Clayton Fritchey Oral History Interview, May 6, 1970

Oral History Interview with
Clayton Fritchey

Assistant to the Secretary of Defense and Director of the Office of Public Information, Dept. of Defense, 1950-52; Assistant to the President of the United States, 1952; and Deputy Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, 1953-57.

Washington, DC
May 6, 1970
By Jerry N . Hess

[Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed | Additional Fritchey Oral History Transcripts]

This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview conducted for the Harry S. Truman Library. A draft of this transcript was edited by the interviewee but only minor emendations were made; therefore, the reader should remember that this is essentially a transcript of the spoken, rather than the written word.

Numbers appearing in square brackets (ex. [45]) within the transcript indicate the pagination in the original, hardcopy version of the oral history interview.

This oral history transcript may be read, quoted from, cited, and reproduced for purposes of research. It may not be published in full except by permission of the Harry S. Truman Library.

Opened August, 1972
Harry S. Truman Library
Independence, Missouri

[Top of the Page | Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed |
Additional Fritchey Oral History Transcripts]

Oral History Interview with
Clayton Fritchey

Washington, DC
May 6, 1970
by Jerry N. Hess


HESS: Mr. Fritchey, to begin today, I'd like to read an excerpt from the book, The Politics of Honor: A Biography of Adlai E . Stevenson, by Kenneth S . Davis, and get your reaction to it. This is on page 278 and 279:

There were other grave disadvantages to headquartering in Springfield. Travel in and out of the town was much more difficult than travel in and out of Washington would have been, and Springfield was deficient in mass-communications facilities. The latter complication was enhanced by the apparent fact that Bill Flanagan, whom Stevenson retained as his personal press secretary, seemed not to enjoy the candidate's full confidence. When newsmen asked Flanagan questions to which, they felt, he should have immediate answers, Flanagan was likely to reply that he didn't know, he'd try to find out. For this, and various foul-ups in news facilitation, the unfortunate Flanagan was soon very much in the doghouse with reporters. The situation was considerably improved when the White House loaned to Stevenson one of the President's principal assistants, Clayton Fritchey, who had had a brilliant newspaper career (he'd been editor of the New Orleans Item, managing editor of the Baltimore Post, and won a Pulitzer prize for reporting while on the Cleveland Press) before coming to Washington in 1950 as assistant to General Marshall, then Secretary of Defense.

Now, my question is, if you agree that the situation was considerably improved, as Davis says, what did you do to improve the situation when you got there?


FRITCHEY: Well, in justice to Bill Flanagan, it was not that he was not up to the -- let me put it this way, it was not that he was incompetent, it was the fact that he had served Stevenson as press secretary while Stevenson was Governor of Illinois, and therefore, overwhelmingly concerned with relatively local affairs.

It is not a fair test of Flanagan's ability or intelligence or general competence that he was not in the best position to serve as press secretary to a presidential campaign. Stevenson himself had been concentrating on purely state and local matters for four years. Even as experienced as Stevenson was in international affairs, and to some extent national affairs, he had been away from the scene. That was one reason he was reluctant to run. He realized that he would have to do a cram course during the campaign, which he did. Fortunately he could fall back on many years of very professional experience. Flanagan could not. He was an Illinois lad, and I think the reporters liked him, but it's true, he was not in a position to deal with many of the intricacies of affairs that


had been occurring on the Washington scene and the international scene.

So, while I was serving as Wilson Wyatt's executive assistant (he was the campaign manager), I inevitably got involved in the press area, and I think I was able to be of some help, simply because we had a hundred or two hundred correspondents in or around Springfield and on the campaign train, the campaign plane, all of whom I knew because of my Washington experience, and from my having served on many different newspapers around the country. So it was inevitable that they would gradually drift to me, especially in matters within my competence.

And, of course, the reason Governor Stevenson asked Dave Bell and me to come out there was the fact that we had been close to the national and international scene, and it was only natural that Stevenson should rely on us perhaps more than some of the men who were with him while he was Governor.

HESS: One question about Mr. Stevenson choosing you and Mr. Bell. Did he personally know you before this time, or did someone on his staff know you?


FRITCHEY: Yes, he knew me.

HESS: When did you first meet him?

FRITCHEY: I think I first met him through Barry Bingham, the publisher of the Louisville Courier-Journal. We spent a weekend together one time at Mr. Bingham's house. We also had many good mutual friends, and many of the people who came to Springfield, like Arthur Schlesinger, Ken [Kenneth] Galbraith, David Bell, and others, were close friends of mine, so we were a very congenial group. We had all known each other, and worked together. We had all served in the New Deal-Fair Deal administrations.

HESS: Do you happen to know if Governor Stevenson knew Dave Bell before this time?

FRITCHEY: I can't answer that. I really don't know whether he ever met Bell before or not, but he knew of him, and he was a very able man, and instantly supplied what Stevenson wanted, which was a great deal of know-how, and sophisticated knowledge of the issues we were going to deal with.

HESS: Fine, we'll get further into your duties in Springfield


in just a minute, but at the conclusion of our last interview, we had just mentioned the campaign trips, and you said that you had traveled on some of them. Just how were the campaign trips conducted?

FRITCHEY: Well, I think not too differently than is customary. We had a logistical team planning the itinerary. We had a group in Washington and a group in Springfield coordinating this. It was under the general direction of Wilson Wyatt, because, naturally every political boss and every state chairman and county chairman in the country wanted the candidate to come to his particular area, and so this required the judgment of Wyatt and a number of his associates, as to which were the most strategic spots to go to and when to go to them and how. So, we would fan out from Springfield for, say, a week at a time, or four or five days at a time, sometimes longer.

So every trip had to be plotted from morning to night. This required a tremendous logistical operation, because we also had to provide facilities, room and board so to speak, hotel arrangements, telephone and other communications for a very large press corps that was


with us. There were always two planes: the candidate's plane and the press plane. With us, of course, many times, were visiting political leaders who came to Springfield to see the candidate and who also wanted to be on the plane when we were visiting their particular states and cities. They usually rode the candidate's plane. This required a very big staff just to plot this out, and to keep it moving all the time. It's one of the biggest and most important things in a campaign, coordinating the logistics, especially these days, where you're moving so fast with planes.

HESS: How would you compare the difficulty of arranging a campaign with planes as opposed to a campaign with trains?

FRITCHEY: Planes are more difficult, because you're trying -- I remember on one occasion we started, I believe, in New Mexico, spent the afternoon in Oregon, and went to a major rally, I believe, that evening in Kansas City. In the days of trains, that would have taken two weeks. We did it in less than twenty-four hours. I must say, it's a wonder we weren't all dead.


It was a remarkable thing about Stevenson, he had this excessive weight, as you know, and he didn't look like an especially strong man, but he never even got a cold during this incredible campaign, when we were getting three and four hours sleep. He didn't lose his voice once, and very seldom lost his temper.

HESS: How many trips or campaign swings did you make, do you recall?

FRITCHEY: I can't recall now.

HESS: Did you go on most of them?

FRITCHEY: I went on about half of them, because it was necessary for people to keep the shop in Springfield.

HESS: The times when you did not go, just what were your duties in Springfield?

FRITCHEY: As I think I said before, I was Wilson Wyatt's executive assistant, and he was the chief campaign manager, and when he wasn't there, I had to pinch hit for him.

This is very like a G. H. Q in war. It isn't


possible , if you took a call every two minutes, a long distance call every two minutes, to take all the calls that are coming in during the course of the day, because almost every political leader in the country, every candidate in the country, wanted to talk to Stevenson or to the campaign manager, almost constantly. We would have calls backed up forty and fifty to the most important people in the United States. This creates probably more ill will than any single thing in a campaign, because people who could ordinarily get through at any other time, have to take their turn in this kind of an operation.

Take a man of the stature of a president of a very large university, or the president of a very large steel company. Normally, Stevenson would take the call right away himself, for he knew many of them. If a Governor called, or a prominent Senator, they'd normally get through right away. In a campaign it's impossible. Everyone who calls is a celebrity, so to speak, and there just aren't enough hours in the day to take them all.

Much of my work was taking the calls that Stevenson and Wilson Wyatt couldn't take. Of course, they all


prefer to start, first with Stevenson, and secondly Wyatt, and when worst comes to worst, settle for me. Bit by bit, when they found out that I had access to the candidate, and their message went through, they became more comfortable with this arrangement.

HESS: Did Jacob M. Arvey lend any assistance to Stevenson during that campaign? Jake Arvey of Illinois.

FRITCHEY: Well, you know Jake always prefers to be called Jack. He played a very considerable part in Stevenson's life. Stevenson probably would never have been a candidate for Governor if it had not been for Arvey. And at that time he was certainly an extremely influential man, and in my opinion a very useful one. He had, aside from his political experience and sophistication, and his ability to deliver in a key state, he just had general good sense. Unlike many professional political leaders, he was an extremely intelligent man and had a good grasp of the issues. So, it was congenial for Stevenson to work with him. He never imposed on his old friendship with Stevenson. I considered him a very valuable man to have in our camp during that time.


HESS: Did he lend a good deal of assistance, did he lend a good deal of help?

FRITCHEY: Yes he did. I think he was very fond of Mr. Truman, too, and I think Mr. Truman trusted him. At least, that's the impression I had.

HESS: What was the relationship between Wilson Wyatt and the man who held the position of chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Stephen Mitchell?

FRITCHEY: This posed some somewhat awkward moments. Stevenson's reluctance, as I've said repeatedly, to taking the nomination, was that he had been away from the national scene, and he had not been working with anyone who was a natural candidate for national chairman. There was a unanimous feeling that the then chairman should be replaced, not because of any inadequacy on his part. He had only been national chairman, I believe, six months or so.

HESS: Frank McKinney.

FRITCHEY: Frank McKinney. But there was the desire to create an entirely new image.


I think you know as well as I do that Mr. Truman had been subjected to a very critical campaign, by what we then called the "one-party press." It is not so much a Republican press today, but it was overwhelmingly so then, plus the fact that the Democrats had been in power for five straight terms, and there was a tremendous desire for change. In the process of it, the press, as well as the Republican Party, became extremely partisan. Mr. Truman,, being President, was the natural butt of this. They had been able to magnify what I regard as very small delinquencies in the administration into the so-called "mess in Washington" (mostly a figment in the imagination of the press).

And so there was a general feeling that, without respect to Mr. Truman's performance, the only chance for success was to create a whole new image. Of course, that required a new national chairman, regardless of how well McKinney had been doing.

Stevenson did not want to appoint an established political pro. The upshot of it is that he fell back on his friend, Steve Mitchell, who had had no national experience, and he too had to start from scratch.


Fortunately, Wilson Wyatt had a clear mandate to run the campaign, and Steve Mitchell wisely ran a complementary operation. He ran the national committee and its relations with the party around the country. He did not try to substitute himself as campaign manager. So it worked out better than some of us thought it would.

Fortunately, Mitchell is a man of personal integrity and good temper, and a situation that could have been full of jealousies and acrimony managed pretty well just because of the personal character of the two men, Wyatt and Steve Mitchell.

Wyatt is a man of great charm, and the greatest tact, and very careful of other people's feeling and their dignity. So he went to great lengths to keep in touch on a day to day basis with Steve, and so did I. Of course, there are times when you slip and we did things that they didn't know about, and vice versa, but that's inevitable. But there was a general feeling that no one was really trying to hide anything from anyone else. On the whole it was not an ideal situation, but it worked out reasonably well.


HESS: Did he do a fairly good job as chairman of the Democratic National Committee?

FRITCHEY: Steve's performance, I think, especially after the defeat, was quite a notable one.

We had a substantial debt which he cleaned up. He started the Democratic Digest at a time when we had neither the House nor the Senate, and at a time when our leadership on the Hill was composed of two Texans who did not altogether share the political outlook of the northern liberals of the Fair Deal and the New Deal. And so it was necessary for Mitchell to do three things: To rebuild the morale of a party that had been defeated; to make the national committee into a viable institution, to clean up the debt; and to provide a political line to which the party could adhere.

He brought in for consultation many of the big figures of the party. He kept close touch with Mr. Truman, Dean Acheson, Harriman, all of whom later became members of what we called the Democratic Advisory Council.

This turned out to be very important, because at that time Congress was dominated by the Republicans.


They had control of both Houses, and Johnson was not well-known then. He was a junior Senator and Sam Rayburn was almost 80 years old. And they were both southerners. And while their outlook was broader than most southerners, the Democrats elsewhere in the country did not feel that they were the best spokesmen for the party as a whole.

The Democratic Advisory Council did provide a consistent guidance, politically, on issues and ideology for the party. The Digest got up to a paid circulation of almost 100,000 so it reached almost every Democratic leader of any consequence in the country. It was not given away, they paid for it. So I think those were very substantial contributions that Mitchell made.

HESS: What do you recall about the relationships between President Truman and Stephen Mitchell, after Mitchell had replaced the man that Truman thought should be there?

FRITCHEY: Mr. Truman, I think, showed the true measure of his greatness during that campaign, because a petty man could easily have become offended,


and would have sulked and have done the campaign harm. But he was big enough, and generous enough, to see what the political problem was. And he knew the seeming disassociation of the Stevenson camp from the Truman administration was wholly impersonal, and was a political operation, and was not directed at him in any personal way. He didn't know Stevenson, really, nor did Stevenson know him, but he knew all the rest of us extremely well. He was sure of our loyalty to him, and he knew we would never do anything that would ever reflect on him. And so he did not take this, so far as I know, in a personal way.

You cannot read a man's mind. I'm sure there must be times, if he was human at all, when he must have been a little upset. But if so, he certainly didn't show it. He cooperated to the fullest, he made himself available, he just gave Stevenson carte blanche to call on him, he agreed to make any speeches we wanted, wherever, and under whatever circumstances. He couldn't have been more first-class.

HESS: How would you evaluate the success of the cooperation between the two campaigns: The Truman campaign and


the Stevenson campaign?

FRITCHEY: I'm not quite sure I understand you, Jerry?

HESS: Well, Mr. Truman went out on some trips, speaking trips, and was there adequate liaison, adequate cooperation between Mr. Truman's effort in 1952 and the effort that Mr. Stevenson was putting out in 1952?

FRITCHEY: Well, we felt that as self-effacing as President Truman was that it would be improper for us to suggest what his speeches should be, or what he should say.

HESS: Or where he should go?

FRITCHEY: No, he asked for suggestions on that. He realized that it would be foolish to waste ourselves by both covering the same place, or getting in each other's way, or using up our publicity unnecessarily. So there was very close liaison on where and when. There was no problem on that. He simply said, "You say." So we fit it in to the master chart, as to where he would carry the most weight, where he would get the most attention, where he would get the most radio and television time. I don't recall any argument over the logistics on that, or the itinerary.


HESS: In his Memoirs he seems to express that he thought that maybe a little bit of cooperation could have been given. This is on page 499 of Vol. II of the Memoirs

Another mistake in the 1952 campaign was that there was little or no coordination between Washington and Springfield. Actually there were two campaigns being waged by the Democrats, and this often led to overlapping and confusion. It was an unfortunate situation that could have been avoided.

FRITCHEY: Well, this is almost twenty years ago now, and I literally cannot remember the details. Of course, we knew where he was going, and I can't recall his ever making an independent decision on that. He may have suggested, "I think it would be better for me to speak in Kansas City, or Texas," or what. I have no doubt that he did. I can't remember any controversy over that.

We did not try to coordinate themes, ideas, or try to suggest or dictate what he was going to say. We felt that Truman was so much an individual that he would simply have to be himself. And we felt it was probably better for him to be himself and for Stevenson to be himself. They were very, very different men.

I've always thought that President Truman's choice


of Stevenson was based not on a matter of personal friendship or the advancing of an old associate; I think it was a very impersonal decision on his part. To the best of my recollection, he knew Stevenson only in a slight way, but that in looking around, he simply decided that he was probably the best candidate the party could produce.

He was the Governor of one of the key states, had made a very good record, was almost sure of re-election, and had won the support of many Republicans and Independents in Illinois. His reputation had radiated nationally in that way. It was clear to us that we were going to have to have that broad support to hold off anyone like Eisenhower.

The personalities of Truman and Stevenson are about as distinct as you can imagine. What held them together was a rapport on the ideas that held the Democratic Party together, because in style, personality, background, and tastes, and so on, they were very, very differently cut. This became more marked during the campaign and after. Both men in the years after the election maintained contact and communication, but essentially it was polite,


cordial, but never warm or the crony type.

I think there were many things about Stevenson that puzzled Mr. Truman, more so as he got to know him. Many of us admire Mr. Truman for a certain bluntness, whereas Stevenson was always suave. Mr. Truman was plain-spoken; Mr. Stevenson was essentially a man who was devoted to wit, not always the most successful thing in politics.

So, during the campaign, there was some communication between them, but not a great deal. I think that perhaps is the basis of the reference you just read from his Memoirs, but there was considerable communication between the two camps, so to speak. I, myself, encountered very little hostility or any sulking on the part of the Washington camp, so to speak, during the campaign. It may be that I was on naturally good, friendly terms with them, having been a part of them, but also that very fact would have seemed to me to have encouraged them to have expressed to me any concerns, or feelings of estrangement they might have had.

I think it's fair to say they felt out of it, as indeed they were, because this was a deliberate policy, as I say, to try to overcome the principal


slogan of the campaign, which was "Time for a change." The whole effort was to project Stevenson as a new entity. This, inevitably, resulted in a somewhat arm's length operation.

HESS: What are your thoughts on the idea of a change, the idea of a need for a change? Do you personally think it's a good thing for one party to have the responsibility shifted to them every so often?

FRITCHEY: Well, I resisted the idea then, and I still do. But I am less certain of it today than I was then. Of course, I was more partisan because I was involved in the campaign. I regarded it as a purely contrived slogan, and I did not want to see the kind of changes that I thought would be introduced if they came to power.

As against that, looking back in perspective, I think it is fair to say that in a democratic society the longer you keep a party out of power, the more irresponsible it becomes, the more savage it becomes, the more partisan. This makes it increasingly difficult to conduct government, especially when the "outs" acquire a sizable representation in the Congress, either


a majority or a near majority. And then, feelings become so strong, it's almost impossible to get a coalition to get anything done. They can veto the President; the President can veto them. You end up with stalemate government. I'm not sure that there doesn't have to be a change from time to time to maintain our type of two-party system.

I don't know what would have happened to McCarthyism, for instance, if the Democrats had remained in power, because the Republicans would have continued to use him to the hilt, probably even more desperately than they did before, regardless of the consequences. What destroyed McCarthy, of course, was Eisenhower coming to power. They no longer had any need for him or use for him, so they liquidated him, as they did many other of their old shibboleths: The balanced budget, public debt, all these things went by the board as soon as they came into power.

HESS: Do you think McCarthy's attacks in that year, or in those years played a part in the Republican victory?

FRITCHEY: Yes, I do. That's why the Republicans embraced him. He was an effective instrument for them. It seems


logically impossible to have ever conducted a campaign against Mr. Truman on the basis of his being soft on Communists, the man who introduced the Marshall plan, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Truman Doctrine in the Mediterranean, the Korean war. He's the greatest anti-Communist fighter this country has ever known, and to think that you can convince a number of millions of Americans that there was something to this, the fact that you can charge General Marshall with being a Communist agent, I think, indicates how extreme our politics has become, and to what lengths a party will go to when it's been defeated five straight times. It will use any weapon whatsoever, no matter how destructive it is to the country, in order to get back to power, and it may be that the Democrats will do the same thing if they are ever denied office in five straight elections. It's something to worry about.

Yet, it seems on the other hand, hardly desirable to put a party back in power out of blackmail when it says, so to speak, "If you don't put us back in power, we'll destroy the political fabric of the country." So, as you can see, I'm of two minds now, where I was


of only one mind then.

HESS: Do you recall General Eisenhower's statement that he would go to Korea and try to straighten the thing out? Did that cause any particular problems or trouble during the campaign?

FRITCHEY: Yes, it did. The truth is in Springfield we had high hopes right up until the election. This is primarily based, not so much on our instinct, as on the polls, which showed a very close race. The penultimate poll, I believe, showed Eisenhower winning by one percent, 51.49.

We knew from past experience that the Gallup poll, for instance, had made a consistent error of 3 percent against the Democrats for many years in many elections. On that basis, I myself had concluded that Stevenson had a chance of squeezing in.

I made a point of going back over the polls all the way to 1936 and every year there was the same error of 3 percent. I think this is perfectly legitimate on Gallup's part. I think it's just that there is a bias, a Democratic bias that cannot be totally caught by ordinary polling, especially first and second generation


>Americans who, in the old country, would never tell anybody how they vote. And they're all Democrats. Many workers have nameless fears against revealing their political stand. As many of them said to me, "Big Boss Republican." So they don't tell you the truth or they don't say anything.

I think Gallup is trying to make a perfectly sincere, scientific effort to get at the exact truth. But he couldn't. I have since been told that Gallup himself felt that since this error was so consistent, that he ought to make some allowance for it. I don't know whether he did or not.

HESS: But the 3 percent wasn't there in 1952?

FRITCHEY: The 3 percent wasn't there.

It's fair to say that the reporters didn't understand our confidence because they felt in their bones that Eisenhower was going to win, as most people did. But I had become impressed by this 3 percent factor over a number of years, and had bet on it in 1936 and 1940, also, in 1948. I bet on Mr. Truman, fairly heavily for me, using the Gallup poll as a basis, with a 3 percent


deduction from the Republican total. This formula showed Dewey carrying just sixteen states and that's precisely what he carried. In 1940, it showed Willkie carrying nine states, and he ended up carrying eight. In 1936 , it showed Roosevelt carrying 45 and he carried 46. That's how accurate the formula was.

But you asked what the feeling was in the camp, and I know some of my colleagues in the camp at Springfield were surprised when I made a bet of several thousand dollars on this. One of them said, "Are you doing this just to cheer up the camp?" So I told him the theory.

HESS: And did you feel that Eisenhower's statement that he would go to Korea swung some votes the other way?

FRITCHEY: Oh, yes. We now feel, all the pollsters feel, that this must have caught all the undecided. There was almost a unanimous feeling about this, that there was a shift, a very, very big shift, in the last week or ten days because of this. This had an instant impact, and there was no way of answering. All you could do was make fun of it. That's not a good answer. It fitted in with Eisenhower.


HESS: The military man going to visit the battlefield.

FRITCHEY: And it fitted in with the cravings and wishes of the country, just like today in Vietnam. They want to get it over with. No question about it, it was a remarkable political ploy. It suited Eisenhower perfectly.

HESS: Were there any mistakes that the Democrats made that year?

FRITCHEY: I don't think so. Of course, we had endless postmortems. The fact that Stevenson was renominated, virtually by acclamation, four years later, I think is the best proof of the fact that the party felt that no one could have defeated Eisenhower.

HESS: Did you work with Stevenson in '56?

FRITCHEY: I was his press secretary in the '56 campaign.

HESS: Did you do anything differently in 1956?

FRITCHEY: Very little, no. Of course, in the fall of 1955 the party naturally thought it was going to return to power after Mr. Eisenhower had his heart attack. No


>one dreamed that he would be running again. It looked like a very severe heart attack, as indeed it was. He made a remarkable recovery. I don't think, at the time, Mr. Eisenhower himself dreamed he would ever be a candidate again.

And by that time, it was pretty certain that Stevenson would be the nominee again, and there was an almost universal feeling, right or wrong, that he could defeat Nixon. At that point Mr. Nixon did not have a very impressive position even within his own party, as you know. President Eisenhower showed no inclination to have him with him again in 1956.

None of us in the 1952 postmortem felt that the outcome would have been substantially changed by any different type of campaign. Secondly, Stevenson could only conduct one kind of campaign, so it was foreordained as soon as he was nominated that it would be pretty much as it was before. Of course, by that time, television was a much more broadly used instrument. It was just barely coming into use in 1952. We had to be very careful how we plotted the itinerary in '52, because there were many cities where you could not broadcast from. There


were not the sending facilities. By 1956...

HESS: They had to be on the coaxial cable at that time, didn't they?

FRITCHEY: And the coaxial cable was by no means complete, where in 1956 it pretty much was.

HESS: How would you characterize Governor Stevenson, what kind of a man was he -- from someone who worked so closely with him?

FRITCHEY: Well, in a sense, he and Eisenhower both came to politics quite late. They were both products of the war. Had it not been for the war, the world would probably never have heard of either one.

Eisenhower's career during the war, of course, surpassed anyone else's. But during that time, Stevenson was acquiring a small reputation, and when he returned to his own city, he became quite active in civic affairs, and he did a great deal of public speaking in and around Chicago, and this, I'm sure, is how Arvey happened to spot him.

Also, I'm told (I've never checked this out but


I believe it's substantially true), on a trip East, Arvey saw Jimmy Byrnes and said, "We've got a very, very big election coming up [this was in 1948], both a senatorship and a governorship. The Republicans are in disrepute, and we have a chance if we can find the right kind of