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Interview with Charles Campbell, May 14, 2009

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:07 - Interview introduction

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Partial Transcript: I’m Bob Short and this is “Reflections on Georgia Politics,” sponsored by Young Harris College and the Richard B. Russell Library at the University of Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Bob Short introduces Charles Campbell.

Keywords: Charles Campbell

00:00:54 - Early life

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Partial Transcript: We’re very interested in talking to you about your career with Senator Russell, but, before we do, let’s take a minute and talk about Charles Campbell.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about his childhood and his education at Emory University and the University of Georgia.

Keywords: Blairsville; Butts County; Emory University; Pike County; St Joseph's Hospital; University of Georgia; debate team

00:02:46 - Richard Russell / Internship program

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Partial Transcript: Senator Richard B. Russell was a great statesman and certainly a great product of Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about Richard B Russell's personality through many anecdotes. Campbell also talks about Russell's internship program which offered rural Georgians a chance to go to school in the Nation's capital.

Keywords: 4-H club; Appropriations Committee; Armed Services Committee; Civil War; Internship; Richard B Russell; Washington DC; baseball; personality; sense of humor

00:13:27 - Russell family / Russell's early political career

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Partial Transcript: Let’s talk for a minute about the Russell family.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about the achievements of the members of the Russell family. He mentions the successful law career Richard Russell Sr had. He also talks about Richard Russell Jr's political career in Georgia Politics.

Keywords: Federal Court of Appeals; Georgia General Assembly; Richard Russell Sr; Russell family; Walter F George; female lawyers; governor; senate

00:16:41 - Russell's rise into leadership roles in the Senate

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Partial Transcript: How do you assess his ability to move as rapidly as he did into the leadership role in the United States Senate?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about Russell's quick rise into a leadership role in the US senate. He discusses the luck and hard work Russell put in in order to gain prominence in the Senate.

Keywords: Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; Huey Long; William Harris; hardball; leadership; luck

00:20:03 - Russell's relationship with Senator Talmadge / Russell's friendships with fellow Senators

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Partial Transcript: Speaking of Senator Talmadge, I believe Senator Talmadge served 24 years with Senator Russell.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about the strong relationship between Senator Russell and Senator Talmadge. They divided the issues of Georgia based on their individual expertise.Campbell also shares some of the friendships Russell had with other Senators such as Milton Young, John Stennis, Henry Jackson, and many others.

Keywords: Armed Services Committee; Eugene Talmadge; Henry Jackson; Herman Talmadge; John Stennis; Leverett Saltonstall; Lyndon Johnson; Milton Young; President Roosevelt; Russell Foundation; Senator Talmadge; confidence

00:25:29 - Russell's relationship with Lyndon B Johnson / Vietnam War

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Partial Transcript: So those would be a few of the Senators that I would say that were good friends of his.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about the relationship between Johnson and Russell. He mentions how Russell is credited for making Lyndon Johnson the Majority Leader. Campbell also talks about Russell's opposing views on the Vietnam War.

Keywords: Carl Vinson; JFK; John F Kennedy; Lyndon Johnson; Majority Leader; Sam Rayburn; Vietnam war

00:30:14 - Russell's agenda

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Partial Transcript: Senator Russell had an agenda, as I see it, that was headed by national defense and agriculture.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about Russell's programs that support his interests in national defense and agriculture. Campbell speculates what Russell's opinions would be on current global affairs.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Farmers Home Administration; Food Stamp Program; Iraq; Naval Affairs Committee; School Lunch Program; War on Terror; agenda; agriculture; armed services; national defense; rural electrification

00:38:51 - Warren Commission / Fallout of Russell and Johnson's friendship

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Partial Transcript: Okay. He also was somewhat of an advisor to John F. Kennedy.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about Russell's relationship with JFK. Also, he talks about Russell's reluctance on serving the Warren Commission which was the start of the fallout of Russell and Johnson's relationship. Campbell also shares other instances of their declining friendship.

Keywords: Alex Lawrence; Blue Ribbon Committee; JFK; John F Kennedy; Judge appointment; Lee Harvey Oswald; Ted Kennedy; Warren Commission; confidence; convenience

00:56:08 - Russell's Presidential ambition / Russell's views

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Partial Transcript: Charles, was Senator Russell surprised when President Johnson decided not to run in 1968?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about Russell's ambition to become President. He also talks about Russell's views on Civil Rights and other topics of US Politics.

Keywords: Brown v Board of Education; Civil Rights; Edward Brooke; Harry Truman; Richard Nixon; ambitions; demagogue; president; segregation; segregationist; south

01:04:30 - Russell's relationships with Presidents / Georgia politics

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Partial Transcript: How did people in Washington – the Senators and the Congressmen – look at politics in Georgia from that vantage point?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about Senator Russell's relationship with the Presidents he served under such ask: FDR, JFK, and Richard Nixon. Campbell also shares how Russell was uninvolved in Georgia politics.

Keywords: Carl Sanders; Democratic party; FDR; Franklin D Roosevelt; JFK; Jimmy Carter; John F Kennedy; Lawrence Camp; Richard Nixon; Walter George; politics

01:13:16 - Career after Russell's death

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Partial Transcript: Then you continued to work, though, in Washington after the passing of Senator Russell.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about working for David Gambrell while he finished law school. He also talks about his involvement in other campaigns.

Keywords: Bev Ingram; David Gambrell; Democratic Convention; Earnest Vandiver; Florida; Georgia Chamber of Commerce; Jimmy Carter; Senator Jackson; Senator Talmadge

01:17:26 - Senator Talmadge's campaign

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Partial Transcript: Let’s talk for a minute about that ’80 race.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about working on Senator Talmadge's reelection campaign in 1980. He discusses some of the feats and failures of the campaign.

Keywords: Dawson Mathis; Mack Mattingly; Norman Underwood; Will Ball; Zell Miller; debates; divorce; election; indited; run off

01:27:13 - Rise of the Republican party in Georgia

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Partial Transcript: That was the beginning of the Republican rise in Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell shares his opinion on why the politics in Georgia shifted from the Democratic party to the Republican party.

Keywords: Bo Callaway; Civil Rights Act; Democrat; Earnest Vandiver; Herman Talmadge; Peachtree City; Republican; civil rights; conservatives; immigration; party politics

01:31:35 - Closing reflections on Senator Russell

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Partial Transcript: Right. Tell me the greatest feat of Senator Richard B. Russell.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell shares what he thinks are Senator Russell's greatest accomplishments. He talks about what Russell would think about the current president and political parties.

Keywords: Barack Obama; Democratic Party; John McCain; Lester Maddox; Sam Nunn; accomplishment; committee; relationship