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Interview with David Gambrell, January 24, 2008

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:12 - Interview introduction

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Partial Transcript: Good afternoon and welcome again to another in our series of Reflections on Georgia Politics sponsored by the ICL, Young Harris College, and the Richard Russell Library at the University of Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Bob Short introduces interviewee David Gambrell. Gambrell and Short establish the fact that they are old friends.

00:00:59 - Beginnings in politics

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Partial Transcript: Well, you've had a very interesting political career and lifetime, and if you would, I would like for you to tell us a little about your beginnings in politics, how you got interested in politics, and your career in the Senate.

Segment Synopsis: Gambrell talks about how he was introduced to Jimmy Carter. He later talks about the experience of being asked to fill the vacant seat in the US Senate after the death of Senator Russell.

Keywords: Governor's Mansion; US Senate; appointment

00:13:26 - 1966 election / US Senate

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Partial Transcript: Let's go back to 1966, a very weird election.

Segment Synopsis: Gambrell talks about the 1966 Gubernatorial election in which Jimmy Carter lost. Gambrell explains how Jimmy Carter's unexpected popularity and success in the campaign allowed for his successful campaign in 1970. Gambrell shares his first memories serving as a US Senator.

Keywords: Ellis Arnall; James Grey; Jimmy Carter; Mr. Smith; US Senate; Vietnam war; Washington DC; election; gubernatorial; politics; primary

00:23:47 - Committee assignments

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Partial Transcript: We had some pretty good committee assignments.

Segment Synopsis: Gambrell talks about some of the committees he was a part of. He talks a little bit about the Banking committee and Aeronautics and Space Committee. Gambrell talks about the Lockheed bailout during his term as Senator.

Keywords: Locheed; Nixon Administration; Rolls Royce; committee; major committee; sub committee

00:32:10 - Family life

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Partial Transcript: Well, before we get too far along, tell me about David Gambrell and his family.

Segment Synopsis: Gambrell briefly talks about his family. He shares the story of how he met his wife through Senator Russell.

Keywords: Atlanta Bar Association; Democratic convention; Richard Russell; children; family; law firm; lawyers

00:41:43 - Reelection campaign / Campaign financing

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Partial Transcript: If you don't mind, Senator, let's get back to your Washington environs.

Segment Synopsis: Gaqmbrell talks about his reelection campaign and how he balanced his Senatorial duties and hit campaign duties. Gambrell also shares his opinions on campaign finance.

Keywords: Senatorial duties; Washington, DC; campaign financing; duties; politics; public financing; reelection; voting

00:49:12 - Relationship with Charlie Kirbo

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Partial Transcript: Before we get away from it entirely, your mentor was one of my heroes, Charlie Kirbo.

Segment Synopsis: Gambrell talks about his relationship with Charlie Kirbo. Charles Kirbo was one of Jimmy Carter's most influential adviser.

Keywords: Bainbridge, Ga; Charlie Kirbo; Jimmy Carter; Washington, DC; adviser; lawyer; trial lawyer

00:53:09 - Reflections

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Partial Transcript: Let me ask you this question, if you had your career in the Senate to go over again, would you have done anything differently?

Segment Synopsis: Gambrell reflects on his career and he states how he would not change anything he did. He believes how everything he did was to the best of his abilities. He also talks about his greatest accomplishments and his regrets.

Keywords: Carl Sanders; Equal Employment Opportunity; Jimmy Carter; Lockheed; accomplishments; decisions; discrimination; election; politics; regrets

01:08:33 - 1976 Presidental election / Rememberance

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Partial Transcript: What role did you and Mr. Kirbo play in '76?

Segment Synopsis: Gambrell talks about the 1976 Presidential election, and he mentions his role in getting Carter elected. He describes Carter's campaign as a grassroots movement. Gambrell then shares how he wants to be remembered.

Keywords: Charlie Kirbo; Jimmy Carter; Peanut Brigade; career; grassroots; nomination; presidential election; primaries

01:12:34 - Audience questions

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Partial Transcript: Now, questions. Any questions of Senator Gambrell?

Segment Synopsis: Senator Gambrell answers questions from the audience. The questions include talking Griffin Bell, his relationship with President Nixon, the Watergate Scandal, and the shift in Georgia's Politics.

Keywords: Americus, Ga; Earnest Vandiver; Governor Vandiver; Griffin Bell; King and Spalding; Mercer University; President Nixon; Richard Nixon; Watergate; lawyer; supply officer