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1966 United States Senate election in Tennessee

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1966 United States Senate election in Tennessee

← 1964 (special) November 8, 1966 1972 →
Howard Baker photo.jpg
Frank Goad Clement Tennessee Governor.jpg
Nominee Howard Baker Frank G. Clement
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 483,063 383,843
Percentage 55.72% 44.28%

Senator before election

Ross Bass

Elected Senator

Howard Baker

The 1966 United States Senate election in Tennessee was held on November 8, 1966, concurrently with other elections to the United States Senate in other states as well as elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. Republican Howard Baker won the election, defeating Tennessee Governor Frank G. Clement. Baker was the first Republican from Tennessee to win a Senate Seat since the Reconstruction.

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>> David Ferriero: Good afternoon, and welcome to the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and I’m pleased you could join us, whether you are here in the theater or joining us through YouTube. Before we hear from Stuart Eizenstat about his new book, President Carter: The White House Years, I’d like to let you know about two other programs coming up later this week. Tomorrow at noon Medal of Honor recipient Bennie Adkins will be with us to tell the story behind his new book, A Tiger Among Us: A Story of Valor in Vietnam’s A Shau Valley. While in Vietnam in 1966, Sergeant Adkins and 16 other Green Berets out-fought and out-maneuvered their enemies along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and a remarkable number of them lived to tell it. A book signing follows the program. And on Friday, July 20, at noon, we will present a selection of archival films from the motion picture holdings of the National Archives. This will be the third program in our film series relating to our current special exhibit, “Remembering Vietnam.” Check our website or sign up at the table outside the theater to get email updates. You’ll also find information about other National Archives programs and activities. Another way to get more involved with the National Archives is to become a member of the National Archives Foundation. The Foundation supports the work of the agency, especially its education and outreach programs. Pick up your application for membership in the lobby or become a member online at The National Archives is deeply entwined with Presidential history. The Presidential Libraries that we operate—one for every President since Herbert Hoover—bring together the documents and artifacts of a President and his administration And family and make them available to the public for study and discussion. The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, documents his life and public service through personal papers and records created during his administration. Today we are fortunate to hear from someone who was a first-hand witness to the history documented in the library—President Carter’s Chief White House Domestic Policy Adviser, Stuart Eizenstat. Reviews for President Carter: The White House Years have been Extraordinarily positive. In the Washington Post, Julian E. Zelizer called it a “fascinating new history” and “a comprehensive and persuasive account of Carter’s presidency that stands far above the familiar confessional and reveal-all accounts by former White House officials we are accustomed to reading.” The New York Times reviewer Peter Baker declared that “until now there has never been a satisfying full-length history of [Carter’s] presidency” and “Eizenstat has produced a thoughtful, measured and compelling account.” Before he joined President Carter’s staff, Stuart Eizenstat served as a member of President Lyndon Johnson’s White House staff. In later years, President Bill Clinton appointed him as Ambassador to the European Union, Under Secretary of Commerce, Under Secretary of State, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, and Special Representative of the President on Holocaust-Era Issues. In the Obama administration he was Special Representative of the Secretary of State on Holocaust Issues. He is also the author of Imperfect Justice and The Future of the Jews. A cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina and Harvard Law School, he is now a leading international lawyer with Covington & Burling in Washington, DC. Please welcome Stuart Eizenstat. [Applause] >> Stuart Eizenstat: Thank you very much, David and thank you all for coming. I have a special connection to the National Archives. First, because I've known and had the privilege of knowing David for many years, and he's been a great National Archives leader. Doug Swanson has done a terrific job of organizing these weekly programs. But more personally, it's because I literally could not have completed my book, which has been the product of almost 40 years of work on and off, without the Archives. The National Archives, particularly the Jimmy Carter presidential Archives provided me access to materials that made it possible to complete the work. Also I've, as I'll mention, all my notes that I've taken from this administration are in the National Archives, and are accessible. And last, some of you may have noticed coming in the David Rubenstein gallery where the Magna Carta is. David was my deputy in the campaign in '76 and the White House. We share a mutual admiration for the National Archives. Whose slogan and motto " The Past is Prologue" is indeed the case. I hope in my presentation today you'll think about the lessons from our administration that are pertinent to today. Jimmy Carter's political idol was Harry Truman. And he placed his famous slogan the buck stops here, on his oval office desk. Both presidents, Truman and Carter left the White House highly unpopular. Truman is remembered today much more for his achievements than for his failures. And I'm hopeful my book will have a similar impact on reassessing Jimmy Carter as president, not just as an admired former president. He's a president who respected his office, the institutions of the executive branch, the Justice Department, the F.B.I. Built our alliances and strengthened them, believing they fostered U.S. national security. I believe he is the most underappreciated president we have had in the modern era. Indeed, I think the most accomplished one-term president we've had in modern American history. Two independent surveys indicate that Congress passed almost 70% of all of our legislation just under the percentage of the legendary Lyndon Johnson, the master of Congress, for who I served as a junior aide in the 1960s. Walter Mondale, his vice president, summed it up very clearly: We told the truth; we obeyed the law; and we kept the peace. The wrath on the Carter presidentially is summed up by what I call the four I's. Inflation, Iran, inexperience by the president, and the so called Georgia mafia he brought into the White House and interparty warfare within the Democratic Party, particularly with the liberal, headed by Ted Kennedy. In my book I do not gloss over these. I don't try to whitewash the problems. They were very real. And I deal with them in a very candid and frontal way. Those problems have obscured the many successes I saw at his firsthand and at his hand, in the Oval Office. And so what I wanted to do before it was too late, before all eyewitnesses had gone, before history's verdict was indelibly sealed as a failed president, to give a complete view of this presidency. The achievements as well as the mistakes. And by the way, mistakes that I shared in as well. The credibility of the book is based in significant part on the fact that since college and then into law school and into the White House, I've been an inveterate note taker. I take verbatim notes of what teachers say and I took verbatim notes of what everyone said in every meeting and phone call. 5,000 plus pages of notes. Which were augmented by over 350 interviews. Five with President Carter alone, and I took interviews of everyone in the administration and everyone outside the administration who shaped the administration and that decade. Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, detractors and supporters. And those were augmented again by what the National Archives were able to provide in terms of records, books and manuscripts. Let me take you back then, because the past is prologue, to the 1970s. It was a decade of epic change. In which the post-World War II consensus had begun to tear apart and unravel. Under the pressures of our first defeat in Vietnam, and David mentioned a war hero who will be speaking here tomorrow. Urban violence. A decade of slow growth and very high inflation given the sort of ugly name of stagflation by economists. High unemployment and high inflation. It was a decade which saw the beginning of a whole range of new movements. The Consumer Movement, the Environmental Movement, the Black Power Movement. The Pro-Life Movement. And the Women's Rights Movement. All occurring by the way, right after Roe v. Wade which is very much an issue today with the Supreme Court. It is also a decade that saw a new major political force, which is with us today. And that is the conservative evangelical movement initially led by Reverend Falwell, who contended the most religious of presidents, Jimmy Carter, was not a real Baptist and harbored homosexuals on his staff, which is certainly not the case. And that coalition was put together by Ronald Reagan in 1980 and defeating us by tethering the Evangelical Movement to Richard Nixon's so called silent majority of angry white collar and blue-collar workers. And that coalition is very much at the center of President Trump's coalition today as it was Ronald Reagan's in 1980. Abroad, the 1970s were also a period of epic change. The Soviet Union was at the apex of its power and influence with huge military buildups at land, at sea, and in the air. It supported through Cuban proxy troops, revolutions and the horn of Africa. And Euro communist movements throughout Western Europe, particularly in Italy. It was also a decade which saw the rise of a new political force, beginning to enter the world agenda. And that is the people's republic of China. More on that later. It was a decade in which a Polish-born pope, Pope John Paul II, together with President Carter, with a human rights campaign that I will discuss shortly, gave hope to the nascent democratic forces behind the iron curtain. Yes, it was a decade which saw the first radical Islamic revolution in Iran, with which we had to live and every president has had to live very imperfectly. Let's look at some of the accomplishments that the president made on the domestic side, and you'll note both in my description of these and many in the foreign policy set, something badly missing today. Bipartisanship. We would not have been able to get many of the things done that we accomplished and I'll discuss, without support from Republican as well as democratic leaders. We not only had a weekly morning lunch with democratic leaders in the Senate and House to go over our legislative agenda, but we had regular meetings with the Republican leadership to give them a sense of being invested in the success of the administration. Let me start with energy. The energy security we enjoy today through reduced dependence on OPEC oil is based on the foundation of three major energy bills we passed in our four-year period. Which ended regulations on the price of natural gas and crude oil, therefore encouraging U.S. producers to produce more, and boy, they have done so. He put conservation at the center of our energy picture. Through the first fuel efficiency standards for cars and insulation standards. And he inaugurated the era of clean alternative energy. Wind power, geothermal and in particular, solar. Where now 10% of new electricity now comes from. And symbolically put a solar panel on the White House roof, which unfortunately was taken down by Ronald Reagan, but not able to take down the power of the solar movement. And he concluded the bloody battle over the first energy bill after 18 months of struggle, appropriately in the war room of the White House where President Roosevelt charted the course of World War II, and we often felt the energy battle was a war as well. And we did it in that war room with two conservative Republican senators and two liberal democratic members of the House. Again, something would not see, unfortunately, today. In addition, Jimmy Carter was a great consumer champion. He appointed consumer advocates to the agencies which regulate our industries. Not as today consumer stalwarts who come from those industries or have lobbied on their behalf. And he augmented the mandate he gave them to create more competition by major legislation, deregulating by law, by congressional act, railroads and trucks, and in particular, airlines. He democratized airline travel. New airlines could not get into the market under the regulated system. And the Southwests and the JetBlues and for that matter, the FedExes and U.P.S. cargoes could not exist to the extent they do today had we not done so. Well, I'm not sure about deregulation when I'm in a middle seat in economy and everyone is squeezed. But we opened up air travel to the middle class and didn't stop there. We began deregulating the communications industry and inaugurated the whole era of cable TV, which could not have existed without our deregulation. And for those of you who love your local craft beers, we also ended the prohibition era regulations, which prevented the flow of local craft beers. So every time you have one, you can make a toast to Jimmy Carter. [Laughter] In addition, he was, in my opinion, and I think an opinion of many experts, the greatest environmental president since Theodore Roosevelt created the national park system. We took on very costly environmentally damaging dams and water projects, but most pertinent, we literally doubled the size of the entire national park system. Doubled the size through the Alaska lands bill. Over the fierce opposition of the Alaska delegation, which wanted the whole state open for oil and gas exploration. And he did so in sort of typically detailed Carteresque fashion by putting a giant map of Alaska on the rug of the Oval Office getting down on his hands and knees with a senator Stevens, the conservative Republican senator. and pointing out every mountain range, every river what would be available for development, what would be protected by the national parks. And Senator Stevens told us he was amazed the president knew his state better than he did after representing it for 25 years. We won the 1976 election against President Ford because of the revulsion against Watergate and the Watergate scandals and everything that meant. And the slogan a transparent honest government helped propel him in to the White House, but it was not just rhetoric.We passed laws that are as pertinent today as they were then, and some would argue even more so. Let me give you a few examples and then a few humorous anecdotes. The 1978 Ethics Act, which is very much enforced today, requires senior officials going into government to disclose their assets, their family holdings, their connections to avoid conflicts of interest. It limits, at that time $25, the amount of gifts you could get in office. Like free lunches, for example. It restricted your ability to lobby after you left government, the agencies which you served in. I'll come back to this in a minute. We appointed through law, inspectors general, to root out fraud, waste and abuse in every agency. You cannot pick up the Washington Post in any week without reading an attorney general, inspector general's report. Most recently and most celebrated, Michael Horowitz in the Justice Department about the whole Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton and the like. In addition, we appointed the Office of Special Counsel -- sound familiar? The Office of Special Counsel started in the Carter administration as part of the post-Watergate reaction. We reformed the civil service system to give protection against political pressures. We created the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which barred U.S. companies from paying bribes to get foreign contracts. And created the foreign intelligence surveillance act, which in effect, restricted dirty tricks by the CIA from the Watergate era. All this was done in addition to creating independent panels, nonpolitical panels, from which President Carter chose his district court judges. To go back to a couple anecdotes, because I got caught up in the gift limit. There was a profile done early in the administration saying I had a great love for the Tootsie Roll we can still get for one penny apiece. And they saw this and sent me a giant box of Tootsie Roll. I thought I was going to be dead, bringing my kids home a lifetime supply only to have legal counsel say we're not going to count every one of these Tootsie Roll, but we think it might be worth more than $25. I had to send them back with a letter saying we have new ethical standards and so forth. A year or so later another business magazine did a profile of the Tootsie Roll Company and the CEO said, Isanstat tried to have it both ways. He sounded high and mighty about the new ethics. We opened the box, it was empty. So we're still trying to find the Secret Service agent who stole my Tootsie Roll. [Laughter] More seriously. Remarkably, the first target of the new special counsel law we created was none other than President Carter's own chief of staff, Hamilton Jourdan who was falsely accused by Roy Cohn a notorious hatchet man for Sen. McCarthy. Of snorting cocaine at studio 54 in New York. Totally false. But $1 million later through legal fees, he had to prove it was very diversionary. The most important point I want to make is not once during that investigation of his own chief of staff, did the president try to denigrate, interfere with, or demean that investigation. And I'll let you make your own contrast with what's happening today. Here was a southern president that appointed more women and minorities to senior administration positions and judgeships than all 38 presidents before him put together. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, quoted in my book, and if you saw her documentary, she said, I wouldn't have been on the Supreme Court had president Carter not opened the judiciary to women. We supported affirmative action, much in contest today. We saved New York City and Chrysler from bankruptcy. All these things were done in addition to creating the Department of Education to put education front and center in the agenda. He and his vice president Walter Mondale literally created the modern vice presidency. The one that exists today from Dick Cheney under Bush. To biden under Obama and Mike Pence under President Trump. It was an afterthought in the Constitution, David as you know. A constitutional afterthought and it was a position of derision. He and Mondale made something of it, made it a real partner with the president. After we won the ‘76 election during the so called transition period before the inauguration, Mondale having served two terms in the Senate, wanted to become something more than an afterthought. And he gave Carter a list of 10 requests to become a real partner. For example, access to all documents, classified or not. The ability to go to any meeting that he wanted to go to. One on one lunches in the Oval Office just the two of them. Carter checked every one of them, and you can see the memo in the National Archives with his check mark and JC beside it. And he added one that didn't exist. On that list, and that was moving him from the executive office building across old executive office alleyway into the west wing. And those of you who know anything about real estate, it's the same in politics. Location, location, location. He was now steps away from the Oval Office. He almost went a step too far, because he was so emboldened by his new office, he got his own counsel to look at the original architectural plan for the west wing, when Theodore Roosevelt built it and found lo and behold there was a private bathroom in that office that didn't exist now. He thought, I'm the vice president I should have one. During the Nixon era, Henry Kissinger expropriated that into his national security office. Mondale decided not to get into an argument over bathroom and he did fine without it. One of the things that is unique and one of the surprising descriptions of possibly in the question period we can get to it, is even though he was a full partner, and the only aide he told at a critical point in the administration that he came within a hair's breath of being the first president to resign his office. Inflation was in many ways our Achilles' heel. We inherited high inflation from Nixon and Ford and it got worse in our administration. In part because of the Iran revolution and to cut off Iranian oil, doubling the price of oil. We couldn't come to terms with the ferocity of the inflation forces. And here's what Carter did. He told us going into a reelection year that he had tried everything to anti-inflation, five anti-inflation speeches.Voluntary wage and price guidelines, sanctions Tight budgets, cutting domestic programs which angered the liberal wing of the party. Nothing worked. And he said I'm ready to take the toughest medicine I can deliver. I'm going appoint Paul Volcker to be the chair of the Federal Reserve. And in a celebrated meeting that I describe in my book, Volcker was explicit about what he was going to do. No secret. I'm going to tighten the money supply, raise interest rates. It's going to cause higher unemployment and in effect, I'm going to squeeze inflation out of the system the hard way. And he did, and not once during the reelection campaign, and Volcker credits him for this. Did Carter ever complain about the double-digit inflation and interest rates which came? He took it as the medicine was necessary. Because he said to us, I would rather lose the election than have my legacy be permanent high inflation. Unfortunately, inflation did come down, and it came down quite dramatically, but not until the first year of the Reagan administration. Not in time for our own reelection. This in many ways is emblematic of the Carter presidency doing things, whose rewards became obvious only years later. In foreign policy, his accomplishments were equally dramatic. Let's start with what I think was the greatest act of presidential diplomacy in American history. Literally in American history. Namely, the Camp David accords and the Egypt-Israel peace agreement. For 13 agonizing days and nights, through 20 separate draft agreements that he personally drafted. Through negotiating separately with the president of Egypt and the prime minister of Israel, because they were like two scorpions in a bottle. They never negotiated together, except the first day. He achieved something that was historic and then added two personal touches. The first was on the first Sunday of those 13 days, he took them to nearby Gettysburg battlefield to dramatize and underscore that five wars between Egypt and Israel were enough. It was time for peace. But then on the 13th and last day, when we were close but not quite there, Prime Minister Begin said Mr. President, I'm not bluffing. I cannot make more concessions. I'm going home, I have a plane waiting for me, and I want to get out of here. And the president recognizing what a disaster that would be for the region, it would potentially cause the whole region to go up in flames along with his own administration. And pouring over intelligence documents before he came in about what made them tick, what were their red lines. He took eight photographs for each one of Began's grandchildren, personally inscribed their names and wishes for peace with pictures of himself and Prime Ministers Begin and Sadat at Camp David. Walked over to his cabin and handed the pictures and saw him subvocalize each of their names with his lips quivering and tears in his eyes and Begin said, Mr. President, I'll make one last try. 40 years later, never once has there been a violation of that treaty, and now they're allies and fighting radical Islamic terrorism. He was also the first president to put human rights at the center of his foreign policy. And this was not sort of some dewy-eyed notion. Yes it was to him the sort of flip side abroad of civil rights abroad. But this was done in a time of the Cold War when we were competing with the Soviet Union for the hearts and minds of the people around the world. He applied it in two very different ways. First to the military dictators and autocrats in Latin America, who were by the way pro-American and anticommunist. But who had horrible human rights records. Thousands of political prisoners. We cut their arms, we got thousands of political prisoners released, and we gave an impetus to the democratic movement in Latin America that flourished during the 1980s and the Reagan era. And we married that to what was the toughest political battle we fought with the Senate, the Panama Canal treaty, to create a new era of U.S.-Latin American relations which persist to today. An interesting story about the Panama Canal. It was a widely unpopular treaty. Americans thought what are we doing giving back our treaty to Panama? Well, it wasn't really our treaty, but people thought so. And getting two-thirds of the Senate to agree was hand to hand combat. There were two heroes. One, the Republican minority leader, Howard Baker, from Tennessee. Small in physical stature, but in my opinion a giant of a man. Knowing that it would lose him the opportunity to be a future Republican nominee for president but doing what he thought was the right thing. And the other even more improbable was a Republican senator from California named S.I. Hayakawa, who had coined the famous phrase, "the canal is ours, we stole it fair and square." [Laughter] Seemingly an improbable supporter, and yet Mondale worked on him and had known him from the Senate and had put him on the phone from Carter and we needed every vote we could get. The president said, senator what can I do to get you to support this treaty? One thing Mr. President, nothing to do with the treaty. I want to meet with you every two weeks to share my wisdom on foreign and domestic policy. And the president said, every two weeks, senator? I wouldn't want to limit you to two weeks. [Laughter] Flattered, he voted for it. Carter never saw him again. [Laughter] We also applied human rights to the Soviet Union. To what I call their soft underbelly. Their autocratic system. To appeal to people around the world. We reached out to the democratic movement headed by Nobel Prize winner Andre Sakorov and the Soviet Jewish movement. Double Jewish immigration and according to his own book, save the life -- the leader of the movement, by saying in the midst of his trial in the Soviet Union that in fact he was falsely charged as being a U.S. spy. He was not. And we added to that soft power against the Soviet Union, hard power. I give Ronald Reagan all the credit that he deserves for the military buildup, which led to the unraveling of the Soviet Union. But we began that military buildup. It was on our foundation that Reagan built. We increased defense spending by 3%. We got NATO to do the same. All of the major weapon systems. The stealth bomber and you can see one at the air and space museum in Dulles. The intermediate nuclear forces, new cruise missiles. All of these things were done during and greenlighted during our administration. And after the Afghan invasion on Christmas 1979 by the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Never a day off in the White House. Christmas Day 1979. Soviet troops march into Afghanistan to put a pro-soviet leader in. This was Carter's I think best hour in foreign policy. Even his conservative critics admit. We, for example, embargoed grain to the Soviet Union. Three weeks before the Iowa primaries. We boycotted the Moscow Olympics. Remembering the 36 Olympics in Berlin with Hitler. We put all sorts of economic sanctions on it. And we promulgated something called the Carter doctrine, saying to the Soviet Union if you go any further in the Persian Gulf we will react with military force. And it worked. I mentioned China. Again, Kissinger and Nixon deserve all the credit for reaching out to China. It was a historic activity. The Shanghai Communique. But they did not restore diplomatic relations. They said there's a one China policy but they didn't say which of the Chinas. Taiwan or the mainland. That's because the Taiwan lobby was a major force opposed to severing relations with Taiwan and recognizing the communists in Beijing. We took that on in the Taiwan relations act and restored a new relationship and restored diplomatic relations with China. I was in the cabinet room for a historic meeting, Deng Xiaoping all 4'11" of him. How can this lttle guy control a billion Chinese. And in the cabinet room he thanks the president for this historic opening, restoring diplomatic relations. And then he says, and this may sound familiar today with our trade tensions, "what I really want Mr. President now is I want the lowest tariff levels on Chinese goods that we send to you that you give to your most favorite trading nations." He said I know the law, which prevents that happening to any country that restricts immigration. And Deng Xiaoping said this was against the Soviet Union which restricted immigration. We don't restrict immigration. And he took a little White House note pad and pencil and pushed it to the president and said you write on this notepad the number of Chinese you would like us to send each year. A million? 10 million. The president laughed and said I tell you what, said I'll take 10 million Chinese a year if you'll take 10,000 American journalists. Neither had to fulfill that commitment. More seriously, our coup de gras, I think what undid the president more than anything else was Iran. For 444 humiliating days, a radical Ayatollah outfoxed the United States and the administration. Holding our hostages against every norm and rule of international law in our own embassy, which is our sovereign territory. It was absolute humiliation and Carter's polls went down as he tried and tried to find a solution. Now, I am extremely candid in the book about our mistakes, and they were plentiful and I'll briefly summarize them. One that I think would be unfair to criticize Carter for is the revolution itself and the exile of the Shah of Iran. Any more than one should blame Dwight Eisenhower for the Castro Revolution 90 miles from our shore. But having said that, we made major mistakes. Mistake No. 1, the CIA had put the shah of Iran back on his thrown as a young man in 1953. Overturning a popular elected prime minister. And every president after that, six presidents, had made the shah the center piece of our Middle East strategy. Tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer money on the most sophisticated weapons. And yet the CIA did not realize that the shah domestic support had evaporated. It was based on quicksand. Even more remarkably, they didn't realize that for five years he had secretly been given treatments for incurable cancer. They didn't realize that Ayatollah Kohmani exile outside of Paris, when he was sending inflammatory cassettes back to stir up the Islamic revolution,we knew but didn't realize the impact it was having in fomenting a revolution. Really inexcusable. I think the worst intelligence failure in American history. Perhaps only equaled by, and maybe more so than the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in terms of the long-term implications. Another mistake was what to do with the hostages once they're taken. What does the president of the United States do to get them out? I recommended and our national security adviser recommended immediate military action. Not bombing. But mining or blockading the harbors outside of Iran, a place called Cargill where 60% of their oil imports came out to choke their economy, to show determination. The president instead met with the hostage families and pledged that his number one priority was getting the hostages out safe and sound, which he did. But only after profound humiliation and a weakening of his status, and I think the reputation of the country as well. And then another mistake was holding himself up in the White House to show he was working full-time on the hostage release. In fact, there were many agreements we reached to release them, but the Ayatollah then vetoed. But that made him a hostage in the White House. It gave the Iranians more leverage to show that he was spending all this time on the hostage crisis. And it emboldened the press to focus more and more attention on it. Ted Koppel's Nightline program, those of you who remember Walter Cronkite, he would end every program at night. Day 103, day 206, day 307 of the hostage crisis. Just drove it home time and time and time again. And then finally, what was actually a courageous effort at a rescue, the desert one rescue effort. When it went up in flames, engulfed our whole administration. Its common wisdom and wrong to think that the reason it failed was because there were too few helicopters. No, the president added two more than the minimum the military wanted to conduct the rescue effort. The problem was there were four military services who had not adequately practiced together. There was no joint command. There was a lack of organization. When a rotor of one of the helicopters hit the C-130 cargo plane before the rescue effort got started at desert one, eight servicemen died in flames, it really engulfed our whole administration as well. Having said that, let me give you two other perspectives, and then I'll take your questions. Jimmy Carter was not one to give up. We got thoroughly whipped in the election. We only won six states. Six states against Ronald Reagan in 1980. The debatergate issue which I discuss in the book. But we lost and lost badly. The day after the election when we were as low as you could get, he called us together and said we have 2.5 months left under the Constitution before I leave this office and we're going to make them the most productive of any transition out. And he did. The super fund bill still enacted today to clean up chemical waste. The Alaska lands bill. The hostage agreement. Were all done in the post-election period. One last thing which was done, again a show of bipartisanship, involves Steven Breyer, now a Supreme Court judge. When he was Kennedy's top aide with whom we had negotiated airline deregulation. Senator Kennedy called me up after our defeat and said Stu there's a vacancy on the first circuit court of appeals in Boston and I would like the president to name Stephen Breyer. He was a Harvard Law School professor, he was my aide I said, Senator you don't have to convince me of that. But two insurmountable hurdles. Kennedy said what are they? First there's no love lost between Carter and you because you ran against them. You split the party and never reconciled afterwards. He thinks you're one of the reasons you lost. He said I know, that's why I'm asking he and not the President. What's the other hurdle? The other one is the Democrats also lost the Senate. Strom Thurman is going to be the new chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Why would he want to have a lifetime appointment going to the a Democrat when Ronald Reagan will be in a few months? You take care of Carter and I'll take care of Thurman. I went in with my legal pad. one of the 103 I took notes on. I had ten reasons why he should do it... Don't ask me who is doing this, but there's a vacancy on the first circuit and we should appoint Steven Breyer, it would be a great tribute to the administration. He winked and said I know who did, it we'll do it anyway. I called Kennedy back. And did my part, how about yours. Strom is in the bag. What do you mean Strom is in the bag? How did that happen? He said well... Steve Breyer as my aide would meet every day for breakfast with Strom Thurman's aide to go over schedules and arrange as many noncontroversial things as we can. He likes Steve and thinks he is honest and he will support them. That would never happen today. It's really quite remarkable. My book is not just about policy, it's about real people. And they could come out of a Shakespearean play. There's the tragic and the uplifting. The villainous and the heroes. And you'll see all of them portrayed. Time doesn't permit going into very many of them. I'll just mention two. The two women in his life. Ms. Lillian was a remarkable lady. His mother. As a young registered nurse, in rural Georgia, she tended to African-American and white people when it was unheard of. And often took chickens and crops for payment. At age 68 she volunteered for and went to India in the Peace Corps. She infused his sense of social justice as a young person. She was also a great defender of him during the campaign. So a reporter from New York came to interview her. And wanted to puncture holes in her son's statement, I'll never lie to you. She said you can't tell me as his mother that your son never lied. Come on! She said of course, he told white lies all the time. What do you mean, Ms. Lilian by a white lie? You know when I said how wonderful it was to have you from New York? That was a white lie. [Laughter] The other woman in his life, wife of 72 years and counting was Roselynn. I saw in my own eyes how she blossomed from a campaign wife who literally was so shy she couldn't talk on the campaign trail when he ran for governor, into a remarkably accomplished first lady. Only the second first lady, after Eleanor Roosevelt, to testify in Congress. She drafted with her own staff the community mental health bill. Lobbied it through Congress. It was signed into law. She really was a fantastic first lady. And that is Jimmy Carter himself. Here is someone who came from a gnat-infested Hamlet of 500 people in southwest Georgia. He's the only one I saw who could stand and not swat the gnats away. He goes all the way to the Oval Office through indefatigable campaigning. 100 days in Iowa before the caucus. But he understood the when other democratic presidential candidates, didn't understand what the mood of the country was. Even democratic voters. Was not for a new burst of great society programs. It was for honesty and integrity in government. He understood that and tapped into that. That's why he won, and he created a very improbable coalition of conservative southern whites who wanted one of their own to be in the White House for the first time since reconstruction. African Americans, workers in the north, liberals. A very unstable coalition that could have survived in better economic times, but came apart with the economic problems that we had. He had a very odd view of politics that was both his strength and his weakness. It was his strength, because he believed as a ferocious campaigner, that once you were elected to the White House, you parked politics at the Oval Office door and you did what you thought was right. Regardless of the political consequences. And that was a strength that allowed him to take on Panama and the Middle East and energy which were highly unpopular with a lot of political capital lost. It was also his weakness, because the president of the United States is not only commander in chief, he is politician in chief. He has to nurture his coalition. He has to nurture his base and bring them along in good times and in bad. Something by the way, the current president is very good at. And Carter was not. Simply wasn't his strength, and yet again, his strength was that he wasn't a traditional politician. I think therefore, that he was in many ways the first new Democrat. He was conservative on spending, on fiscal issues. He was progressive on race and poverty and social issues. He's a liberal internationalist, a free trader. And yes he was properly criticized for excessive attention to detail. He would also ask us for more information. The appendices to items that we would sometimes get memos back with misspellings and punctuation marks not properly placed. But you know, that may be a criticism for making decisions, doing too much reading. But over the years I've begun to think maybe it's not such a bad way to govern after all. [Laughter] There was a Jeremiah quality about him. His most famous and admired philosopher was Reinhold Niebur said the sad duty of politics is through justice in an imperfect world. That was Jimmy Carter. Turn your thermostats down, we have to sacrifice to save energy. So in conclusion I think my book will take you deeper into the White House than any other book. You'll be a fly on the wall. You'll understand how difficult it is to operate in that atmosphere with pressures coming from every direction with options that are often, none of them good. So I'm not nominating Jimmy Carter for a place on Mount Rushmore. What I am suggesting is he belongs in the foothills of Mount Rushmore along with many or presidents who made significant contributions to a better country and a more peaceful world. Thank you very much. [Applause] I'll take some questions. Please use your microphones. As we're doing so, I'll tell you one again humorous story that came from one of the characters in my book, Russell Long, the popular senator from Louisiana through which most of our legislation went as chair of the finance committee. He was the son of the famous Huey Long populist governor of All the King's Men. The so called Kingfish. And he told me the following story. When papa came home one night to the Governor's mansion in Baton Rouge and I was a young lad holding on to mama's apron strings and papa just collapsed in the foyer. Mama was looking down in how this state of affairs could have happened to the governor of the great state of Louisiana and Russell said papa without pause said Mama I've completed my prepared remarks; I'll now take questions from the floor. [Laughter] >> Thank you very much for your talk and look forward to hearing more about the history aspect of Jimmy Carter. I would also like to talk about the after-experience for Jimmy Carter. When we think of him we think of a lot of the humanitarian things he got involved with. I'm curious from your perspective what you saw while he was president. His humanitarian aspects and as a president what he can or cannot do in that position? >> Stuart Eizenstat: A very good question.What he has done in the Carter center, election monitoring all over the world Curing two African diseases, concern about nuclear proliferation. These were all matters that were central to his own administration. To SALT treaties for example, on arms control. Helping with AID funds for poor villages in Africa. Trying to get our own health insurance program passed. Being concerned with democracy around the world through his human rights program. So there's no surprise that what he carried into the Carter Center, he carried from the administration. What is surprising is the success he's had. The model he's created. And that's terrific. >> It's tough being president, and you talked about no good choices. It's always struck me. I believe it's true that the high point of the Mariel boat lift and the tragedy at desert one are almost simultaneously occurring. >> Stuart Eizenstat: I have in my concluding chapter a statement that no president confronted as many disasters in his last year as we did. You mentioned two. We already talked about Iran. Let me tell you about the Mariel boat lift. So suddenly Castro decides, after a number of Cubans in his country take refuge in another Latin American embassy. Wanting to try to leave. And Castro offended, then opens up his jails and allows unrestricted immigration. Just like that. We're 90 miles from Florida, right? So the Cuban-American community which had left Cuba for Florida, hundreds of thousands, have boats, row boats and tug boats and everything you can imagine. Motor boats to start ferrying people back. Well, apropos immigration today, what status did they have? Under the law they had the right to come to the United States as refugees from Cuba. But it was totally unrestricted. It was totally chaotic. We tried to have the Coast Guard interrupt those boats, but they would have capsized. So we ended up having to take over 100,000 Cubans, and most by the way, were not criminals. Maybe 2%, 3%. But the notion was that they were. And we had no place to put them. So we ended up putting them into military forts initially until they got assimilated. One of the reasons that to this day there's a chill between President Clinton and President Carter is one of the places we put them in Fort Smith, Arkansas. In Clinton's first term, the only election he ever lost was when he ran right afterward. And always felt it was the reason. It was a chaotic situation and gave the sense of a lack of control. And that's a theme. We can't control an Ayatollah and get our men and women back. We can't control inflation. We can't control the boat lift. So it added to that sort of devastating session. But again, I can tell you I was in the middle of trying to find a solution. It was very difficult to try to find a way to deal with this outpouring of people who were desperate to leave, and people in Florida who were desperate to get them back in the United States. >> I've always been a great admirer of President Carter, but I've also been an admirer of Romero. The part where he writes the letter to Carter asking him to stop sending weapons to the El Salvador military. And two days later, he's assassinated, you know, as -- it always pains me, and I wondered if you could comment on that. I've never been able to really find good information. Making Carter look better -- >> Stuart Eizenstat: So we basically -- here was the big difference. When the human rights policy at the centerpiece of foreign policy and the Nixon- Kissinger policy. Under Nixon and Kissinger it was called real politique. You didn't look at what was happening inside a country abroad. You only concerned yourself about whether their external conduct was pro-American or not. And these military dictatorships. Chile, El Salvador, Argentina, were pro-American, anti-communist, but they were also extremely reppressive. They oppressed democratic movements. So in cutting off arms to these countries, it was highly controversial, particularly by the conservatives inside and outside of Congress. I think it was the right thing to do. It led to the democratic movement we've now seen throughout Latin American. But it was very controversial, because it was in effect saying, we appreciate the fact that you're an anti-communist but you're doing so in a way that's contrary to the best values of democracy. The Carter center, that's one of the things he was promoting and we did promote democracy in Latin America. I have a quote from the ambassador to Argentina, he was a young lawyer, absolutely noncommunist, seeking democracy and human rights. He had 23 bullets shot into his car because of his pro-democracy activities. He said to me in one of the interviews, we wouldn't have democracy in Argentina or Latin America if Carter has not taken the tough action he did. >> Thank you, sir I have tofully recommend your book to everyone in the audience. I'm a policy guy here in Washington and I assigned your book as summer reading for my junior policy analysts. It's a fantastic read. I want to give you a hypothetical, and if you can't answer this feel free to pass. But assuming, you have made some good parallels between today and the malaise and feeling of distrust in the 1970s. But assume Carter was running in a couple of years How do you think a young Carter would face the issues governing today and what do you think would be the strategy to form a coalition of winning? >> Stuart Eizenstat: That's a very good question. I think in an ironic way, many of the same things. Of trying to have integrity and transparency and government. Having a president who's trusted to do the right thing. I think those would be some of the things he would do. I don't want to make this a political address, but I think that many of the same concerns that he addressed in '76 would be relevant today. Many of the ethics laws that were done would be important. And the importance of alliances. I mean in the foreign policy section, I talk about how we work with NATO, how we work with the G7 democratic movements. How we work with the predecessor to the European Union. These are all countries that share our democratic values. We took on the Soviet Union. And it's important that we do so with alliances. As powerful as the United States is, our European and Japanese allies add immeasurably to our ability to take on injustices in the world. Whether it's from Russia or other countries on the right or left. So I think that talking about that would also be important. But I'll tell you, there's one thing that has to be said. I interviewed Jim Baker for the book. He was the campaign manager for Gerald Ford, and to Reagan's credit became his chief of staff. And I interviewed him and he as good a politician and diplomat that you'll find. He said you guys viewed us in 1976, partly because of Watergate, but he said there's one rule in politics. And that is there are three things that are critical to a reelection. The economy, the economy, and the economy. So we had a bad economy. There's a very strong economy now, and I think the president, President Trump, will have bragging rights as long as that continues. How much is due to his policies is another issue. But people look at the bottom line, and that's something that has to be taken into account. It's tough to run against a good economy. OK. Maybe one last question. I'm sorry. >> I recently ran across something that said that the most highly regarded leaders in the world. There are three of them. Jimmy Carter, Fidel Castro, and Mikhail Gorbachev. You would never read that in any of our media. But I thought maybe that should be mentioned. Of course we have Castro, because he -- that free medical school in Havana. And most of the doctors in South America were trained there. >> Stuart Eizenstat: What I would say in terms of Carter, I can connect Carter and Gorbachev in the following way. In his book, Gorbachev said that one of the reasons he began the process of Glasnost and what led to the unraveling of the Soviet Union was because when intermediate nuclear weapons were put in Europe, he realized he could not compete with the United States. And Reagan did that. We started it. We got the agreement from Schmitt and the Europeans to allow that to happen. So there's very much a connection. Carter was and is at 93, a veracious reader. And he's written 22 books. And again, I think as president, he was very serious about making decision based on the best information we could get. It was not done by instinct. It was done after careful deliberation by inter-agency processes. Of course, there were no tweets in that day. There was no Internet. But I suspect he would not make many decisions by tweets if he could. Thank you very much again. I'll be glad to sign books. And thank you very much. [Applause]


Republican primary



Republican Party primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Howard Baker 112,617 75.74%
Republican Kenneth Roberts 36,043 24.24%

Democratic primary



Democratic Party primary results[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Frank G. Clement 384,322 51.22%
Democratic Ross Bass 366,079 48.78%

General Election


General election results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Howard Baker 483,063 55.72%
Democratic Frank G. Clement 383,843 44.28%

See also

1966 United States Senate elections


  1. ^ "Our Campaigns - TN US Senate - R Primary Race - Aug 04, 1966".
  2. ^ "Our Campaigns - TN US Senate - D Primary Race - Aug 04, 1966".
  3. ^ Cook, Rhodes (15 January 2019). "America Votes 32: 2015-2016, Election Returns by State". CQ Press – via Google Books.
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