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Interview with Powell Moore, December 8, 2009

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:01:25 - Milledgeville / Early political experience

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Partial Transcript: Milledgeville, Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Moore discusses his pride in being from Milledgeville, Georgia. He lists prominent people who were born there, including Carl Vinson, Flannery O'Connor, Bill Usery, Tillie Foster, and Culver Kidd, Jr. He also explains how he became a Republican during his twenties.

Keywords: "Conscience of a Conservative"; Abu Ghraib; Barry Goldwater; Berlin Wall; Harold Brown; Jim Schlesinger; Republican State Convention; constituent service; national security

00:07:23 - Education and military service / Richard Russell's early political career

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Partial Transcript: So growing up in Milledgeville, you went to Georgia Military College.

Segment Synopsis: Moore discusses his education at Georgia Military College and the University of Georgia, where he studied journalism under John Drewry. He then talks about his time in the military. He also recounts how he was hired by Senator Russell as his press secretary. Finally, he talks about Russell's rapid rise in politics from a young age, including his time in the Georgia House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

Keywords: Appropriations Committee; Berlin, Germany; Carl Haden; Charlie Crisp; Fort Benning; General Boylan; Georgia General Assembly; Georgia veterans; Grady College; Huey Long; Officer Candidate School; Peabody Awards; Richard B. Russell; Senator John "Jack" Cohen; Senator William Harris; Southern Natural Gas Company; Speaker of the House of Representatives; The Atlanta Journal; UGA; United States Army; United States Congress; United States Senate; legislature; public affairs

00:13:31 - Presidential election of 1952 / Russell's political philosophy

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Partial Transcript: What was your first impression of Senator Russell?

Segment Synopsis: Moore talks about his impressions of Russell. He then explains the 1952 presidential election from Russell's perspective. He also speaks about Russell's political philosophy, including his spending on research and public works.

Keywords: Bill Bates; Buford Dam; Charles Herty; Estes Kefauver; Flint River Water Project; Herty Field; Lake Lanier; President Dwight D. Eisenhower; President Harry Truman; School Lunch Program; paper industry; pulp and paper research; research investments; tri-state water dispute

00:22:33 - Press Secretary / Senator Russell's personal life

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk for a minute about your duties in the Senator's office.

Segment Synopsis: Moore discusses his time as press secretary for Senator Russell. He talks about Russell's personal relationships and interests. He also describes Russell's immediate family, giving a brief history.

Keywords: Art Pine; Atlanta Constitution; Atlanta Journal; Georgia State College for Women; Judge Richard Russell; Milledgeville; University of Georgia Bulldawgs; Wayne Kelly

00:29:55 - Russell and Lyndon B. Johnson

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Partial Transcript: It's generally accepted that Senator Russell was responsible for the rise of Senator Lyndon Johnson.

Segment Synopsis: Moore discusses the relationship between Richard Russell and Lyndon Johnson. He focuses mainly on the ways Russell helped advance Johnson's political career. He also discusses how tensions formed between Russell and Johnson.

Keywords: Abe Fortas; Alex Lawrence; Armed Services Committee; Attorney General Ramsey Clark; Democratic party whip; Presidential Cabinet; Rural Electrification Administration; Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara; Senate Majority Leader; Senate Minority Leader; Vietnam War

00:37:25 - Russell's views on world affairs / Vice President Johnson

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Partial Transcript: Senator Russell was very much involved in world affairs.

Segment Synopsis: Moore discusses Russell's views on world affairs, focusing on his war philosophy. He talks about the Vietnam War and the conduct of the American people during that time. He then speaks about Lyndon B. Johnson's time as vice president to President John F. Kennedy.

Keywords: Douglas McArthur; Eisenhower Administration; French bailout; Kennedy Administration; Martin Luther King Jr.; Senate Majority Leader; Vietnam protests; anarchists; anarchy; civil rights; flower children; hippies

00:46:10 - Russell's political involvements and relationships with presidents

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Partial Transcript: Were you with Senator Russell when he was appointed to the Warren Commission?

Segment Synopsis: Moore discusses Senator Russell's involvement with the Warren Commission and civil rights legislation. He also talks about his relationship with various presidents, including Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Truman, Eisenhower, and Roosevelt. Finally, he briefly discusses partisanship in politics.

Keywords: Constitutional Originalism; Little Rock, Arkansas; Oliver Stone; Southern Caucus; assassination of President Kennedy; desegregation; presidential assassinations; state rights

00:53:01 - Russell's later political career

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Partial Transcript: And in 1969, Senator Russell finally accepted a high position in the senate when he became President Pro Temp.

Segment Synopsis: Moore discusses the end of Russell's career, including his role as President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate. He also talks about the controversy surrounding Russell's reported support of Jimmy Carter in his campaign for Governor of Georgia.

Keywords: Bo Cuts; Bobby Smith; Carl Hayden; Carl Sanders; Democratic Primary; Gene Talmadge; Marietta Daily Journal; campaigning; state politics

01:00:15 - Russell's death

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Partial Transcript: Senator Russell died of complications from emphysema at Walter Reed in Washington on January 21, 1971.

Segment Synopsis: Moore discusses the death of Senator Russell, including his historic deathbed proxy vote for Senator Byrd. He talks about the funeral attendees and speakers, including Hubert Humphrey, Lawton Chiles, Spessard Holland, and Governor Jimmy Carter.

Keywords: Air Force One; Atlanta Constitution; Atlanta Journal; Bill Timmons; Blue Street Final; Democratic Caucus; Jasper Dorsey; Leonard Rich; Mansfield Rule; Marietta, Georgia; President Richard Nixon; Russell Senate Office Building; Senator Kennedy; Senator Talmadge; Winder, Georgia; funeral of Richard Russell

01:07:59 - Russell's senatorial replacement / Russell's accomplishments

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Partial Transcript: Well, the question came after Senator Russell's death who Governor Carter would appoint to the Senate.

Segment Synopsis: Moore discusses Governor Jimmy Carter's selection of David Gambrell over Ernie Vandiver to fill Russell's Senate seat. He then talks about Russell's biggest successes, emphasizing his influence on world affairs, on Georgia, and on the United States.

Keywords: Eastern Europe; Governor Ernest Vandiver; President Pro Tempore; Senator Richard B. Russell legacy; Soviet Empire; Soviet Imperialism; United States Senate

01:13:18 - Justice Department / Nixon campaign

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Partial Transcript: Well, after six years with Senator Russell, you took a job in the Nixon administration in the Justice Department.

Segment Synopsis: Moore discusses his time as Deputy Director of Public Information for the Justice Department during the Nixon Administration. He talks about the struggles and the character of Attorney General John Mitchell. He then shares about his time working on Nixon's reelection campaign as Director of News and Information.

Keywords: "The Strong Man"; ITT antitrust case; ITT controversy; International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation; Miami, Florida; President Richard Nixon; Republican National Convention; Sheridan; bond attorney; federal service; flower children; hippies; hippy; mental illness

01:19:42 - Nixon reelection campaign / Watergate

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Partial Transcript: During the 1972 reelection campaign, did you sense some paranoia in the Administration during that period?

Segment Synopsis: Moore briefly talks about Nixon's concerns about the Democratic presidential candidate. He then discusses various topics surrounding Watergate: the break-in, reelection process, press relations, Nixon's taping system, Nixon's resignation, and the Stennis Compromise.

Keywords: Alex Butterfield; Barry Goldwater; Bob Woodward; Carl Bernstein; Chicago leadership; Chuck Wiggins; Congressional Committees; Democratic Committee Headquarters; Executive Privilege; George W. Bush; Gordon Liddy; Hugh Scott; John Rhodes; Justice Department; President Richard Nixon; Senator George McGovern; Senator Stennis; Senator Ted Kennedy; Watergate Scandal; presidential campaign; the smoking gun tape

01:32:50 - Gerald Ford: vice president to president

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Partial Transcript: Well, let's change the subject for a minute.

Segment Synopsis: Moore discusses Nixon's choice of Gerald Ford as vice president after the resignation of Spiro Agnew. He briefly talks about President Nixon's strengths and weaknesses. He then shares about his time in the Office of Legislative Affairs under President Ford.

Keywords: Bill Timmons; Ford Administration; IRS; Internal Revenue Service; John Connally; Milk Scandal; Nixon Administration; Nixon leftovers; holdovers; income tax evasion

01:38:18 - Reagan's presidential campaign

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Partial Transcript: So what did you do after that?

Segment Synopsis: Moore talks about his early support of and involvement in Governor Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign. He then briefly discusses Governor Carter's original Democratic Nomination and President Reagan's strengths and weaknesses.

Keywords: American ideals; Art Fletcher; Elizabeth Dole; President Jimmy Carter; Senator Talmadge; Soviet Imperialism; Truth Squad; bracketing; consulting business; exceptionalism; lobbying

01:45:36 - Later career

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Partial Transcript: Your career continued to the office of Secretary of State.

Segment Synopsis: Moore discusses his time at the office of the Secretary of State with George Schultz. He then talks about his time as a lobbyist during the Clinton Administration. He also shares about his time as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs during the Bush Administration. Finally, he talks briefly about spending a few years in Vienna on behalf of the Defense Department, as part of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Keywords: Alexander Hague; Better Hong Kong Foundation; Bryce Harlow; Fred Thompson; K Street; President H. W. Bush; Secretary of Defense

01:51:54 - Career reflections

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Partial Transcript: Well, you've certainly had a very interesting career.

Segment Synopsis: Moore shares his favorite parts of his long political career. He also talks briefly Senator Russell's influence on President Richard Nixon's foreign policy concerning the People's Republic of China.

Keywords: Margaret Shannon; Nixon Administration; Sandra O'Connor; Supreme Court; United States Military; White House Legislative Affairs Office; international relations