roles after his defeat, as executive director of the United States Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, Highway Commissioner in Kentucky in 1959, and in Lyndon Johnson's 1960 campaign.

Keywords: 1955; 1956; 1960; Acting; Assistants; Attitudes; Chairman; Defeat; Democratic presidential nominations; Disability amendments; Doctors; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Effectiveness; Happy Chandler; Highway Commissioner; Labor movement; Lawrence Wetherby; Losses; Lyndon B. Johnson; Majority Leader; Oration; Party unity; Political parties; Political power; Senate floor; Senators; Social security bills; Speaking; Speeches; Support; Thruston Morton

Subjects: Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Democratic Party (U.S.); Elections; Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973; Morton, Thruston B. (Thruston Ballard), 1907-1982; Morton, Thruston Ballard, 1907-1982; Political campaigns; Politicians; Politics and government; United States. Congress. Senate.; Wetherby, Lawrence W. (Lawrence Winchester), 1908-; Wetherby, Lawrence Winchester, 1908-

01:01:27 - Politicians and campaign fund misconduct

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Partial Transcript: Now during--sometime during the year in 1960, I think it was in the fall probably of 1960...

Segment Synopsis: Reedy discusses a case against Clements for misuse of campaign funds. He talks about politicians' attitudes regarding money and campaign funds in general.

Keywords: 1960; Attitudes; Bobby Kennedy; Campaign funds; Dodd, Thomas J.; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Income tax; Kennedy, Bobby; Kennedy, Robert; Lyndon B. Johnson; Mindset; Money; Personal use; Power; Relationships; Rivalry; Robert Kennedy; Scandals; Thomas J. Dodd; Trouble

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Elections; Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973; Political campaigns; Political corruption; Politicians; Politics and government; United States. Congress. Senate.

01:05:21 - Clements' personality

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Partial Transcript: A Louisville Courier-Journal editorial on July 8, 1955 described Clements as quote, "Not an easy man to know."

Segment Synopsis: Reedy discusses claims made by critics of Clements regarding his personality. He talks about Clements' relationship with the press in Washington, D.C.

Keywords: Abell, Bess Clements; Abell, Elizabeth Hughes Clements; Attitudes; Bess Clements Abell; Clements, Sara Blue; Daughters; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; Elizabeth Hughes Clements Abell; Family; Friendships; Honesty; Hunt, Lester C.; Lester C. Hunt; Media; Perceptions; Personality; Qualities; Relationships; Reporters; Respect; Sara Blue Clements; Secretive; Suicide; Truth; Washington, D.C.; Wife

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Politicians; Politics and government; Press and politics.; United States. Congress. Senate.; Washington (D.C.)

01:10:20 - Clements' contributions to politics

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Segment Synopsis: Reedy discusses Clements' accomplishments as a politician as well as his influence on Lyndon Johnson's political career. The interview is concluded.

[Interview is interrupted by radio signal at 1:12:12.]

Keywords: Accomplishments; Contributions; Dick Russell; Earle C. Clements; Earle Clements; House of Representatives; Lyndon B. Johnson; Political philosophy; Relationships; Russell, Dick; Southern

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973; Politicians; Politics and government; Press and politics.; United States. Congress. Senate.