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Interview with Bob Shaw, July 28, 2010

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:19 - Introduction

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

Segment Synopsis: Interviewer Bob Short introduces interviewee Bob Shaw.

00:00:45 - Early life and career

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Partial Transcript: Before we get into your role in building a two-party system in Georgia, let's talk about you.

Segment Synopsis: Shaw details his early life and gospel singing career, which was interrupted by service in the Korean War, and which ultimately ended after the birth of his daughter.

00:06:20 - Entrance into politics

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Partial Transcript: When did you first get interested in politics?

Segment Synopsis: Shaw states that his work in small business contributed to his interest in the Republican party and details his early work with the state and national party, as well as an unsuccessful run for the State Senate.

00:12:48 - Rise of the Republican Party in Georgia / Black voters

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Partial Transcript: Let's go back to 1964, when Goldwater swept Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Shaw discusses Georgia's transition to a Republican state in the mid-1960s; he also speaks about black disenfranchisement with the party and the party's attempts to regain the black vote.

00:18:35 - Republican political campaigns of the 1960s and 70s.

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Partial Transcript: One rap you hear on the Democratic party in Georgia--well, nationwide, too--is, it's too dependent on minorities, it's too liberal, and it depends also on labor unions.

Segment Synopsis: Shaw recalls some of the figures in Georgia's burgeoning Republican party.

Keywords: Albany, Georgia; Crawford Pilcher; Hal Suit; Herman Talmadge; Hubert Humphrey; Jack Ray; Jimmy Bentley; Joe Sports; Journalism; Journalist; Oliver Bateman; Paul Jones; Senior citizens; Social Security; WSB-TV; Wiley Wasden

00:25:00 - Fletcher Thompson and Sam Nunn (1972 Senate race)

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Partial Transcript: Well, let's talk about now the election of Republican congressmen.

Segment Synopsis: Shaw discusses Fletcher Thompson's 1972 Senate run against Sam Nunn.

Keywords: Archie Lindsay; Ben Blackman; Bill Burson; Charles Weltner; DeKalb County, Georgia; Ernest Vandiver; Fletcher Thompson; Fulton County, Georgia; Gerald Ford; Jim Mackie; Richard B. Russell; Sam Nunn; Senate race

00:28:35 - Republican gubernatorial campaigns

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk about the Republican candidates for governor over the years and, uh, discuss them as we get to the election of Sonny Purdue in 2002.

Segment Synopsis: Shaw recalls some of the unsuccessful campaigns by Republican gubernatorial candidates.

Keywords: Bob Bell; Commission seat; Country club set; Fairburn, Georgia; George Busbee; Guy Millner; Johnny Isakson; Keynote address; Moderate; Populist; Republican National Convention; Teachers; Unions; Working class; Zell Miller

00:35:19 - Mack Mattingly and Herman Talmadge (1980 Senate race)

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Partial Transcript: Let's go now to another milepost in the rise of the Republican party, and that was the senatorial election in 1980.

Segment Synopsis: Shaw suggests that Mattingly defeated Talmadge in the 1980 race largely because of negative media coverage of Talmadge.

Keywords: Betty Talmadge; Lowell Conner; Mack Mattingly; Mass media; Rome, Georgia; The Hill

00:39:11 - Present day Democratic and Republican parties in Georgia

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Partial Transcript: What is your opinion now of the Democratic party in Georgia?

Segment Synopsis: Shaw opines that the Democratic party lost its power in Georgia following the retirement of several notable leaders. Shaw suggests that Republicans can retain power in Georgia if they continue to serve the people, using Watergate as an example of a previous self-implosion.

Keywords: Ben Blackburn; Cabinet members; Dissent; Georgia AFL-CIO; Gerald Ford; Heads of state; Herbert Mabry; Jimmy Carter; Kevin Phillips; Labor leaders; National politics; Retirement; Tom Murphy; Tommy Thompson; Washington, D.C.; Watergate scandal

00:44:32 - Newt Gingrich and Bo Callaway

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk for a minute about Newt Gingrich.

Segment Synopsis: Shaw discusses the political careers of notable Republicans Gingrich and Callaway.

Keywords: Callaway Gardens; Consulting; Contract for America; Crested Butte, Colorado; Douglasville, Georgia; George H.W. Bush; Howard Dean; John James "Jack" Flynt Jr.; Party chairman; Paul Coverdell; Presidential candidate; Roscoe Pickett; SBA; Secretary of the Army; Small Business Association; Small business loans; Speaker of the House; Spiro Agnew; U.S. Congress; U.S. Senate; University of West Georgia; White papers

00:52:40 - Purdue's governorship

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk for a minute, if you will, about the real crowning victory of the Republican party when Sonny Purdue was elected governor in 2002.

Segment Synopsis: Shaw discusses the factors that helped contribute to Purdue's gubernatorial campaign and suggests that despite personally liking Purdue, Purdue has not always represented Republican interests while in office.

Keywords: Bob Bell; Georgia state flag; Macon, Georgia; North Georgia; Purdue administration; Roy Barnes; South Georgia

00:57:05 - Partisan politics in Georgia

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Partial Transcript: Do you think politics in Georgia is too partisan?

Segment Synopsis: Shaw offers his opinion on various current political issues in Georgia.

Keywords: Early voting; Harry Geisinger; Joe Barge; Partisanship; Party registration; Political ideology; Reapportionment; Redistricting; Rusty Paul; Secretary of Education; Straight ticket voting; Tom Price; Ultra-conservative; Ultra-liberal

01:05:42 - Career disappointments

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Partial Transcript: Well, you've had a wonderful career, you've been a great contributor to the rise of the Republican party, and as you look back on your time in politics, is there anything you would change?

Segment Synopsis: Though not personally involved in the matter, Shaw expresses regret over the Watergate scandal, as he believes it destroyed the burgeoning Republican party in the 1970s.

Keywords: Nelson Rockefeller; Ronald Reagan; Vice president

01:07:41 - Conclusion

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Partial Transcript: Well, Bob Shaw, we've covered a big subject in a short time.

Segment Synopsis: Short and Shaw conclude the interview.