tv The Presidency Richard Nixon the Democratic Congress CSPAN June 2, 2018 12:00pm-1:31pm EDT
veterans of richard nixon's white house gather to talk about 1969, when he faced the opposition and control of both the house and senate. he used trips aboard the presidential yacht to lobby members in pursuit of his goals. the national archives and richard nixon foundation cohosted this 90 minute event. david: i am david ferriero, archivist of the united states, and it is a pleasure to welcome you this morning. a special welcome to our c-span audience, and to the head of the nixon library foundation and the director of the nixon library. we are very proud to have one of our nixon legacy forums here. we have been cosponsoring these
with the nixon foundation since 2010. we have produced about three dozen of them, all of which are available on our website and that of the nixon foundation. they feature individuals from the nixon administration, discussing some of the particular public policy initiatives and the documentation that is available to researchers in the archives we maintain at the nixon library in yorba linda, california. today's topic is bridging the branches, how president nixon worked with the democratic congress. now, you all know our constitution divides federal power between three separate but coequal branches, the legislative, executive and judiciary. while each has its own area of authority and responsibility, the system seems to work best when the branches are working together. when president nixon was elected in 1968, he was the first president in 120 years to take office without his party also in control of congress.
for the incoming president nixon, control wasn't even close. in the senate, 43 republicans, 57 democrats. in the house, 192 republicans, 243 democrats, or a 51 vote margin. for nixon, governing without help from democrats was not much of a choice. it was a necessity. how he and his administration went about doing this is today's topic, and we have with us four former members of president nixon's white house staff. it has been almost 50 years since they were there, so you will notice their hair is a little grayer than photos from that era. one other thing, researching this topic in particular has been helped by a set of contemporaneous memos that analyze nixon's relationship with the 91st, 92nd, and 93rd congresses. since these archival records are so key, we are trying something new.
we will post these on our respective websites, so you can access them in conjunction with the video of today's discussion. with that let me introduce you to today's moderator and coproducer of many prior legacy forms, jeff shepherd. he joined nixon's staff in 1969 as a white house fellow, then spent the next five years as a member of his domestic counsel. please welcome jeff shepherd. [applause] jeff: thank you, david. we have worked together for eight years, and david and his staff at the archives cosponsors with the richard nixon foundation, and it has been just a superb partnership. as you might imagine, the archives has the records, all the documents, and what we in the foundation produce are the people who wrote them. these forums are designed for the authors of the documents, members of nixon's white house,
to discuss the why and the how behind the documents. so we hope, in the future, that scholars and researchers will be able to better understand and evaluate what happened in the nixon administration by the combination of both. as david mentioned, we are trying something new, starting with it today. when we post this video on the website, we will post a link to a google drive that has the documents we mentioned. so if you choose to get into it, you can read the documents and watch the movie, and we think it will help researchers to facilitate their research. these are documents that are out at the nixon library, but they will be available online, by topic. then we will go backwards, if it works, over the three dozen we have done before and add this element.
as david mentioned, nixon was the first president in 120 years to come into office without control of congress. what we find, when we look backwards, is that this man who was not by any means a back-slapping politician, studious, serious, very earnest, used the white house. he and pat nixon entertained and held meetings with great frequency with members of congress. he used probably the most prestigious invitation in the city, hugely, to lobby his points and get his point across, and he employed what in retrospect is probably the greatest congressional relations staff ever assembled, who sold and lobbied his ideas, his
approach to the congress. the congressional relations staff, if you look at it carefully, is kind of the grease that makes the wheels run, and it is hugely demanding, because the congress is hugely demanding, for information, for relationships, for feedback. these people, and we have three of them today, survivors, these people were selling to individual members of congress why we needed their vote for their help or their influence on a particular topic. but there were so many topics, and so many people that you really had to be well-versed. you could be talking to a particular senator, and you needed to know his area, what was his influence, and you needed to know what he wanted in return before you opened the
conversation with him or her. the need to be flexible and approachable was huge, so we will talk about all that, and i will take a seat, because i will sit here and talk with my friends. we will talk about the people who were on the staff. i asked each of them to talk about where they were when nixon was inaugurated in 1969. that would have been the election and start of the 91st congress, the 37th president. and how they got from there to the white house staff. we will start with wally johnson. wally: i was a young organized crime and racketeering prosecutor, and the head of the strikeforce in miami, florida. what happens with any new
administration, many of the young staffers on the hill come into an administration, and i went the other way. i went to the senate judiciary committee on the criminal law subcommittee. a year later, went back to justice, because john dean went to the white house as legal counsel, and a year later began working with my friend tom at the white house on the congressional relations staff. jeff: so you went from justice as a prosecutor to the hill as a staffer, then to the department of justice as head of congressional relations, then to the white house working with tom in the senate. wally: i am pretty much a justice junkie. jeff: you are really a prosecutor. when this was through, you went back to justice as an assistant attorney general. there was lands and natural resources, but not really prosecution, but you are a law and order guy. we will get to wally being a law
and order guy. tom, where were you? tom: working for senator wallace bennett of utah, who had been elected then in his third term. i was on his staff. when president nixon was elected, interestingly enough, a fellow by the name of george romney was running for president at the time. we had to endorse george romney, utah, romney, mormon, the whole nine yards. the minute nixon was elected, we were very supportive of president nixon. i was on staff of the senator for nine years, and during all that time, you join various organizations. we joined a group called rand. republicans allied for mutual support. we joined an organization called the bull elephants, a partisan staff thing that met and plotted
and planned. senator bennett was ranking on the finance committee, ranking on the banking committee, a member of the joint committee on atomic energy, and we constantly got involved in a lot of staffing things. one day, bill timmons, the godfather of the congressional affairs operation in the nixon years, called me and said, come on down, let's talk. so i went to the white house and became senate liaison under timmons and ken ballou, the head of senate relations. ken went to the pentagon and became undersecretary of the army. gene kahn was there, who eventually became senate liaison for president nixon. i was in the white house under nixon for four years, and one year under president ford.
jeff: and so the legend begins of tom. [laughter] known locally as the 101st senator. tom's job was on the hill. bill was chief operating officer of the congressional relation organization, but his job was home base. information coming in, instruction going out. tom's the tip of the spear. you talk about knowing everybody, all the children, all their names, that is tom on the senate. just a nonstop effort of presenting the views of the white house. afterwards, he became ambassador to belgium, but that is not the topic for today. [laughter] >> there were five of us. timmons was kind of the chief operating officer, then there was a deputy assistant to the
house and the senate, and a special assistant. i slipped in as the special assistant working with tom, when gene and ken moved along. so, we were a team, and we worked together, but i have to note, then it and michael -- bennett and michael were two of the senators who supported nixon most. while tom is a legend, and so am i in my own mind -- [laughter] the fact is, we were where we were because we were allied with extremely loyal people. >> loyal senators. >> they looked at wally and me. he came from his office, he must be good. he came from bennett's office, he must be good. ipso facto, we were good. and we were good. >> john didn't come from there.
how did you get on the staff? john: i still ask myself that. [laughter] i was a phd candidate at the university of pennsylvania, at the foreign policy research institute. there, i met two fellows of the institute, henry kissinger and dick allen. dick at the time was the national security adviser to candidate nixon, and henry kissinger was of course working for nelson rockefeller. i worked in the summer for dick allen as an intern. he was one of the founders of the george downs center for strategic studies, now csis, much bigger. dick was one of the key founders of that, and so then when the campaign got going, dick asked me to come part-time as a speechwriter. i eventually ended up in new york, at the headquarters.
then, during the transition after the election, peter flanagan ran the transition at the pierre hotel. he and dick allen and henry kissinger asked me to join the nsc staff. i went to washington. as soon as we arrived, all the bitter wars started, particularly over the vietnam war. kissinger always had a lean staff. today there are between 1500 and 1700 members of the nsc staff. under henry kissinger, there were 30. >> a few good men and women. >> of course, no one ever accused henry and his staff of not being effective in those days. but there was no such thing as a
congressional relations office on the nsc at the time. now it is bigger than tom's staff was in the nixon administration. i was a junior staff member for national security and political military affairs, so the problems as they started to emerge were all defense and national security, at least the ones we saw. they had much broader issues. so i got stuck with, i have -- i had never been inside congress, even in the building to that point, but henry and al hague said, get up there and stop these crazy people from passing these crazy resolutions. i ended up working right away with this quite incredible congressional relations staff. so, that sort of consumed 90% of my time the whole time i worked
for kissinger, until finally he went to state, and i fled with him. >> so you are the substance guy on national security and foreign affairs. the liaison with the congressional relations people. >> that's right. at first they called me the commissar. but very soon i really became part of the team. >> for the audience, if you don't recognize the name, john went on to become secretary of the navy under president reagan. >> let me insert something about what john just said. sorry, wally and jeff. president nixon cared deeply about defense, national security. he thrived on it. he knew what he was talking about. under president eisenhower, he didn't have anything to do as vice president, so he went overseas and became an expert on national security issues.
therefore, when john and the nsc and our liaison people got involved, the president knew what we were doing. i'm not saying he knew anything about welfare reform, crime and all that, but he had a deep, unvarnished interest in how we were doing. he would give a list of votes to make, to get on people. he wanted to know, how did mike do? he cared very strongly, and therefore at states of the union and other events, dinners you will show in a few minutes, national security was big on his plate. that's why john and henry were so important to nixon. >> i think it's very fair to say nixon's interest and expertise and fascination was foreign affairs. there's a slogan for vice
presidents, they have more to do than tom suggests, but it's, you die, i fly. the vice president goes to funerals all over the world. in the nixon era, they would use those gatherings of heads of state to conduct discussions. he personally knew all the world's leaders, and was fascinated by the topic. that was his natural thing. you can do that without the congress. the president has much more authority. on domestic affairs, you have to deal with the congress, and it gets complicated. >> i take exception with the ambassador on this. i think nixon had a keen interest in some domestic affairs. one was crime, and remember his involvement with alger hiss and the investigation in the house.
the other, the judicial process and the selection of the supreme court, which in his memoirs he notes as one of his great accomplishments, selecting and having confirmed four supreme court justices. >> if you stay until the end of the program, it will occur to you, those are president nixon's two main issues in the campaign, an honorable end to the war and restore law and order. that's why we have the people that they are not just survivors -- they are survivors of that era, who has something to say. we will go there, but now let's spend just a minute on nixon's knowledge and expertise of the congress. here is a guy who was a congressman for two terms, nationally prominent because of alger hiss, then a senator for two years, then becomes vice president.
interestingly enough, the vice president's constitutional duty is to preside over the senate, and in that era, nixon's only office was the vice president's office in the congress. he had no office, nor did any of his predecessors have an office in the white house. it was not until nixon was elected president that he made an office for his vice president, spiro agnew. before that, he was on the hill. so if he wasn't traveling, and he did a lot of foreign affairs stuff, he reported for work at the congress. and the machinations of the senate, the issues of the republicans and democrats in legislation, was of great interest and knowledge to him. and he campaigned. that's the other thing a vice president gets to do. they campaign. so he would go into individual
districts, and this is a very factual guy, who learned all about the ins and outs of particular districts, and the needs and requirements of individual senators, so that when he's working with the congressional relations staff, it is not news to him that someone in georgia has certain feelings. he already knows that, and has thought about it, how to make it work. so with that, we will go through some pictures that show, that demonstrate the use of the white house as a lobbying technique. >> i want to interrupt you with one more quick question. this is an organizational observation. tom and i are heavily oriented toward the senate, but the fact is the congressional relations office covers the house and the senate.
but the three of us are more focused on the senate side of things, and it's part of the fact that we are survivors, part of the fact we are talking about crime and international affairs. because the senate had a dominant influence over both of those subjects. >> sure. because of confirmations, because of treaties, because of the way the senate was set up. >> i just want the record to show. >> ok. the record shall show. our first picture is in the cabinet room. sir, if i could ask you to move over two seats so i could see -- thank you, so i could see the pictures. this is what we believe to be the first partisan leadership meeting the president had, the gop event. he would have bipartisan leadership meetings, then he would have the republican leadership, his party. a head-on shot from the cabinet
room. because we studied the picture, we know there's one staff person on the far end on the right, ken ballou. but this was an initial talk of getting the republicans used to coming down, because now their party controls the white house. the next one, a breakfast in the state dining room, and this is bipartisan. this is the president, and if you look carefully at the picture, we have named the row of the leadership down there having breakfast with the president. of coarse, you don't turn down invitations to the white house. this is big stuff. meals, events, we have one here. >> i want to jump in again. >> go ahead. >> the leadership would show up,
but the fact is, we were talking to the leadership all the time. >> correct. >> we talked about what you will talk about with the president, and they wondered what they should say to the president, and the president would wonder what he should say to them. so there's a glue here, a cohesiveness that unifies all these activities. >> i like the analogy of grease rather than glue. [laughter] but you are facilitating the communication. >> every day 6:30 a.m. in the morning until 7:00 at night, that is what we did. >> it got a little scary more than once. they would say, what should i talk about, i would give a list, then a list to the president of what they should talk about, and all of a sudden your life is flashing between your eyes as the president and leaders are talking, with the things you told them to say. [laughter] sometimes it works perfectly. >> then they will say, how did i do? both sides. >> interesting position to be in.
[laughter] i suppose, if you messed up, there's no place to hide. >> -- we were trying to divine what this particular picture is. tom, what was your guess? >> a group that nixon belonged to in the senate, or the house. the house. which was, nixon supporters, i don't know where he got marching. it was a republican group of nixon supporters, young guys that were pro-nixon, pro-defense issues, anti-crime in the streets. >> good, solid, tax paying, god-fearing republicans. >> good. >> this is a one-on-one with hubert humphrey in the oval office. >> the president had many one-on-one meetings.
he would call up and say, come on down. the senator would come down. did not say much. a lot of yup and nopes. the president would brief him on what his plans were, on what was going on. a former marine from montana. great leader. very supportive, when he had to be. he would have one-on-one meetings. we had a lot of those. he had russell long down on tax bills, people down on national security stuff. this was a humphrey meeting. if i'm not mistaken, it is shortly before he went to china. he asked humphrey to go to china. they ran against each other, and there they are in the oval office chitchatting about issues
that were important to the country. >> one of the biggest fights we had during that time was the mansfield amendment, as you recall. senator mansfield was very focused on asia, and he felt we had much too much of our focus and assets in europe. and he authored an amendment which got, i don't know how many signatures, but started with a majority in the senate, to withdraw three quarters of our troops from europe and to increase our troops, not nearly to that number, but to increase our presence in asia. and that was one of the bitterest battles, and required more grief to change votes than any i can remember.
and, the president and kissinger were very effective in trotting out, using the wise men of the democrats in the postwar period. i took notes. i remember henry having lunch with dean atchison, one of the more interesting lunches i attended. there was a very strong, bipartisan push back against senator mansfield, and ultimately there was a face-saver, where out of the 400,000 troops we withdrew 50, or something like that. it was done because the democratic leadership was brought around. >> 50,000 or 52? >> 50,000. 350,000. >> next picture.
the picture with humphrey makes me think that these were just people like we are. he was an awfully nice guy, and we worked with him. it was after he had been defeated, and he was the most friendly, chatty kind of guy you would ever want to see. remember, now it is 25 years after we were that age. we were 25, 50 years younger. we were kids, and moving with some pretty high-level political leadership in our nation. my point is simply that they put their pants on the same way we do. they were awfully friendly, and worked with each other, even though politically and publicly they may have disagreements. >> some things about nato troop cuts. there was a vote on cutting nato
troops at 7:00 at night, and we lost. my goodness, what shall we do. kissinger had a fit. what happened, senator griffin, a minority whip, stood up and did not make the motion to reconsider the bill. he held it. henry worked on senator jackson, who got senator magnuson to change his vote. >> carried him out onto the floor. [laughter] >> between 7:00 and 11:00. two things. first, the "new york times" front page the next morning, senate votes to cut troops in nato. this is the end of the western world as we know it. at 11:00, griffin moved to recommit the vote and asked magnuson, what changed your mind?
>> i remember during a fight i was with henry abingdon, one of the geniuses with why he has been so effective. he is still sharp as ever. he liked these people, even the idiots. he knew how to work them. as an example, i remember i was with him i would give him a talk, he did need to -- he did not need talking papers. magnuson whocall at the time was flipping a bit
but he was very much a man of the left. not ideologically. >> chairman of something. >> appropriations. he was very important. he called scoop. he says, scoop, you have to help me. these left wingers are going to bring us all down. andreally have to help us especially senator magnuson. he checked that often called senator magnuson and said, senator, you have to help us on this one. these right wingers are trying to drag us down. [laughter] he was a great lobbyist. he liked going up to the hill and if there were people who were really interested in the substance and talking about the intellectual foundations. >> people who were very
informed. -- we will keep going with the slides. we have a picture of carl albert and what is unique about this dinere, this is in the and the president's home. this is his house. >> i got into an argument with jeff, i sat for dinner in the chair where the president was. julie, daveave and had been my intern when i worked on the senate judiciary committee. 1970, 1969, he becamewife and his wife very good friends. it was before i worked at the white house. the president used to sit and
baseball, what was going on up,ng the day, when i ended during one of the confirmations, he would call. the guy was intensely interested in what was happening. he would jump around the bureaucracy and touch base with people in the field. >> he thought about what he would do. he had access to all the intelligence information. having lost ino 1960 for eight years if he ever got back and power. i think he woke up every single morning during his presidency eager to get on with it, eager to get more things done.
he was hauling us in a direction he wanted us to go. to do. what he wanted he already thought it through. that is a tremendous example of leadership. the president had church services. and when he would do these, one of the event was there was always members of congress included. services,ers, sunday which had other people too, but congress was always there. person on the right, who is mormon from salt lake.
throughout all the prayer breakfasts, the white house, and as you will see here in a minute it was filled with congressman. we had hundreds if not thousands of visitations. >> you may even think he did the seating of this. every christmas the white house is decorated to the nines. and you really want to go see what happened. then it's kind of christmas week. is forthe evening events members of congress and their families. you take your kid to the white house during christmas. it picture during christmas. this is shot during christmas week.
there is little kid's head it doesn'tugh capture what we wanted to show you but we tried. the idea of do you want to be friends with members of congress there were 535 people. their spouses, their kids, that was a good evening. they were the only ones that could get into the white house that evening. that is good stuff. >> this addresses the reality -- there was networking that was informal. it was a power structure in congress. wally: they controlled what came and went to the truth -- to the judiciary committee. they pulled the authorization for the department of justice. they controlled the money, they did not do it just for two or four years, ethan was elected to congress in 1939. his father was there before him.
the fact of the matter is that the serious senators were serious about running the country. they were committed to the government. i know that it was too. -- bennett was too. >> these were not show horses. stennis was the chairman of the process. he was the chairman of armed services. who runs the defense department more than them? the president's big interested during the vietnam war days when raymond and i were up fighting that battle, stennis was a key player in all of those issues. tom: he wanted to know the language of the bill, was for and against it. he wanted to know the senators were. -- who the senators were. but nixon knew the country. he had run for president three times. he ran for vice president twice. he had everything from toledo, ohio, mississippi. he knew that you don't do this
in new jersey on friday, he knew not to campaign on sunday. i don't know that means. >> to improve this picture, you should send it over to the russian embassy. >> president clinton dressed up and we are teasing. he was very formal. he was very dignified. >> you can remember the picture of next and walking on the beach -- nixon walking on the beach in a sport coat and tie. >> this is the picture of the congressional relations staff. he was the chief of staff. it was 1973. bill timmins is second from my right.
as this point, the congressional relations staff was six people. it had gone up one. we hired a democrat to be a part of the congressional staff. whose guy was he? >> he was from mississippi. he was a big supporter of the president. he was at the conservative. he was bipartisan. he was a democrat in mississippi. >> before we get to much further, the reality is we are talking about lobbyists. we lobbied. we did it because we work out of the lobby.
that was adjacent to the senate floor. the vice president had an office at there. he had two offices. he had a ceremonial office. >> everybody used to think it was tom's office. there was a small office off the lobby. we would camp and everybody would pass that office. the fact is that we were trading information. our job was to know what was going on. they were a to them what is happening. the white house would expect us to -- face went them with the senators were thinking. >> this is an era without c-span or live coverage. you didn't know what had been going on the senate floor when you showed up. when you stepped out, you lost the pulse of what was going on. you have these guys asking for information and sharing
information. >> there was one other point. there were votes all the time. we would be in the committee meeting. the sensors -- senators would go over to the floor and boat. they would vote out of the vice president's office. they would ask questions. what is the president's view? what is the committee chairman's view? >> plus, what is the issue? 75% of them knew there would be a vote at 3:00. they had forgotten all about it. they came over and they would say which one is this? they would go to the courtroom desk and sit there. what they didn't know is that we had written the talking points on what this bill was.
this isn't all that did a lot. there were six great -- states with middle grounders who didn't know how they were going to vote. it was a constant problem trying to figure out what was going on on the senate. thankfully we had bill hildebrand on the floor. people had access to the floor and we did not have access to the floor. we had no c-span or speakers but we had a great view of senator tower. we would say what i was supposed to do on this? >> there is someone spent offered in presidential power and appropriations for defense and so forth. a lot of the english had been
drafted quickly by summer interns for the senators involved. not only did the white house need to get judicial legislative legal opinions on whether this was even allowable but we had to have some of the things that i could handle easily on what the effects work. a lot of it, we had to referred back through kissinger to get his view. that became very authoritative. sometimes, if you was in china, we would have to go straight to the secretary of defense to really understand the effect of the 10 page amendment. >> -- his agenda was not yours. >> exactly, you had not read than theirs -- read them themselves. they were done by staffers.
it was pretty intense when the important bills were on the floor. >> the state department had no authorization from the formulations committee for 5, 6 or seven years. they finally put them together, there going to reform this and fix that and add this. over fiber six years, the state department had gotten into some disarray. they worked out at night and day. it was the most wonderful piece of legislation you ever saw. the final passage was at 2:00. they cut troops from vietnam and cut the defense budget. i called them and said killers. they said kill it -- i said kill it, they said kill it? i went up and some of your audience understands how easy it is to kill a bill. two guys can stand up and say let's put this off to next week or something. then we killed the state department built that they had
been working on for 18 months because they put in that amendment on it. that is when john knew the issue. one of the things about our job was we keep the trash of government on the president. we did that by fighting amendment and beating things on the hill. we didn't want the president to stand out there and say i'm going to vote against you. we did that. we did that in the thousand congress and the leader's office. >> we will get to this because they have so much to say. i >> i have to make another point. >> we have three congresses. this is for history. i there were six years, the composition of the congress was different each time. the title of this presentation is bridging the branches.
wally: of the 30 or 40 republicans, they were not all will republicans, they were not all philosophical he of the same ilk. ran we had 25 or 30 republicans and then we had to work to find another 20 or 25 votes. in a they came from a a democratic orientation. we worked together on a positive day on legislation. him and we worked together in a negative way to block legislation. >> what is really interesting, if you got to the end of the
program, don't walk out. nixon needed some bills but only four were written. you talk about stopping stuff before it got to the president's desk. it is an interesting record given the makeup. we said at the beginning that we had documents that were really helpful. we would go through one really quick because it is 30 pages. it is one of five evaluations that they did at the end of each congress. this happens to be, mr. president, here's our record for
him the 91st congress. it is a snapshot in time. this memo doesn't change. so he doesn't know that when he is writing a memo. it is fascinating to see what he is doing, is reporting to the president how well he and his team and the president have done in the first two years of congress that was just completely dominated by the other side. when we put up this video, we will have access to these memos. i will go through this quick. i know you don't have time to read it. he is talking about the 91st congress. there were 57 democrats and 43 republicans. the house had 243 democrats. this is built men's analysis. he is writing from his point of view and she says what the democratic congress wanted to do was continue the new frontier great society programs. this was for social functions while reducing funds for defense and foreign affairs.
they showed no interest in restrictive ade legislations reflecting the isolationist mood. there was a growing isolationist mood. that does point of view for what they wanted to do, nixon's name was reform. there were many proposals for improvement to existing programs. congress had asked incredible numbers of programs. on the domestic side, what nixon's people would do, they would go up the hill and say it is the same amount of money, the same goal but we can do a better job. nobody was fighting over credit. nobody was worried about the next election because the democrats had dominated the congress since the depression. overall, nixon enjoyed better support from the 91st congress than eisenhower did in his years in democratic congresses. nixon's record was better than
that of johnson in the last year with congress. he lists the account was meant in domestic affairs and foreign affairs and the economy and other stuff. the one that i focus on was the government reorganization. he lists that first. in nixon's first term, we created the domestic council, change the bureau budget to the opposite management budget. president nixon revitalized the state. they consolidated central control of testimony and regulation. that form, this is 50 years ago. that formed the basis of the modern presidency. we went in a situation before
they send where the much ran their area and mention it to the white house and passing. this was a situation where the policy decisions were made within the executive office of the president. the cabinet had input but they basically phasic unit policy decisions. that is how it is today. this was in retrospect, a revolutionary change. then he times about negative success. this is important affairs because nixon didn't need authority, he needed appropriation. he needed to prevent some of these things, the mcgovern hatfield, brooks. multiple, independently targeted reentry vehicles. then he lists the defeats of what we didn't get. the bottom one is interesting because we didn't get this other stuff past.
we never got the family assistance plan passed. but we got down reform and selective service, that was huge. we went from three steps, the draft to the lottery to an all holland here force. the all volunteer force survives to this day. that was huge at the time. then there are bills and calculations. the edge of a hundred 60,000 incoming telephone calls and placed 300,000 outgoing calls. the process pieces of paper, attended 1400 structured meetings not counting internal meetings and make fixing hundred trips to the capital. they prepared over 450 draft speeches. we, these guys with substance
and help from substance -- they would help -- they were aligned with the administration. he summarizes the congress nine measures each day. committees reported an average of 8.8 bills each day they were in session of the 17 measures a day, one required series white house input and consideration. in addition to these two daily votes that the white house was heavily involved in, these numbers don't reflect the amendment or subcommittee votes. these people on the congressional election staff were drifting out of a fire hose. it was a massive amount of information and they were try to influence it on behalf of the president. he does a calculation of the number of bills that were enacted. yay and nay votes.
you wonder how you -- he kept all of these records. this is before computers. you are individual meetings, conversations, republican leadership, bill science, medal of honor, swearing in, congressional half hours, breakfast, lunch and dinner, the only thing missing here, the president had the presidential yacht. he would take people out with or without the president. they would take 15 couples if they wanted to. this is a been it still exists. the top of it, and you can have a reception and good weather cruising majestically down the potomac. you would turn around at mount vernon. there is a saloon. you would go downstairs and you
would eat. you got dinner on the way back up. it was very impressive for an event. >> i am forced to point out that it wasn't the president possibly yacht. it was the secretary of the navy posit barge. >> that is true. >> let me say something about the phone calls. there were personal phone calls. senator byrd cast his 2000 about so we sent a slip to him and him said congratulations on this. senator margaret j smith of maine had a reputation of never missing a vote. she passed some milestones. these were personal little tidbit phone call that he would make. one of my favorites, john was involved with this. the president went to china. that was the charge, he only cared about foreign affairs, he didn't care about the mystic. -- domestic.
they issued shanghai communique. the next order of business that ziegler announced from shanghai was a disaster declaration for huntington, west virginia. bob byrd was pounding on us. he was majority leader at the time to declare a disaster area for a flood that occurred in west virginia. the other thing on the chanting was that -- what is he doing over there? i remember in the leadership meeting, he pointed to the phone and said i can call our advanced as right here and now and they
will know everything i have going on. you in this room will know what is going on. when he came back from china, he had been there 10 days. what did he do? they suggested to the tour in china, what time are you landing at andrews from china? he landed at some of 48:00 at night. -- at 78:00 at night. -- 7:00, 8:0might. >> want to come straight to the capital. they cleared the capitol grounds. the -- the helicopter swoops in and lands in the parking lot. nixon goes in and speak about this. his relations with congress had gone this way and that way but what did he do? he comes back from china and lands on them. he tells them what he did. that is all part of what jeff is discussing, the relationship he had created with the hill.
>> the one thing we talked about before, we did have a dry run. he did not take any members of congress with him to china. all caps man he works with he , did not take any members of congress with him. that was too sensitive. he wasn't a touristed junket, we did not have time to give people and their wives places to go see and everything. the trip to china was just for the president and his staff and the news media. that is another reason why it was a great idea to go brief the congress when he came back. >> and when he came back he turned to us and said to go on the next trip. and they went. the next one of was the one i went on with senator magnuson. we sent relations back with
-- set relations back with china 30 years, but other than that -- [laughter] when he came back on his first trip, he brought these soap stone things, elephant trinkets that he gave to them. it became a big -- it was a happening. somebody wrote an opera about it. >> more important than that, it is important to understand it was really president nixon and henry's. --their relationship is unique in government history. they fed on each other. in a sense, they were jealous of each other because one of them got more publicity than another, but they really were a tremendously reinforcing team.
president nixon, had, for so long, he traveled the world and read, and read, and read. he was one of the most well read presidents ever. he knew the time was right to move that the world had been locked in this cold world -- war , which was based on china and the soviet union. the axis of china and the soviet union, and it had the west on the defensive, containment was the best we could do. he sensed, as he read constantly all of the intelligence and the public commentary of what was going on in china, that the moment was right to drive these two powers apart. that is what it was about, why it was kept so secret. and, when it was done, it was a thunderclap in the world.
in the whole perception of allies and adversaries alike, that this was, this was something huge. the dawn of a new era, and it was really the beginning and end of the cold war. that, in many ways, president nixon was a genius in understanding strategically. he got it. he got what made the world move, and a big part of his grasping of that was henry who was also deeply understanding. >> we don't want you to think we are pro-nixon. [laughter] we have done three forums on nixon in china, and they are available in more detail, but i helped produce these forums.
henry is around but he is almost 95. the foundation, over the year 2016, has done six segments of the only oral history ever given i henry kissinger, and private, but, coming soon to a theater near you, we will have henry kissinger on tape doing his oral history and going into great detail on that partnership and how it worked. back to where we were, the first memo doing a comparison, this slide shows from a veto point of view, nixon was more successful than eisenhower or kennedy, or johnson. we have to go through the other memos, but he does one in the archives, the first session of the 92nd, and the second session of the 92nd and one on the 93rd congress. that brings us to a more
part for my colleagues. nixon ran on two main themes. restoring law and order, and no war with honor. and we will spend two minutes on the war and honor part so wally has something to say. and here we have wally on the stage left with dark hair, and if i may, you can give the background but i will quickly , describe it. this is nixon signing the organized control act of 1970 at the great hall of the department of justice in october 1970. i had met wally, working on the bill when he worked for the senator and i was a white house fellow. in between, i had gone and joined the white house staff and i have been on the staff for a i was the substance
guy on this bill signing because my policy being was law and order. it gave a great opportunity to pay wally back, or start to pay him back for all of his kindness. wally, describe what is going on. wally: i would like to make a unique point that has not been put in the record yet. there was a pyramid within the departments and to the white house that coordinated the flow of information and the work on legislation. the crime bill was submitted to congress, which surprised me. but bill submitted the control act, whated control it was managed through the judiciary committees and with the justice department. you have the house, which was
managed by a congressman from virginia. he ended up being considered to be nominated for the supreme court. he end up being on the virginia supreme court. a brilliant guy. he is in the picture, i cannot see it perfectly from here, but he was the house manager for the organized crime control. >> he was the ranking minority leader in the senate, heralph. quarterly -- bunch of very bright attorneys came into the administration when nixon was elected. three of them were pretty key in this bill. brian gettings, and don santarelli.
i am on the left. the effect of the manner is -- matter is, we were staffers and were entitled to be in the picture. i think you may have gotten us into the picture. it was probably your pen the president signed the bill with, but it was fundamental to his crime program. a professor from notre dame was guy, mcclellan's guide -- that i and that is the background. >> in the center you have hoover and john mitchell. mixing, we tried to get a live news coverage, but it did not cut right. nixon signs the bill and hands the bill to mitchell and says, there, i have given you the tools, now go to work. what was so surprising to me on this event, i had only been on the substance side of the domestic counsel for a month, when the president leaves the white house to go somewhere,
there are hundreds of people involved. just getting him from the white house to the department of justice involves security, advance, and dignitaries. it is a real procedure. then, you have the event, and of course, the great hall is filled with members of congress and attorneys, department of justice prosecutors, so let's go on to the second one. the second one, for wally, has to do with the supreme court. nixon was unique, in his first term, he filled a four vacancies on the supreme court. this is the end of that. wally? wally: they cut me out of this picture. >> they did. wally: >> i was off to the right
as we are looking at it. that's when rehnquist was nominated to the supreme court, it created a void because bill was the one who coordinated the legislative work for the justice department. mitchell called me, we had a telephone on our desk and i can ged.mber it bombed -- on ed.bong and when he did that, i said yes, mr. attorney general. and he said bill needs a lawyer. bill was a brilliant lawyer, but his tactical experience with the congress could have been better. >> we had to interrupt and explain. bill is the guy on the right with a long sideburns. bill rehnquist. they went through together and wally led the confirmation
process. wally: both happened when i was at the justice department and i coordinated at the white house. we would meet every saturday with the congressional relations onef, and everyone -- every of those departments had connections with their committee on the hill. in this case, rehnquist was nominated before powell and powell pushed the bill through. we were talking about how important it was to have a philosophic majority, and we got 57 votes for rehnquist. .hey did not want rehnquist
49 senators did not want him because he was so young. >> rehnquist was 49 years old. the intellectual genius of the conservative movement, diametrically opposed to the judicial philosophies of the earl worn court. -- earl warren court. congress was not happy. powell from richmond, the past president of the american bar association, very distinguished, and elderly. >> highly effective. >> you have a wonderful story. wally: he was the chairman of the senate judiciary committee and he was very direct. and justice powell was so wonderful in being able to step aside and watch rehnquist being processed.
powell simply wanted to be confirmed with an adoration for him. it was said on one occasion. they said, i really want you confirmed, lewis. and he said, oh, yes. and they said, yeah, because they think you are going to die. [laughter] then, and itortant is now. bill served from 1970 until 2005 or 2006. he improved the wisdom of nixon's appointment. >> we give credit where credit is due. wally's idea to keep rehnquist moving through ahead of powell, if you want powell, you have to confirm rehnquist first. if powell got ahead of him, rehnquist would not be
confirmed. that tactical judgment got rehnquist on the court. >> and it cut me out of the picture. >> and it cut you out of the picture. then we fast-forward. justiceup to be chief and needs to be reconfirmed billion wally is out looking with tom who is in charge of that confirmation process. wally comes back, the reuniting of the two gentlemen controlling the senate, and got bill confirmed as chief justice. >> i went outside and i'm not sure if wally was there, but he have ahy do i have to hearing? my record is there. my decisions are there. i am not going to prejudge. why do we need a hearing?
" i thought he was kidding. we said, call down bill, you , youme -- calm down, bill need a hearing. i won't say anything at the hearing because i'm not going to second-guess anything i have done. he was serious. he did not want to go to the hearing. finally, we convinced him he should have a hearing. he lost two or three votes from the first time. wally: the nomination experience, and i know we have a short period of time left, but legislation was important and nominations were as well. nixon processed something like 7000 nominations in the senate appointed by the president, confirmed by the senate. >> in his first two years, they were happy to report we confirmed the 7000 people. there were bumps in the road. it was not a perfect record, but it was a phenomenal record.
without fear of being contradictory, it was the finest administrative team assembled in my lifetime. we did two quick pictures. we have to have pictures of our people. here is wally, same moment in the oval office with rehnquist and powell. we got his individual picture. >> and we cut them out. >> and we cut them out. [laughter] >> and just to show you that we , here is tom, different day. dark hair, with his picture with the president. you put them up on your wall, show your kids, show your grandkids, and we use that as the transition because we have 12 minutes left to talk about the tom and john effort to prevent congress from prematurely ending the vietnam war.
we start with -- let's see how well my clicker -- there we go. i'm sorry. this will take one minute. in addition to summarizing the records of the 91st second and 93rd congress, bill submits recommendations to congress and -- to the resmed on how to make government relationships better. these are really interesting. we will not go into them here. , and were inside baseball he said, you know, mr. president, if we called it the also -- office of a affairs, it would work better. if we had more cooperation from the departments, and here is i you could help, it would work better. these are the nuts and bolts about what makes this office work. he has three of them. then, we go to our first picture of nixon giving what is characterized as the silent majority speech.
we have several pictures here, but they all tee off of tom's effort and john's effort to prevent congress. when nixon was in office, there -- inaugurated there was 537 , u.s. troops out and the nation was divided and upset, but congress is not that heavy on a democratic president. when nixon gets elected, and it is a republican in the white house then, the democrats lose , their patience and they are constituents their that they want out and they want out now. they love to come and give it speeches and propose amendments. >> in many ways, it was as bitter from some quarters of congress as the bitterness we see now between the branches
over this war and war powers, powers of the president. the ability to make executive agreements as opposed to making everything a treaty. every single day there were new amendments thrown into the hopper. just a bit of trivia, while you are looking at the picture, you will never see one of hendrik -- henry kissinger's staffers in these pictures because at the very beginning, under kennedy, george bundy and had staff were an integral part of the staff of the white house. when lbj was president, they had and so that was integral forth. henry from the beginning said my staff is to be totally separate from the white house staff. everybody except for the situation room which was under henry, everybody's moved out of
the upstairs of the west wing over to a different area and taken out of the white house mess. we had our own mess. >> the reason why you couldn't sign memos, only henry submitted them. you guys were the -- you are locked in a room doing the work. that is right. the other mess in the white house. [laughter] >> exactly. but, henry felt strongly, that in order to run the national security with a majority congress in the hands of the democrats, his staff had to be seen as nonpartisan and not part of the president's personal staff. that is why we were all kept separate. >> you told us last night about taking a memo in or henry calling you in to talk about the memo? >> things were so bitter, partially because there was a lot of leaking going on from the
state department, particularly, and other agencies in the government. and, from those agencies to the hill and the staff, every day "the washington post" had stories that were based on classified documents, very damaging, particularly in tactical things in vietnam, rules of engagement, etc. i went to a dinner about a year after the beginning, after leaks were driving the president and henry and all of the cabinet and national security people crazy. it was an off the record meeting at dinner. it was to talk about how things were going, and i said, one of the problems is that there are leaks, almost every day. that is out of the foreign relations committee. we know this because we have
friends in the media. that is where one of the principal sources was. the next morning, on the front boldof the post, above in a picture of me and the headline , is, "kissinger aide attacks alt-right." accuses him of leaking. as a relatively young staffer that is not immediately seen as career enhancing, -- >> he is 26 at this time. >> yeah. the inevitable call came from alexander haig. he said get over here. i figured that was the end of my short career in the government. haig frownsere and at me and did not say a word, motions me into henry's office in the corner. henry is scowling at his desk
and he says, "i just was called into the president's office. the president told me that the secretary of state called him and said you must fire this guy, whoever that is. roger says he has been cultivating senator woolbright and his relations are improving in your staffer comes out with this outrageous accusation." he said, you got to fire him immediately as i would like to put out a press release. >> like the men on the gallows, waiting for the trapdoor to fall, and he said, so if the president said, he hung up,
called me in and he said, henry, lehman right mow away. go -- away." [laughter] >> he is a confident guy but he is a kid. people make mistakes, and they don't flush them out. in the election, sometimes a tiny misstep and you go from the belle of the ball to pariah. you are all their dancing and you misstep and the long knives come out. you are fortunate to have the president like you. >> i don't know how much time we have, but there used to be these
end of war amendments, what have you, and john would call up and say when is the vote? i would say, thursday, and he would say stop it, we cannot have it thursday. you get the senator to stop the bill and he says we cannot have it tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday. what was happening was henry was in paris cutting deals on vietnam, and he didn't want the senate -- because they were always up one vote loss, he did not want the senate to undercut his negotiations by having the viet cong or japanese say why are we dealing with you and you just lost? there was a lot of that going on internally at the white house and it fell on wally, john, and me. >> one last story on that, as a result, when he came out that the secret negotiations and the war were going on, we
immediately got a demand from the foreign relations committee and all of the leadership of the democrats to bring kissinger up as soon as he got back to testify under oath. of course, bill rehnquist, who before his sanctification , he was the head of the justice department, henry was not about to go up to the hill and be subjected under oath. so, bill rehnquist wrote a strong memo saying hell, no, don't go. tom came up with the idea of negotiating with the committees, a compromise where i was able to
sell henry on tom's idea which was to have henry come up whenever asked by the chairman of the foreign relations or the armed services or intelligence committee, to come up and meet with them in total frankness, classified, but no notes taken. and no oath taken. ultimately, that was the compromise that was agreed to, and it worked out great. -- very well, except for a few other people sound asleep all -- while henry was telling it. >> we are running out of time so i will take the last few minutes. we went forward to a picture, this is in the private dining room, and this is a private briefing by henry kissinger. so, he was made available, but not under oath. we would be remiss if we didn't
point out that, in the end, we lost the biggest vote, the -- congressional relations staff, as good as they were, were unable to prevent the vote in house judiciary to recommend impeachment of president nixon. the president resigned in disgrace, in spite of of a superb record before watergate of relations with congress. here, thisthe end, is our last picture. this is post-presidency. president nixon would come back without the media, that tom would arrange, a private briefing for select members of congress who wanted to avail themselves to nixon's point of view for years after he was president.
with that, we are right on time and we are going to end the panel. we appreciate you coming. we hope you look forward to posting this so you can actually go through more pictures and more memos. you can almost be as smart as these people. thank you. [applause] >> this weekend i'm real america, on american history tv, the 1988 u.s. moscow summit between president ronald reagan and soviet leader calgary job. a complicateds way and sometimes trying, but it is a good way and we believe the best way. again, mr. general secretary, i want to expand to you and to all those who labored so hard for this moment, my
warmest personal thanks. >> watch sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. next on american history tv, the story of elisabeth griffith examines the history of women in america from the 1770s to the 1850s, looking at their roles inside the home, occupations in the workforce, and their legal status. she also explores the first wave of feminism which took place during this time. the smithsonian associates hosted this program. >> our speaker tonight is and she isriffith, our speaker for the entirety of the series. if you are here because you enjoy it american women in history, i want to recommend to you a tour coming up at the end of june, june 30, that is harriet tubman's ea