Joseph Rauh Text of Interview (February 21, 1992)Catherine Nugent2022-05-12T11:06:03-04:00
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Oral History of Joseph L. Raub, Jr.
Conducted by Robert S. Peck
February 21, 1992
Okay. Today is February 21, 1992. This is the oral bi.story with
Joseph Rauh. When we left off, we were toward the end of the 1950’s. We had talked a little bit
about the convention, the Civil Rights Act, the Senate Rackets Committee hearing. I’m not sure
what else appropriately falls into that category. I know that at some point you represented the
NCAA over its television rights for college football. Was that in the ’50s or was that the ’60s?
Mr. Rauh: That was in the ’50s. It was early in the television days. I had a
friend, actually, from the war who was on the committee of the NCAA to deal with television.
The argument for our side, at least at first blush a good argument, was that it wasn’t a per se
violation. I didn’t know, in all honesty, you could have blown my brain out on antitrust law with
a peashooter, but I did know there was a difference between per se and reasonableness. I thought
you could make an argument for it being a question of reasonableness, and reasonableness was
easy, because what you had was that the football receipts covered the intramural athletic
expenses; if you didn’t do that, then you had to have an additional charge to the students for
athletics, and that was a mess. So football receipts were really carrying the athletic programs, so
that it seemed there was a reasonable ground for wanting people to go to the game, but you had
to admit it was a per se violation.
Well, I did some work, and I was ready to argue the reasonableness. We were
making some real progress; it was big stuff in the press, and the press seemed to be rather
favorable to us. The two groups that didn’t want to cave in to the NCAA and go along were
Notre Dame, who wanted to be on their own thing every day, and Pennsylvania -Harold Stassen
– and that one, I think, .was temporary.
With Notre Dame, they always want to be first, and so it was very serious. I think,
it’s my recollection that Father [Theodore M.] Hesburgh was one of our opponents, that he bad
come in at just about that time.
At any rate, we were hauled down to Justice one day. Stanley Barnes was the
Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, I think. He later was a Ninth
Circuit judge. And there was a real misunderstanding. I thought I heard Victor Kramer, who
was the top expert at Justice, say that something went for reasonableness, not per se, and Vic has
told me since that I misunderstood rum At any rate, we stood by our guns and for many years
we had the limitations that, they’re all off now pretty much, and there was a case, oh, I was long
since out of it, a case rather against what we were trying to do. It never got to the courts while I
was there, but it was a great deal in public opinion. It was more a public relations job of selling
the idea that this was the best way of handling a difficult problem
Apparently, television has not had the disastrous effect on gate that my clients said
it would have. It just didn’t have that effect. People loyally went out to see the home team play,
and so that probably, it may be that the thing was a mistake from start to finish to try to have
some kind of rules for it. What the alternative would have been was it would have been a lot of
money for a few schools, instead of more spread out. If you’re going to apply the antitrust laws
strictly to the educational system, why it may be that it was a mistake to try it. But we were quite
successful in holding onto the rules as long as we did. And I never really followed it after I got
more involved in other things.
Mr. Peck: I’m sure no one at that time had any idea of the kind of money
they’d be talking about.today.
Mr. Rauh: My God! Think of it! I imagine Notre Daine can finance not only
its athletics out of it but its education, too !
Mr. Peck: That’s right, that’s right.
Mr. Rauh: I’ve seen Father Hesburgh so much in the civil rights stuff, but I
don’t know that we ever, that he ever or I ever mentioned that period. He was obviously a most
attractive person, but they do have the most attractive people that they put into jobs like that. I
mean, he could have persuaded anybody of anything. So it was a real battle of advocacy. As
they say, in a sense you can say that we won during the period I was handling it, that we did
pretty well, even Notre Dame didn’t telecast except when they were put on the one network that
we sold the NCAA to. So in that 1 can claim a victory over Father Hesburgh, but I mean it as a
joke, because he is such a terrific persuader for anything he’s for.
Mr. Peck: Right. Well, it’s funny that you were on opposite sides then and i11
almost everything else, not. Also, around that time, wasn’t that when you represented A. Philip
Randolph in the case involving membership in the Railway Executives?
That was 1950.
Oh, it was earlier.
It was earlier. In 1950, I was representing really the Sleeping Car
Porters there for a while. It was 1941 when I wrote the executive order on the new war plants,
the discrimination in the new war plants, and I didn’t know Mr. Randolph. I was a young lawyer
in the Office for Emergency Management, and I got called in one day by my – I was Deputy
General Counsel of the Office for Emergency Management. Wayne Coy was the head of it; he
was a Presidential Assistant, and it was sort of a holding company of new groups that were trying
to get prepared for war and – have I told you this story?
I don’t think so.
Because if I have, I don’t, I don’t mean to repeat! I’m sure I do.
That’s all right – go ahead.
Well anyway, Wayne, when I got to the office about 9:00 one
morning – this is in June of 1941 – my secretary said, “Mr. Coy wants to see you right away. It’s
urgent.” So, his office was in a different building from where we were housed, and I ran over
there. And he said, “Can you write an executive order?” I said, “Anyone can write an executive
order. What do you want to put in it?” He said, “Well, there’s a guy named A Phillip Randolph
who is threatening the President with a march on Washington if he doesn’t get an executive order
ending discrimination in the new plants that are growing up for the war production.” And I said,
“Well, it so happens that this is a cinch” because I had worked on a similar problem a couple of
years ago.” We were going to have an executive order that anybody who violated the National
Labor Relations Act couldn’t bid on a government contract. You didn’t have to use the sanctions
of the NLRA, you could use, this was another sanction. We never got the order, but we kept
drafting, I mean, we had drafted the order. I said this is really quite a similar thing, only I think
easier, since you could order them to make tanks in a certain way, so you have the tanking order
and make it with certain people. So I didn’t think it was very hard.
Well, he seemed to be very relieved that we weren’t going to have a long legal
battle while the President is saying, and then he said, “Well, that’s all right, Joe. Go ahead, I need
the draft tomorrow morning. Go downstairs where the Budget Bureau is and they’ll give you all
the forms and everything.”
So I went out the door and just as I was shutting the door I heard him holler at me,
“Come back.” And he said, “Don’t forget the Poles.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said,
“The President’s had a couple of phone calls from Buffalo, where there’s a new plant. I don’t
know whether it was for ammunition or what, and they haven’t hired Poles. Discrimination
against Poles goes on there. The President said as long as he’s giving Randolph what he wants on
the blacks he might as well give – I guess, colored people was the way they would have said it
then – and so stick the Poles in.”
And a lot of historians have come to me and said where did you get “national
origin” from? Because, see, in the state laws that existed then, you used to say, “can’t
discriminate on race, creed or color,” and all I did was add national origin. They said where did
you get national origin from? I haven’t the vaguest, gosh-dam memory of where the words
national- where I got those words to stick in there. But the only thing I can say is, the only
place I think those words were at that time was in immigration statutes, so it may have been that I
had something in the back ofmy head from an immigration statute. I can’t be sure. But anyway,
I always use that example to show how the black thrust affected the rights of other people, that it
was here, the first time you ever had anything to stop discrimination against the ethnic minority,
immigrant minorities, came because A. Phillip Randolph was in there fighting like mad for his
Well, subsequently to that – well, that was ’41. In ’46, Mr. Randolph hired me to
bring suits to stop what was an agreement between the railroads and the lily-white union of
firemen to block the agreement which was that you couldn’t have a black fireman on a diesel
engine. You could have a black fireman on a coal engine, because that was dirty work, but a
diesel engine, all a fireman had to do was fiddle around with a few knobs and that was the job. It
really wasn’t a job because it could have been done by the engineer or anybody else, so it was
really featherbedding. But we fought, I mean, if there’s going to be featherbedding, we didn’t see
why the blacks, who historically had been firemen, shouldn’t have the jobs. So I was hired by
Mr. Randolph to do that and we brought suits in ’46-’47, in that period. We won them all. The
real brains in that suit were not mine, though, they were Charlie Houston’s, who had brought the
Steele case. You remember Steele, that they said this was state action, the union was state action
there, and so that Charlie Houston really was the father of that thing. We were the ones who
actually enforced Charlie Houston’s Steele case because Mr. Randolph put up the funds so we
could bring several suits and we did make these people the most privileged southern blacks
because they got the same wages, they got as they would for real work. So we had a class of
leisure, and when Mr. Randolph and· I used to· go south for meetings with these people, you’d
have thought Mr. Randolph was the Second Coming. They just worshiped the ground he walked
on. Of course, he was a great man. Well, then one day he says to me, how do I get into the
Railway Labor Executives? I said, “I don’t know a thing about it, maybe there’s some state action
there we can find.” So we filed a complaint, I think, with the Labor Department, and they
– decided to cave in. The Railway Labor Executives decided to cave in and let Randolph and the
Sleeping Car Porters in. Mr. Randolph called one morning and said they’re going to have a
meeting with me this evening, will you go with me? I said, “Gee, sure, I’d love to.” Well, the
Hamilton Hotel then on 14th and K, which is now a retirement home of some kind, it’s the
northeast corner of 14th and K, was sort of a labor hangout. So we went, we went to the room
we were assigned. It was a big parlor. And there were about 20 comfortable chairs in there, and
we walked in and nobody says anything, and nobody got up to greet Mr. Randolph, who was a
great man. The chairman of that was the head of the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks, George
Harrison, and he finally said, “Randolph, I’m glad you’re here.” And, you know, we’re looking
for a chair! And nobody got up. There were no chairs, and nobody offered to go in another room
and get even a bench to sit on. So Mr. Randolph and I were standing in a comer, and in another
side of the room is George Harrison, and the rest are all seated, all these rather, shall we say,
rotund labor executives. Well, it’s so embarrassing to be, for me, if I had been black I wouldn’t
have been so embarrassed, but I mean, I was so embarrassed for Mr. Randolph, this beautiful
figure, a well-spoken, dignified man.
So George Harrison says to Mr. Randolph, “I understand you want to get into the
Railway Labor Executives Association.” Randolph says, “Yes, I do, we do.” And Harrison says,
“Well, the fee for a year is so-and-so,” (and it was an astronomical amount of money for the
Sleeping Car Porters, who were a small union, I think, ·maybe 10,000 people, about that), and Mr.
Randolph says, “We will pay our share.” There may have been one other statement, and then Mr.
Harrison says, “Well, you’re now a member. Thank you and goodnight.” And we walked out!
We never did shake a single hand of anybody in that room We walked out, and we got on the
comer opposite the Hamilton, so it would be the northwest comer, and I said, “I don’t know about
you, sir – 11 He was so dignified. You didn’t call Phil, Randolph He was really a guy, I was
much younger and everything – I was 39, I guess – and Mr. Randolph was 60 or 70 – and so I
said, “I don’t know how you feel, sir, but I sure need a drink. 11 And he said, “Mr. Raw -R-A-W-
Mr. Rauh” – cause he never could get my name straight – “Mr. Rauh, where do you suggest we
go?” Well, this was 1950. And I said, “Well, sir, there are two places. We can go down to the
railroad station, because there was a recent case and they wouldn’t, if I make clear who you are,
they’ll serve us, or we can go to my house, where my wife will be honored to have you.” And he
said, “Mr. Rauh (Raw), we’ve just had a symbolic drink I bid you good night.” And he vanished
into the darkness. It was the most dignified thing you can imagine for this man to have really, he
thought it was undignified to come to my house as a way, because the reason being that we
couldn’t go to a normal place, and he thought it was undignified to go to the railroad station,
which was the only place in town. So that sort of bonded our friendship and we, I have a picture
of him on the wall there, it’s down below, see it’s right under the light switch That’s Mr.
Randolph on his 80th birthday. And so we had beautiful relationship for many years.
A terrible thing happened in later life. I represented a man named Sadlowski in an
effort to bring union democracy to the Steelworkers Union. He ran for president against the
machinery. Well, Bayard Rustin was a – oh, I don’t know what you’d call him for the
Steelworkers, maybe a consultant or what, and he helped the machinery of the Steelworkers
against us. And he issued a statement by Mr. Randolph, which was very ugly, about Sadlowski,
but about me, too, that Sadlowski’s lawyer was stirring up trouble in the labor movement. I
knew, by then, that Mr- Randolph was senile. Whether he had Alzheimer’s, the word wasn’t used
in those days. And I tried to get through to Mr. Randolph, but all the mail was not shown him or
if it was shown him he wouldn’t have been competent to deal with it. So in the end Mr.
Randolph hurt the cause I was espousing, but I’ve never thought of him as having done anything
wrong. He was sick by that time. But he was one of the greatest men I ever met. And the story
of the relationship is really that story.
Mr. Peck: Before we leave the 1950’s, in one of the profiles of you I saw a
description that was just put cryptically as “recurring battles with J. Edgar Hoover.” Maybe you
can fill in some of the blanks there.
Mr. Rauh: Well, let’s see, or try to … I think it’s 1950 … Max Lowenthal, a
New Dealer and a man obsessed against wiretapping, wrote a book about the FBI and Hoover. I
was opposed to wiretapping, I mean, I had all the usual ACLU complaints about Hoover. Indeed
I had given a talk in 1949, I believe it is, and I may be able to dig it out for you if you’d like to see
it, it was an attack on the FBI on civil liberties. Would you like to see it?
Mr. Peck: I would.
Mr. Rauh: Turn off the machine. [INTERRUPTION] What I just handed you
was a speech I made at the conference of what was then called the National Civil Liberties
Clearinghouse, I believe was the name of the group. It’s no longer in existence. It was an attack
on Hoover and the FBI. And Hoover’s reaction was not exactly what you’d call friendly. He bad
a guy named Lou Nichols who was his public relations guy, and Nichols went around town
attacking me. Drew Pearson picked it up and was about to run it when Phil Graham, who was
the local Drew Pearson outlet, called him up and told him he had rocks in his head to listen to
crap like Nichols was spreading about me. They killed the column. But the next year, what I
was coming to, why I remember this example – I think it was the next year, Max Lowenthal’s
book comes out. Well, you can’t believe this – it’s evidence of the real fear in Washington – that
The Washington Post couldn’t have me do a book review of that without having a pro-Hoover
book review. So one Sunday morning there is in what was the Outlook [section], or the
predecessor of it, there are two book reviews. One, Hoover’s the greatest man that’s ever lived,
and the other is mine. And I thought mine was rather moderate, it was sort of on the line that
Max Lowenthal had written the indictment, the question of the trial is still open, but I obviously
identified myself with Max. And all it was – it wasn’t even 9:00 when the phone rang. It was
Felix Frankfurter saying, “Joe, what a wonderful thing you did! You really nailed that swine
Hoover!” And I remember those words because that was a common word that Justice
Frankfurter used for people he didn’t like, and th?n of course I did remember that Frankfurter had
cross-examined Hoover at the Anderson case up in Boston, which was the case for the
deportation after the Pahner Red Raids. Hoover always claimed he wasn’t in the Palmer Red
Raids, but Felix always said he was, and that he cross-examined rum in the case. And I used to
tell reporters, for God’s sake; get that cross-examination! They would get the whole file of the
Anderson case up in Massachusetts, and it was missing. And history will never know what the
Frankfurter-Hoover thing was, except that Frankfurter said he murdered him, but I wasn’t there!
At any rate, during the day, a lot of people called. It was the big thing in Washington that day,
was these two reviews. And then I went to the football game. And I came home, and I said to
Olie, ‘Well, we’re out of the woods.” She said, “what do you mean?” I said, ‘Well, Hoover
couldn’t have done anything this afternoon because he was at the football game!” They
announced that the FBI chief was at the football game, so I said that was a great relief. So that’s
how dumb I was. At_ 12:00, when the Senate met, Mr. Hicken.looper, Bourke Hickenlooper of
Iowa, I think, got up and addressed the Senate on my wrongdoings. And it was some wild kind
of an address that he made about me, and all my FBI file and cases I had, the Remington case,
this case, that case – I’d represented the Polish Supply Mission in ’46 – all of it was true!
Everything was perfectly true! It was the adjectives that Hickenlooper added. So, those are two
examples of … and of course, in the loyalty program period, see, this was, we already had the
loyalty program in ’49 and ’50, when in my civil liberties speech, I always said that Hoover was
solely responsible for the fact that you had this system without the right to face your accuser. I
don’t say he was responsible for having a loyalty program, but Max Lowenthal was an advisor to
Truman, very close to Truman, and he pointed this out. And Truman really wanted – I believe
this – that Truman really wanted to have a face-the-accuser rule applied, but Hoover said he
wouldn’t, I mean! Hoover just threatened and it never was in fact. You could be thrown out
without facing your accuser, until there was a case in the, Green v. McElroy, let’s see if I can find
the date of that –
Mr. Rauh: The date of the case, it pretty much gave the right of confrontation,
is 1959. So that you had for that long period Hoover insisting that he would not safeguard the
United States ifhe had to give the names of people who came forward and gave him information.
So it was a running battle there and I finally got to argue that proposition in front of the Supreme
Court in 1959. There were two cases up there, and my case was declared moot. It was the
Taylor case. That was the same day as the other case, but I did get to argue the proposition in
front of the Supreme Court. That was made possible by the Peters case, which is the one that
Burger had argued because of Frankfurter. Thurman Arnold was trying to knock out, Thurman
Arnold and I were in a race to see which one was going to knock out the confrontation thing first,
and Thurman won. He was there in front of the Court in the Peters case, which is the one
[Simeon E.J Soboloff wouldn’t argue, and Frankfurter discovered a way not to decide the issue,
namely, that the loyalty initial board, the bottom board, had cleared Dr. Peters, and Frankfurter
says to Thunnan Arnold, “Well, you were cleared down below -why don’t you argue that there’s
no right of the government to appeal? They can’t appeal from a criminal case! This is just the
same, and if it doesn’t say in the executive order, the government can appeal a verdict ofloyalty,
why didn’t you argue that?” Arnold, with all the chutzpah in the world, says “Well, I don’t want
to win on any technical ground like that!” And Felix jams the paper down and shouts out, “We’ll
decide -the Court will decide which is that!”
Because they didn’t decide that case, I got a chance the year after that, I guess it
was, to argue the point in the Supreme Court, and the Court agreed with the petitioners in both of
the cases. So, I was fortunate in that regard. But there was a running battle with Hoover, and, oh
there were many things -Hoover wouldn’t-I tried to -Walter Reuther was going down to make
a big speech, and I tried to get him some protection, and Hoover just said no. I think it’s about
’49, my partner Levy and I went down to Tom Clark, the Attorney General, to ask for an
investigation of the Reuther shooting. Walter Reuther had been shot -this was ’48, I believe –
and God knows, we don’t know to this day who did it. I mean there are so many possibilities –
the communists, the employers, the Mob, because Walter had wiped out the numbers game in the
thing. So there were plenty of possibilities. And so I was asked by the UAW, I was one of their
lawyers, would I go down there. Herb Levy and I went down to see Tom Clark. We explained
the thing, told him what we thought was the grounds for federal jurisdiction, and Tom Clark,
very agreeable always, said he would take it up with J. Edgar Hoover and let us know the·next
day if we came back. So we went back the next day, and Tom looks at us and says, “Edgar says
no. He’s not going to go in every time some nigger woman claims she got raped.” Well, we
argued with him In essence he said, “Your argument’s not with me. It’s with J. Edgar.” So I’d
say we had rather a running battle, but wherever either of us was, the other one was on the
opposite side, and now Hoover’s getting his comeuppance, but he’s long gone. But the books are
coming out right and left about how bad he was.
Mr. Peck: Well, is there anytlring else that I haven’t covered from the 1950’s
that you want to talk about before we begin the ’60s?
Mr. Rauh: Well, I don’t think of it at the moment, but maybe you’ll see
something as you – I mean, if at any time you want to go back, I’m available for it, but I don’t –
my mind doesn’t work abstractly.
Mr. Peck: Okay. Well, you know, in 1960, another Presidential election.
You were a Humphrey supporter. I guess, by the time the convention occurred, you tried to urge
Humphrey to throw in with Kennedy, become the Vice President, but at some point you were
physically blocked and actually punched by one of Humphrey’s aides to prevent you from getting
Mr. Rauh: That’s substantially accurate. My friendship with Hubert really
started in 1947, when we formed the ADA I met him in March of that year, ’47. We had a
Midwestern conference and he was the keynote speaker. I just fell in love with him He was
persuasive, caring; he also liked to have a good time. The first time we ever really had a talk was
at a bar in the hotel where the meeting was, but this was after the meeting was over, we spent a
few hours there, talkmg. He was absolutely, I thought, wonderful, and then he was very active in
the ADA We worked together in the ’48 convention to get the minority civil rights plank. I
always hoped that one day Hubert would be President.
There was real friction inside the Humphrey camp between those, I’d say, largely
ADA-ers who wanted Hubert always to be the liberal leader and those who really wanted him to
become much more middle of the road. I think there was good faith on both sides, that they
thought that was a better way to get elected than we did, but there was some bitterness. At any
rate, Hubert’s way of handling that was to put a group together of those who believed he should
moderate and those who didn’t. So we had a task force of maybe five, six, seven, eight people.
We’d meet and talk, and it was rather a bitter battle that went on there. But in early ’59, Hubert
said he was going to run, he was going to run as an all-out hberal and in fact, he did. We were
out in Wisconsin in March, I think the primary was there. And Kennedy beat us badly. It hurt
everybody, because Hubert was almost the third senator from Wisconsin. They didn’t have any
Democrat, and Hubert was on their border there in Minnesota. The labor people in Wisconsin
you’d have thought just would go all out for Hubert, but the Auto Workers in Racine, and all
these different big plants, they went their religion, not their geography. They were largely
Catholic. I’ll never forget the meeting we had after the returns were in. It was about one in the
morning, and it went on for a couple of hours. The question was whether Hubert was going to
pull out that night or go on to West Virginia. He decided to go on, I don’t know, I was so mixed
up I couldn’t tell you which way I thought – we had no money, we had nothing, and here is the
smooth Kennedy machine, and it just was, we didn’t know. Well, Hubert decided to go on, and
so I said to him- there must have been 25-30 people in the room there – I said, “Well, Hubert,
don’t you think we better arrange for your homecoming to Washington tomorrow, because we
don’t want to walk in as defeated people, we want to walk in as people cheering on to West
Virginia.” Well, somehow I was able to get back from Milwaukee to Washington in the next few
hours and I didn’t go to bed and we had a rally at the airport when he came in and we went on to
West Virginia. By this- time, there were real differences in our campaign. A lot of the people
that came in for Hubert really were for Lyndon, and when we went into West Virginia we had
Bobby Byrd was on our side because he was for Johnson, and we had, it was a pretty mixed
crowd by the time we were in West Virginia. Well, the Kennedy performance in West Virginia
was nothing short of brilliant. What they did was to convince the people of West Virginia if you
voted for Humphrey you were a Protestant, anti-Catholic bigot. And so if you wanted to show
you were an honorable, non-discriminating American, you had to vote for a Catholic in that
Protestant state. And it worked.
When we were in Humphrey’s suite that night watching the returns, it got to be
clear that we had lost. I remember going to the headquarters at about eight o’clock and there, we
had a big blackboard, standing next to Hubert and watching him watch it, it was like torture
because it was 60-40 against us in a Protestant state, and you couldn’t believe it. Then we went
back to the hotel. Our crowd, the ADA part of it – Jim Loeb and Marvin Rosenberg and I –
wanted Hubert to pull out in favor of Kennedy and go for the Vice Presidency. A number of
others didn’t want him to pull out – they wanted to use their leverage for Johnson. And it was a
real battle, and Hubert sided with us. And Jim Loeb was at the typewriter and wrote the – he
was the first director of the ADA and he wrote the concession statement. It was a very nice
statement. Well, I got on the telephone to Kennedy’s headquarters and read it to Bobby, and he
couldn’t have been more delighted with it. He was, of course, the enemy. Everybody in our
camp hated him – he was a tough guy. At any rate, that was one of the few battles we won in that
campaign was to have Hubert be gracious to the Kennedys because we really hoped he’d be Vice
A few minutes later, we were watching television and there must have been 50
people in the suite and the telephone rings from down below. And I’m standing next to it then, so
I picked it up, and the hotel clerk says “Mr. Kennedy is on the way up.” So I simply announced
that. Of course, everybody thought it was Jack. Only I look and there’s Jack live on television.
So I knew this was going to be Bobby and I knew how much everybody in that room hated his
guts. I didn’t know ·what was going to happen. The door opens and Bobby walks in and it’s like
the Red Sea parting, because Hubert and Muriel were at the other end of the room – and Bobby
walks down this new corridor that’s been made and I couldn’t tell – Muriel hated him more than
anybody else, I think – and he leans in and gives Muriel a kiss. And I didn’t know if she was
going to sock him or what. God, it was awful. Anyway, the tension finally broke and Bobby
asked ifwe wouldn’t, if Hubert and a few of his top aides there wouldn’t come over to their
headquarters. So we did, and Hubert was very nice with Jack that night and Jack was very nice
with all of us. There wasn’t too much hard feeling. The show was over, but going back on the
plane the next day, Hubert opened his heart to Mary McGrory that he hadn’t been able to keep his
people together, that he hadn’t done a good job.
Those of us who wanted Hubert really to be President tried to get him the Vice
Presidency and we kept at it. I thought I had Hubert’s ear, that he was willing to do it. But I
think I was wrong. I think that Lutheran base all around there – there was a real anti-Catholic
feeling, and Hubert wasn’t going to be the Vice President on that ticket. I didn’t know all that at
the time. I kept in good touch with Sorensen and Feldman – they were really the two top staff
people. I was for Kennedy, and we went to the convention. We had won the primary here
[D.C.J, the Humphrey crowd had won the primary so we were all delegates. I was there and the
Vice Presidency had not been agreed upon yet. On June 10th, about, there was a fundraiser for
George McGovern for Senate from South Dakota and when Kennedy finished speaking, he
,· motioned to me to come outside with him I did. He said, “Will you ride back to the Capitol
with me?” I said, “Certainly, if you want.” On the way he said, “Your friend Jinnny Wechsler is
going to kill my chances to be President of the United States tomorrow by printing a story that I
am not physically able to be President because of this disease and that … ” and he gave me a
long medical thing that I didn’t fully understand. It was obvious he was asking me for help with
Jimmy, who was one of my best friends. I said I would call Jimmy, and I said, ”Will you just
give me enough now, repeat enough ·so that I know what I should say, so I can simply tell this to
Jimmy and say will you take another look at the story before it goes out.” Well, he did and we
were getting fairly close to the Capitol by now. And it was silent for a minute. I said, “Well,
since I’m going to do this, and since I’m for you, do you trunk I’m entitled to know your intentions
on the Vice Presidency? I’ve told you many times I’m for Hubert. What is your intention?” And
he said – I wrote this down, it’s in my book in the hbrary. I wrote it down because it was not an
unimportant statement for a guy who was going to be the nominee – he said, “Joe, it will be
either Hubert Humphrey or another Midwestern hberal.” In my opinion, he was thinking of
Orville Freeman at that moment, and Orville trunks so, too. Orville may someday write bis book,
almost to the nomination or something; it would have been almost to the Presidency. At any rate,
I thought that was a fine answer. So I reported that to Hubert, of course. And I thought that
when he came out there to the convention he was really going to, there was a chance he would be
the Vice President.
Well, I had some reason for wanting to see him to report something. And I went
to the hotel headquarters where he was and I felt something in the air was – there was something
wrong. I couldn’t tell what it was, but I wasn’t what you’d call greeted as the loyal aide. There
was a sort of snickering in the air, and they said they didn’t know where he was. Well, I decided
to just, I left, and I was walking down the hall and I heard him And I thought I was welcome, so
I knocked on the door, and a fellow – Pat O’Connor – came to the door, and, I was just not
thinking, I just sort of wa1ked by him to go in the door. I didn’t think there was anything wrong
with that. And I said – and then he did swing at me and I said, “what’s going on?” I had a
briefcase and I put it down. I was about to fight when another door opens, and it’s Jim Rowe
looking at that door and then slamming it shut and then he went in the other door and slammed it
shut. So I just wa1ked away. I didn’t, there was no fight, there was one blow struck – and I
walked away and I couldn’t figure it and then I said oh my God, Johnson’s in that room And of
course that’s the way it was. Hubert came out for Stevenson and thereby ended any Vice
Presidential ambitions. It was then down to I guess Freeman or Johnson, and he took Johnson
and you know how the story goes – I did say in front of 40 million people that there was a
double-cross which, if you believe my meeting, it was, he said to me it was between Hubert or
another Midwestern liberal. It was. I guess that’s the story.
Mr. Peck: Right. Well, in his discussion with Johnson, Humphrey made the
deal to support Stevenson on the first ballot and then if there were subsequent ballots he would
throw support to Johnson, wasn’t that it?
Mr. Raub: I can’t answer that. I mean, I wasn’t in on it then. With Hubert for
Stevenson and I was really working with Kennedy people. I was on the drafting connnittee of the
platform committee, and we were just, they just gave us Bobby Kennedy’s orders were to the
platform committee, what’s his name, Chet Bowles was the chainnan, to give the civil rights
movement what it wants on this platform, so I really wasn’t in on the – . Once Hubert had
declared for Stevenson, it ended any chance of his being Vice President, I don’t think I saw him
again at the convention. So I really don’t know what the deal was ever. I do know that
Humphrey and Johnson were in the room when this event that I described occurred. That’s the
last I knew of the thing.
Well, Hubert, we made up and we were friends again and we were friends in ’64
with the Freedom party and I would say that Hubert acted much nicer than his assistants did
about the Freedom party thing. I would say that his conduct on that was as fine a political act as
ever happened in my lifetime. I went to see him every night before I went to bed at the
convention and always said, “Hubert, you gotta give us some more! You can’t, you gotta give
more!” And he’d say, “Joe this – “and we argued a bit. He never once said, “Look, Joe, go
ahead and let me have it. I’ll be the Vice President. Sometime I can help you.” He wasn’t within
a mile of saying anything like that. I just thought it was a beautiful thing that he didn’t. There
was some ugliness with his associates who said I was keeping him from being Vice President by
standing with the Freedom party. The time was for them to cave in, and so forth I said we never
will and there has been an historical dispute about what, whether we won or lost. I think history
will someday make perfectly clear there was a great victory and that’s one of the reasons why
you’ve got the ’64, ’65 and ’68 laws. But Hubert’s conduct there I thought was, in fact, I had have
many fights with the Humphrey people. I never had a fight, really, with Hubert. I just have the
highest respect for him We did disagree during the war period there from ’64 to ’68. But, I think
Hubert’s heart was with us even while he was so scared of Johnson, he did some things that he
shouldn’t have. He was a beautiful human being.
Mr. Peck: Before we leave the ’60 convention, you considered trying to do
some sort of floor fight over the Vice Presidency. You chose not to do that.
Mr. Rauh: Well, it was ridiculous. If you think we made fools of ourselves,
you’d have thought we made real fools of ourselves if we had gone any farther. I’ll tell how we
were saved. They were having a roll call for nominations, and Hubert was nominated, I can’t
remember which state yielded to who – now wait a minute, I want to get this right. Johnson was
nominated by, I can’t remember, I guess Texas probably did it, although I don’t remember it
exactly. When we got to Massachusetts, John McCormick moved – and it took two-thirds – that
we suspend the rules and nominate Johnson by acclamation. That saved us because it passed, so
there never really was any effort to nominate somebody against Johnson. We were opposed to
Johnson, but I don’t remember anybody saying, “Well, let’s run X,” because I don’t know where
you’d have got X from You couldn’t run Humphrey anymore, that would have been a negative, I
mean, you couldn’t. I think, like Buchanan, it was a protest vote. It wasn’t even a vote. It was a
protest noise that we were making, but I’m telling you that it would have been going in a cage
with a lion for us to really put anybody up. Who could you put up? There wasn’t anybody there
that was going to stand up and oppose Johnson. So there was never any real fight. There was
temble disappointment, and a lot of the liberals were quite angry because we had always
promised them that it wouldn’t be Johnson, but there it was.
Mr. Peck: Well, also in 1960, you had two D.C. Circuit cases. One was
Porter v. Herter, 278 F.2d 873 (D.C. 1960), and the other was Shelton v. United States 280 F.2d
701 (D.C. Cir. 1960).
Mr. Rauh: Porter v. Herter was a good case. Charlie Porter was a radical
from Oregon, Eugene, Oregon. Lovely guy. And he wanted to go to China Of course, the rules
were you couldn’t get a passport to go to China. So we brought suit and there just wasn’t any
substantial – I really thought we had a chance of winning it m the Supreme Court, whether you
won in a court of appeals was who your panel was, I mean, we were still in the stage where you
got the right panel, you can still win a pretty far out case like the Schachtman thing and so forth.
Do you remember who our panel was?
I didn’t write it down, but I –
Because I can’t remember it.