Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Clifford P. Case, June 10, 1980

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Meeting John Sherman Cooper

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Partial Transcript: The following is an unrehearsed interview with Clifford P. Case, former U.S. Senator from New Jersey.

Segment Synopsis: Case recalls when he met Cooper for the first time.

Keywords: Albert "Happy" Chandler; Co-sponsored; Confrontation; Embassy; Friends; House of Representatives; Immigration Subcommittee; Independent voting; John Sherman Cooper; Joint service; Legislation; Republicans; Resigned; Robert Taft; Senate; Vacant; World War II

Subjects: Americans; Cooper, John Sherman, 1901-1991; Leadership; Paris (France); Politicians; Reputation; Travel; United States. Congress. Senate.; World War, 1939-1945

00:02:44 - 80th Congress

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Partial Transcript: In that first two-year term, Cooper established a, a real reputation for independent voting.

Segment Synopsis: Case talks of Cooper's role in the 80th U.S. Congress (1947-1949).

Keywords: 2nd Republican Congress; 80th Congress; Congress; Controls; Differences; Dogmatic; Dwight Eisenhower; Harry Truman; House of Representatives; John Sherman Cooper; Normalcy; Office of Price Administration (OPA); Protests; Reactions; Restrictions; Senate; Virgil Chapman; World War II

Subjects: Conservative; Death; Leadership; Politicians; World War, 1939-1945

00:06:55 - United Nations General Assembly / Joseph McCarthy

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Partial Transcript: Now as I mentioned, Cooper was defeated in '48.

Segment Synopsis: Case discusses Cooper's time spent in the U.N. General Assembly. Case considers Cooper's position on Joseph McCarthy.

Keywords: Acceptance; Accepting; Bipartisan; Censored; Condemned; Congress; Consequences; Dean Acheson; Democratic administration; Democrats; Desires; Disapproval; Foreign policy; Independent; John Sherman Cooper; Joseph McCarthy; North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); Overriding; Policy; Political campaigns; Political risk; Proceedings; Republicans; Sensible

Subjects: Brussels (Belgium); Conscious; Conservative; London (England); Meetings; Paris (France); Patriotism; Politicians; Pressure; United Nations; United States. Department of State

00:12:25 - Cooper as U.S. Ambassador to India

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Partial Transcript: In 1955, President Eisenhower--(clears throat)--appointed Cooper to be our ambassador to India.

Segment Synopsis: Case describes Cooper in his role as U.S. Ambassador to India.

Keywords: Confused; Experienced; Jawaharlal Nehru; John Sherman Cooper; Politics; Skilled; Sympathetic; U.S. Ambassador to India

Subjects: Ability; Anti-Americanism; Character; Conservative; Diplomats; Human beings; India; Leadership; Neutrality; Politicians

00:15:51 - Cooper and Thruston Morton

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Partial Transcript: In 1956, Cooper then returned to the Senate after an absence of two years.

Segment Synopsis: Case details Cooper's working relationship with notable Kentucky politician Thruston Morton.

Keywords: Acting majority leader; Alben Barkley; Appraisals; Assistants; Congenial; Cynical; Democrats; Earle Clements; Elected; Generous; High-standing; Impression; Incumbents; Insecurity; John Sherman Cooper; Lightweight; Mechanics of politics; Observation; Political; Powerful; Qualities; Republican Senators; Republicans; Senator Neuberger; Senator Smith; Senator Williams; Senators; Shrewd; Strength; Thruston Morton; Traditional; Unusual; Wayne Morse; Workers

Subjects: Brothers; Careers; Friction; Harmony; Kentucky; New Jersey; Politicians; Recognition; Relations; Respect; Rivalry; Students; Temperament

00:24:27 - Cooper and civil rights

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Partial Transcript: And what about Cooper and civil rights in--in general?

Segment Synopsis: Case assesses Cooper's position on the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Keywords: Balanced; Civil rights legislation; Constituents; Decency; Demagogue; Feelings; Interests; Issues; John Sherman Cooper; Lyndon Johnson; Majority; Moderate; Opinions; Persuasion; Politics; Senate; Supporters; Votes; Winning

Subjects: African Americans--Civil rights; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Beliefs; Chronology; Civil rights; Civil rights movement; Elections; Politicians; Protest movements.; Race discrimination.

00:28:22 - Voting / Cooper as Republican leader

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Partial Transcript: How does a--how does a person do that? How is a Senator able to accomplish that?

Segment Synopsis: Case briefly talks of what factors determine how a Senator votes. Case describes Cooper's pursuit of becoming the Republican Leader in the Senate during the late 1950s.

Keywords: 1960 Republican National Convention; Chairman; Compromise; Conferences; Dwight Eisenhower; Everett Dirksen; Foreign policy; George Aiken; Hugh Scott; Interests; Issues; John Sherman Cooper; Leaders; Majority; Non-extremists; Platforms; Political candidates; Qualities; Symbolic; Thomas Kuchel; Thruston Morton; Vote; Vote-gathering; Welfare

Subjects: Ability; Business; Civil rights; Civil rights movement; Education; Honesty; Leadership; Politicians; Programs; Propositions; Reasons; Respect; Responsibility

00:40:12 - Everett Dirksen / White House and Congressional leadership

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Partial Transcript: Dirksen won by a vote of 20 to 14 over Cooper...

Segment Synopsis: Case talks of Cooper's defeat at the hands of Everett Dirksen in his bid to become the leader of the Republican Party in the Senate. Case details how Congressional leadership influenced the White House and vice versa during the Eisenhower administration.

Keywords: Charles Halleck; Conduct; Congress; Dwight Eisenhower; Everett Dirksen; Hard-working; House of Representatives; Industrious; John Sherman Cooper; Leaders; Orators; Presidents; Press conferences; Results; Speakers; Thomas Kuchel; Useful; Vice presidents; White House

Subjects: Leadership; Neutrality; Politicians; Speculation; United States

00:43:55 - 1960 Newsweek poll / Cooper's faults

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Partial Transcript: In 1960, there was a poll conducted by Newsweek magazine...

Segment Synopsis: Case shares his reaction to a Newsweek poll stating that Cooper was the ablest Republican in Congress at the time (1960). Case provides his opinion on some of the character flaws of Cooper.

Keywords: Decisions; Idiosyncrasies; John Sherman Cooper; Newsweek; Polls; Qualities

Subjects: Defects; Hesitation; Knowledge; Politicians; Virtues; Work

00:49:26 - Cooper and John F. Kennedy / Tonkin Gulf Resolution

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Partial Transcript: Do you know much about his relationship with President Kennedy?

Segment Synopsis: Case discusses Cooper's friendship with John F. Kennedy. Case also discusses Cooper's position on the Tonkin Gulf Resolution.

Keywords: Committees; Defense; Insufficient evidence; John F. Kennedy; John Sherman Cooper; Justifications; Presidents; Qualities; Senate; Senator Fulbright; Tonkin Gulf Resolution; Votes; Wayne Morse

Subjects: Allies; Communists; Confirmation; Contradictions; Desire; Friend; Hope; Kennedy, John Fitzgerald, 1917-1963; Politicians; Reality; Regret; Responsibility; Vietnam; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:57:08 - Cooper and Lyndon Johnson

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Partial Transcript: What about the later relationship between--uh--Cooper and--and President Johnson?

Segment Synopsis: Case articulates his knowledge of Cooper's working relationship with Lyndon Johnson.

Keywords: Alienated; Bombing; Determination; Issues; John Sherman Cooper; Lyndon Johnson; Motives; Outspoken; Policies; Qualities; Senator Fulbright

Subjects: Ability; Administration; Cambodia; Criticism; Humility; Judgment; Politicians; Recognition; Vietnam; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:59:59 - Cooper and the anti-ballistic missile system

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Partial Transcript: Do you recall his--uh--fight in the Senate to stop deployment of the ABM system?

Segment Synopsis: Case reflects upon Cooper's role in opposing an anti-ballistic missile system for the U.S.

Keywords: Anti-ballistic missiles; Anti-missile systems; Complications; Consequences; Deterrence; Dogmatic; Experts; Issues; John Sherman Cooper; Mutual deterrence; Neutral vulnerability; Positions; Security; Vulnerable

Subjects: Business; Cold War; Nature; Politicians; Scenarios; Scientists; Societies; Speculations; Wisdom; Work

01:04:41 - Cooper-Hart Amendment vote

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Partial Transcript: There was a rather odd situation on the--the final vote in August of--of 1969. . .

Segment Synopsis: Case recalls the final vote on the Cooper-Hart Amendment in 1969.

Keywords: Anti-ballistic missile system; Clinton Anderson; Construction; Cooper-Hart Amendment; John Sherman Cooper; Margaret Chase Smith; Records; Sponsored; Statements; Votes

Subjects: Cold War; Missiles; Money; Nuclear weapons; Politicians; Research; Soviet Union; Technology; United States; Washington (D.C.); Weapons of mass destruction

01:06:34 - Senate Foreign Relations Committee / Vietnam War

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Partial Transcript: Cooper went on the Foreign Relations Committee in 1967. Were, were you already on the committee at that time?

Segment Synopsis: Case describes Cooper's role on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Case considers Cooper's position on the Vietnam War.

Keywords: 1966 Congressional Elections; American involvement; American power; Anti-war; Bombing; Committees; Conviction; Debates; Democrats; Fighting; Gail McGee; Hostile forces; Issues; John Sherman Cooper; Leaders; Leading position; Loss of life; Persuaded; Ranking; Republicans; Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Senator Church; Senator Javits; Seniority; South Vietnam; Traumatic; Trouble; Votes

Subjects: Americans; Communists; Japan; Leadership; Militarization; Politicians; Property; Vietnam; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; War

01:16:38 - Case's opinion on the Vietnam War

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Partial Transcript: I think some, some people have misunderstood Cooper's position and--and I'm sure the position of--of all of the group that you speak of.

Segment Synopsis: Case provides his opinion on the Vietnam War and how hindsight changes a person's perspective on the war.

Keywords: American interests; Consequences; Contradiction; Deployed; Foreign policy; John Sherman Cooper; Military force; Military power; Negotiations; Positions; Presidential power; Presidents; Richard Nixon; Rights; Sanctions; U.S. participation; Votes

Subjects: Americans; Politicians; Protection; United States; Vietnam; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; War

01:20:37 - Robert Riggs / Democrats and Republicans

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Partial Transcript: Robert Riggs, who was a longtime writer for the Louisville Courier-Journal...

Segment Synopsis: Case considers a quote from journalist Robert Riggs about Cooper. Case provides his opinion on the differences between Democrats and Republicans.

Keywords: Characteristics; Common man; Demagogues; Democrats; Free market; Free reign; John Sherman Cooper; Louisville Courier-Journal; Love of country; Perceptive; Qualifications; Quotes; Representation; Representatives; Republicans; Robert Riggs; Weaknesses

Subjects: African Americans; Business; Conservative; Entrepreneurship; Habit; Labor; New Deal, 1933-1939; Patriotism; Politicians; Property; Rich people; Ritual; Tradition; United States

01:25:38 - Cooper's important contributions / Stories of Cooper

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Partial Transcript: What in--in your opinion, were--were Cooper's most important contributions?

Segment Synopsis: Case lists some of the most important contributions that Cooper has provided throughout his political career. Case shares some interesting stories of Cooper.

Keywords: Accomplishments; Agreements; Attorneys; Bills; Choices; City halls; Colonel Sanders; Courthouses; Deals; Differences; John Sherman Cooper; Legislature; Political campaigns; Political candidates; Positions; Publishing; Qualified; Senate; Supportive; Violent; Votes

Subjects: Americans; Careers; Diplomats; Education; Experience; Kentucky Fried Chicken (Firm); Leaders; Politicians; Radical; Singing; Travel; Work