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Rusk NNNNNN, Emory "Coby" Swank, circa 1985

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:46 - Rusk's appointment as secretary

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Partial Transcript: Maybe I can get you to explain exactly what you did for my father while serving on his transition team.

Segment Synopsis: Swank talks about the transition period surrounding Rusk's appointment as secretary of state and also talks about staffing Rusk's office. He mentions the odd order of Kennedy's appointments and compares Rusk's access to the White House with that of other officials.

Keywords: Chester Bliss Bowles; Department of State; JFK

00:05:32 - Rusk's loyalty to the POTUS

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Partial Transcript: How did my dad respond to this process of bypassing him and setting up back-channel contacts between people like Chester Bowles and the Kennedy White House?

Segment Synopsis: Swank describes Rusk as stoic, determined, and loyal to the president. He recalls the stress Rusk underwent when informing Chester Bliss Bowles that he would have to step down as Undersecretary of State, and he contrasts Rusk's relationships with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.

Keywords: Department of State; JFK; LBJ; administration

00:10:21 - Rusk's personal qualities

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Partial Transcript: During those few weeks of the transition period, watching my dad operate and setting up for that job...

Segment Synopsis: Swank talks about his impression of Rusk as canny and insightful and tells an anecdote about the new State Department office. Swank describes his duties in the State Department, which included coordinating Rusk's travel, correspondence, and intelligence. He characterizes Rusk as a reserved and intelligent gentleman and talks about Rusk's work and leisure habits.

Keywords: George Ball; schedule; staffing

00:16:59 - Rusk's office attitude

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Partial Transcript: You said he's not the most communicative of men.

Segment Synopsis: Swank comments on Rusk's tendency to ignore official correspondences he did not want to act on or communicating openly with his staff, but describes him as decisive and judicious. He comments on Rusk's avoidance of profanity or anger.

Keywords: character; integrity; reticence; staffers

00:22:43 - Travelling with Rusk

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Partial Transcript: You say, and I've heard this said, that he was good with the so-called "little people"...

Segment Synopsis: Swank says Rusk's office functioned like a family and mentions Rusk's dedication to his work. He mentions several trips on which he accompanied Rusk, including trips to New York, Rusk's childhood home, and Seattle. Swank talks about Rusk's wife, Virginia Foisie Rusk, who was skilled at hosting receptions.

Keywords: Cherokee County; Waldorf Astoria; diplomacy; diplomatic community

00:29:16 - Rusk's diplomacy / The Cuban Missile Crisis / Rusk's image

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Partial Transcript: You were commenting on my dad's annual trips to the United Nations...

Segment Synopsis: Swank talks about Rusks sensitivity to other countries' diplomatic concerns and about his relationships with other foreign ministers. Swank discusses Rusk's role in resolving the Cuban Missile Crisis. He also talks about Rusk's public image and his willingness to take heat on behalf of the presidents he served.

Keywords: JFK; Johnson; Kennedy; Lord Home; RFK; blockade; persona

00:35:57 - Rusk's personal challenges

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Partial Transcript: I would say that his star does not shine in public relations.

Segment Synopsis: Swank mentions Rusk's personal challenges, including a bland image and a lack of personal relationships with his staff.

Keywords: Carl Rowan