Joseph Rauh Text of Interview (July 3, 1992)Catherine Nugent2022-04-28T11:23:49-04:00
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Oral History of Joseph L. Raub, Jr.
Conducted by Robert S. Peck
July 3, 1992 [Side A]
We are going back from where we had reached at this point. The
Alvarez-Machain case caused us to talk a little bit about kidnapping and that reminded you about
the kidnapping of the Rosenbergs.
Mr. Rauh: Well, what I remember is this. At some time on or about the
Rosenberg case, which I think itself was 1950 something –
Mr. Peck: Early 50’s.
Mr. Rauh: Early 50’s when Mrs. Sobel asked to see me. Sobel was the third
person in the Rosenberg case with the two, Julius and Ethel. I can’t remember if this was before
or after his death That’s a matter of public record. After the Rosenbergs were executed, she said
that they had been in Mexico and were kidnapped. I thought that was an outrage. I didn’t think
of it in the terms of the law, that there was an extradition treaty. I thought it was just terms of
outrage that if somebody was outside your jurisdiction, to go and get them physically. I said to
Mrs. Sobel, I’m not without interest in this. I think this ought to be stopped. Obviously, other
lawyers had already suggested that a motion should be made to quash the indictment in this
country or quash whatever proceedings were in this country because of Sobel’s being kidnapped.
I said, “Why don’t you start at the beginning and tell me why you had to flee to Mexico, and what
happened there.” She didn’t want to tell me why they went. I’ve had in my life very often
approaches by people who wanted the fact that you were a civil liberties lawyer or anticommunist,
I’ve been in on starting the Americans for Democratic Action, they always wanted
some part of your public record, but they didn’t want to give you the facts. This has happened to
me a great many times. They really didn’t trust you. They didn’t trust you the way they would
some person. The Communists generally wouldn’t trust you because you were anti-Communist
publicly. Very often people didn’t trust you just because they thought you’d think they were
guilty and wouldn’t put your heart into it. At any rate, I never saw Mrs. Sobel since I insisted on
getting the facts.
Mr. Peck: When we left off last time, we had reached 1980, and one of the
cases that you had in the D.C. Circuit at that time was the Wimpisinger v. Watson case, involving
the Kennedy supporters’ challenge to President Carter’s use of federal monies to promote bis
I remember that very well. This was in 1980?
I was for John Andersen at that time. I guess that’s what interested
me was that Carter was using bis position as President to help with the election, not that I am so
naive that I think that’s unusual. Certainly, it’s being followed up right now. I didn’t think it was
right, and we went through an awful lot – it was mostly newspaper stuff — we didn’t have any
great research capacity. John Andersen didn’t have any money. There was no research It was
newspaper stuff. I guess we had a couple of volunteers reading newspapers, and we put the
complaint together. I still think there was more to the complaint than the courts gave us. On the
other hand, I would be the first to admit that if there was ever the perfect what you’d call political
case – and I didn’t know then and I don’t know now whether there really is a bar to the courts
taking political cases – it seemed to me that they took them when they felt it was tembly
important and didn’t take them when they were so politicized as was this effort to stop Carter
from spending money, money that was duly appropriated. The mere fact was that his purpose
was to get some vo?es .. I remember we had the different Secretaries who were spending the
money and who also on occasion, I think the complaint does show, often in doing it were not
very good at biding their motivations. We had some political motivations stated, and we thought
that that was enough I can’t remember who the district judge was, but I thought maybe it was
Mr. Peck: I don’t have that down.
Mr. Rauh: It doesn’t matter. We didn’t get anywhere. We didn’t get anywhere
with the court of appeals. We didn’t get anywhere on certiorari. It was a failure. I think that the
political doctrine cases are so mixed up that you never know what the court is going to do. I
think it depends in part on how they feel about the President. In 19-, I can’t remember when it
was, but I think we probably discussed the case where we asked for equal time against [Lyndon]
Johnson for Gene McCarthy. Did we discuss that case?
Mr. Peck: I think we did.
Mr. Rauh: We probably did. There you had two judges I think ruled for me
who hated the war, and one judge ruled the other way because be thought the war was necessary.
That was Judge Fahy. On this political doctrine stuff there’s an awful lot of the result oriented
from how you felt about the President, and we got beat in this case. I never bad any great
bitterness over it. It just seemed to me it was worth the shot.
Mr. Peck: Right, that was 1968, McCarthy v. FCC.
Mr. Rauh: That’s right. I mention that as another thing that was really decided
on how you felt about Johnson and his war.
Mr. Peck: You started out the year as a Kennedy supporter and when
Kennedy failed to wrest the nomination away from Carter, that’s when you made your decision
when Andersen announced bis independent candidacy. Now, this is the first time, I think, that
you’ve not supported the Democratic candidate.
Mr. Rauh: There’s no question about that. I just thought something was
wrong in nominating a man because he had won the primaries when there had been so much
change since the primaries, including, especially, that Kennedy had entered the race. I certainly
admitted then to myself that Kennedy had not been the candidate that the polls showed he was
going to be. If we had won the motion at the convention that people were free to vote their
consciences at the convention months after they had been elected, I think Kennedy would_ have
probably won. We lost that, without any great thought, we lost it on the simple ground that
everybody who had been elected for Carter voted against the motion, and everybody who was
elected for Kennedy voted for the motion. There wasn’t any real discussion of to what extent is
this a fluid situation, where there is a change because of the change in our politics because of the
issue, namely the war, and because of the new person who felt he wasn’t exactly new but he
hadn’t been a challenge to an incumbent which in our second term philosophy was very unusual.
Yet the polls had showed that he was a candidate that lots of people wanted. I didn’t like the
situation where you were, I thought, going down to defeat with a man who wasn’t the choice that
moment of the party and who I had spoken against so often. I thought the Americans for
Democratic Action were just going through the motions when they supported him because God
knows the ADA day-in-and-day-out berated Carter. It seemed if you were going to berate him
day-in-and-day-out, the right answer was neutrality. Actually, I didn’t propose at the ADA
meeting endorsement of John Andersen. I simply said, “How can you endorse the man you_have
berated everyday for so long? The best thing to do is to simply tell the truth. There is no
candidate who totally meets our standards.” I lost that. It was much closer at the ADA meeting
than peQPle now remember. We did lose Arthur Schlesinger, and I- did lose that argument. Bill
·winpsinger· was with us. We had a lot of support there, but we didn’t urge that we do this – no
endorsement – because we thought that we could endorse John Andersen. We simply thought an
organizational act ought to be somewhat consistent with the organizational position. We didn’t
win that, so they went ahead, and then Arthur and I made very clear that we were not using our
ADA connections, of which we were maybe the leaders, but we did feel that personally we would
prefer to vote for the protest – not often that you trunk a protest vote makes any sense. In this
instance I thought a protest vote did make sense, because I thought Carter was going to be beat
anyway. It was perfectly clear that John Andersen did not cost Carter the election. I guess as I
look back I’m somewhat proud of that because I think the degree of hostility that I would have
gotten in this world may be more than my body can take. Anyway I’ve never thought that
through. I do know that Reagan won as Reagan, not because of John Andersen.
Mr. Peck: The election must have been extremely disappointing to you,
especially with bringing in a Republican Senate with him
Mr. Rauh: Not only was it disappointing, but it has taught me the absolute
hopelessness of third parties and made me think that Perot is going to fizzle before long. If I had
to bet today, I’ll put this prediction on the record: Perot’s not going to get any electoral votes and
it’s not going to the Congress.
Mr. Peck: In 1981, this was after Reagan had already taken office, you told
the National Law Journal in an interview that “Liberalism has won and the welfare state is here
to stay.” It seems pretty clear that the welfare state is here to stay. The question that remains is:
Has liberalism really won?
Mr. Rauh: If you say welfare state is the creation of liberalism, which I
believe, then the answer is: “Yes.” · I meant that as a conjunctive thought, that hoeralism
produced the welfare state – the New Deal, and that the welfare state is here to stay, so that was a
great victory of liberalism If you say that the country is today, or was then in ’81, less h”beral
because they elected Reagan, I wouldn’t argue with that proposition. I believe in the welfare
state. I believe in democracy as the best form of government. Capitalism helps protect
democracy and therefore what has to be, and the only way we can protect democracy is through
the welfare state. l said practically that at Phil Stern’s Quaker memorial the day before yesterday
in praising Phil. I said that I thought those in a capitalist society, especially those of wealth, who
forsake polo, jet setting, and I added something that’s always galled me – that Tangier who went
to the Tangier party of Forbes – that those who forsake that wealth such as Phil were serving the
welfare state, and that that’s a very important thing. I guess I’m devoted to the welfare state
beyond everything, and I thought that was h”beralism’s victory in the Roosevelt period, and why I
guess I am still a New Dealer without any regrets.
Mr. Peck: In 1981, you were up in the D.C. Circuit again. This time it was
also out of something from the 1980 election- the FEC had investigated the Machinists’ nonpartisan
coalition. You were defending them against the FCC, claiming that it had no
jurisdiction to investigate, and you won.
Mr. Rauh: Yes, that was Pat Wald’s decision, I think. We were successful.
On attorney-client privilege, I can’t talk about the facts of that election, whether it was in fact as
pure a draft – . I have no public view on that. I thought the best defense was that there was no
:· jurisdiction in the FEC. We had some pretty heated depositions over there, and my clients were
not what you called pliant people. I don’t know if you can picture Bill Vlinpsingec at a
deposition, but he does not take questions that are hostile lightly. I would sit there and I’d object,
and they’d put the question on the record, and we’d go outside, and I say, “Bill, you’d better
answer it, it’s better to answer it.” “Oh, it’s an insult, this whole thing’s an insult.” I said, “Well,
we’ll win ultimately. There’s nothing you can do. They have the right to a deposition.” The case
was a lot of fun; in that sense, we won. I don’t think they went for cert, did they, the Government
go for cert?
Mr. Peck: They didn’t.
Mr. Rauh: I have no recollection of they’re going for cert. That was quite a
victory. I don’t know, is that still a law? I don’t follow these things – I’m unable really to follow
most of the cases I’ve been in on what the law is today. I don’t know on that subject.
Mr. Peck: Now actually it falls under the category of whether this amounts to
express advocacy, and there was a case involving one of the Right-to-Life corrnnittees up in
Massachusetts in which they were involved in advocating that certain candidates were on their
side of the issue and others weren’t. The question was whether this transformed them into a
campaign committee. They won. As a matter of fact to this day – this was I think in ’86 – the
FEC is still trying to come up with regulations that allow express advocacy but still, when they’ve
stepped over the line and established essentially a campaign corrnnittee, that they’ve become part
of the FEC’s jurisdiction. Indeed, it is still the case. The next case I have is the 1983 decision in
Adams v. Bell. Tiris was an en bane decision, where Wilkey wrote the decision and the dissenters
were Wright, Robinson, Wald and Mikva, having to do with enforcement of Title VIl against
North Carolina’s Higher Education System Eventually that was settled.
Mr. Rauh: What I remember is that there were two cases, an appeal to the
Court of Appeals here and a case in the District Court in Raleigh-Durham brought by the
University of North Carolina to restrain the Government from withdrawing funds. I can’t
remember the exact relationship of those two cases. I know I went to North Carolina and tried to
intervene in the case there. The judge denied that effort. I can’t quite remember the time and
sequence of the two cases and what happened.
This much I do remember of what happened. I get a call one morning in the
office. I was there early. I was the first person there and I took the call. I answered the phone
and the man said, “Would you like to see a letter from Secretary Bell saying that he doesn’t
believe in what he has do in the Adams case?” I said, “Of course, I’d like to see that.” He said,
“Well, I can’t show it to you, but I’ll read you a couple of paragraphs.” And he read them Then,
he sort of thought he had done his job. I said, “You haven’t done anything.” I said, “I wouldn’t
possibly consider repeating what you have said, not knowing who you are or what your
credentials are.” I said, “I’m going to forget this whole thing, unless I get the letter.” “Well, I
couldn’t do that.” “So,” I said, “All right.” “Don’t,” I said, “I didn’t start this conversation, you
did.” “If you want to slip me the letter, I’ll take it.” He called – he said, “I don’t know.” The next
morning I came in, and the letter was on the floor through the transom The letter said exactly
what he said it said. So, I called up Roger Willcins, who was then working for the Star, and said,
“Do you want this letter?” Oh, boy. The last edition of the Star has the story on that letter.
That’s the day they went out of business. The front page was going out of business, and we were
the lead story on the second page written by Roger Wilkins on that. So, that I do remember. I
remember an argument. We got four votes.
Mr. Peck: Yes.
Mr. Rauh: We didn’t get Ginsburg, and there was somebody else I guess we
didn’t get that we could have won 6-5 or 7-4. I do remember that case. I’m now confused on the
confluence of the two cases.
Mr. Peck: The next thing I have down here is the representation of John
Jenrette in the Abscam investigation. He was convicted in ’83, and that was confirmed by the
D.C. Circuit in ’84, and cert denied in ’85 by the Supreme Court. How did you come to represent
Mr. Rauh: I was shocked by the Abscam cases. I still am shocked by the
Abscam cases. I am quite upset by the Abscam cases. I find in those cases dangerous situations
of FBI setup for Congressmen. With people as dangerous as Hoover, I was just terribly upset.
Jenrette had a criminal lawyer, I guess a perfectly good criminal lawyer, but I don’t know that he
had the constitutional background that I had. I think he went to Dan Pollitt, who had represented
Frank Thompson. Dan came to me and said, “I didn’t have any luck with Thompson. I was just
as shocked by it as you are. Would you do this with me?” I said, “Yes.” We really took over
pretty much handling it because of several things. One is, Dan is the most lovely man that ever
lived, but he can’t think anybody that he likes ever did anything wrong. In fact, I have written in
the North Carolina Law Review that’s coming out in September, there’s a memorial to Dan – not
a memorial – he’s alive, but I mean he’s retiring, and I’ve written in there a piece about Dail in
which I say that he wouldn’t have been satisfied in the Thompson case unless he got him the
Nobel Peace Prize. Anyway we took it pretty much over, stated the facts in Jenrette’s case very
clearly. The FBI had nothing to go on when they went after him We made our pitch I think it’s
one of the best briefs I ever worked on. My problem with it is that it was hopeless, because they
had denied so many certs by then. We were last. It was hopeless. I am very proud of that brief
and very sad that I couldn’t even get Bill Brennan to go and dissent, or Thurgood Marshall, or
anyone else. I’ve thought often about the fact we couldn’t get dissents. It could be one of many
reasons. First, I don’t think they like to dissent on cert. It’s only in extreme cases. I kept telling
them this is an extreme case. That was one possibility. They don’t like to dissent from cert.
Secondly, I thought they may not have wanted cert. They may have felt that the Court by then
was narrowed to a stage where they might have had an affinnance.
Mr. Rauh: I don’t know whether it was either of those reasons. If I ever do, I’ll
Mr. Peck: The next event that I have in here, in which you were heavily
involved, is when Rehnquist was nominated to become Chief Justice in ’86. You worked hard to
try to convince the Senate to look at that much more seriously than they ended up doing.
Mr. Rauh: That’s correct. If I had any contnbution there, it was helping to
prove that Rehnquist did not tell the truth in his earlier hearing. I worked on that. I think
[Senator] Howard Metzenbaum knew I had, because he asked me a leading question on the
veracity of the earlier testimony. I told him, “No, there were two instances in the earlier
testimony where Rehnquist did not tell the truth. First, of course, was about the Jackson
memorandum which Rehnquist had written in which Rehnquist said that he came out for Plessy
against Ferguson because Jackson had asked him to write the best argument for corning out for
Plessy against Ferguson and it was not his view. That is not true. An affidavit from the secretary
that that had never happened – there is a footnote in Simple Justice by Kugler that makes hash of
that argument. There have been several more recent statements to that effect. I think I helped
straighten that out in the testimony and through the secretary’s affidavit. I have no doubt that that
was Rehnquist’s memorandum for himself. Secondly, there was the event in Phoenix of trying to
keep blacks from voting. I remember discussing the problem of getting someone currently, and I
don’t remember all the details but the Assistant U.S. Attorney at that time in Phoenix showed up.
Can you help me with the naine?
Mr. Peck: I don’t remember –
Mr. Rauh: James – well, it’s right there in the hearing there. He was a big San
Mr. Peck: James Brasnahan.
Mr. Rauh: James Brasnahan. Thank you. Jim and I became overnight
friends. We discussed the testimony. He got on the stand. He was magnificent. His memory
was clear, exactly what he saw. I guess it was either, Secretary of the Senate from Utah, on the
Judiciary Committee –
It must have been Steve Markman, then.
No, this is the Senator.
Mr. Peck: Senator Hatch
Mr. Rauh: Hatch or someone, probably Hatch, asked him why he came and all
that as though he had volunteered. I remember bis answer because it was so credible. He said, “I
didn’t volunteer. I’m here under request of the Committee that has a right to my testimony” He
said, “Today’s Friday, and I always have lunch on Friday at Jack’s Restaurant in San Francisco,
and I wish I were there.” Brasnahan was so obviously a credible witness that you could not not
believe him You had two counts there that went to the veracity. It’s sad thing for me who
started in this city pretty much as a law clerk to two such honorable people as Cardozo and
Frankfurter to realize that the Chief Justice of that Court didn’t tell the truth when he testified on
his own behalf when he was appointed and who later reaffirmed the mistakes he had made
earlier. I feel blue about that for our country. I thought that couldn’t happen here. I think
Metzenbaum and the others who fought against it were right, that there’s something disconcerting
about having such a man as Chief Justice. Are you going to bring up Scalia?
Mr. Peck: No.
Mr. Rauh: O.K. I want to make sure we didn’t forget it.
Mr. Peck: Right. Right. Well, why don’t we go right to it, now.
Mr. Rauh: I testified and made a point that it didn’t seem to have much
viability that there was no vacancy for Scalia until Rehnquist was approved or not approved. If
he was not approved, there was no vacancy. This was rejected. They went right from the
Rehnquist hearings to the Scalia hearings. People were exhausted. I was exhausted. A lot of
people didn’t testify who had planned to testify. I remember one lady from one of the women’s
organizations. I got angry with her. I said, “You’re not going to testify?” She said, “No, I’m
tired.” That was the general thing. Eme Smee! of NOW and I and someone else did testify, but
the heart was out of the fight after the Rehnquist hearings, and it was clear that they were going
to confirm. The heart went out of the fight. I did testify. We were all still exhausted, and Scalia
really rode in on Rehnquist’s shoulders.
Mr. Peck: You know Rehnquist had what was the closest vote in modern
history for his confirmation as Chief Justice, but Scalia sailed in with only a couple of votes
Mr. Rauh: There was just nothing left after the Rehnquist Chief Justice
hearing. I thought you had to testify against him. I dragged myself in there. We only had a few
hours notice we were going on. I remember Ellie Smeel and I and a third person – must be in
there – trying to change our notes and everything we had to for the five-minute thing – and then
we presented our thing in writing. We did have five minutes, I think. He went through without
Mr. Peck: Did this process t??ch you anything that you used the following
year in fighting the Bork nomination?
Mr. Rauh: Yes. You see I was sick in January and :february of 1987. I almost
croaked. I had a hip operation and that went fine, but then I had three days later in the hospital a
heart attack, internal bleeding, and I did have a close call. I get out of my sick bed to receive an
award – well, I was recovering still when I accepted an award in May or June from the Alliance
for Justice. They had a big luncheon and … spoke and I responded. I said, “Lewis Po.well is
going to resign at the end of this term, and you’d better get your act in order against Hatch.”
Everybody said you know Joe’s pretty close to over the hill. He hasn’t any basis for that. They’d
say, “What’s your basis on Powell?” I said, “The fact that the Administration persuaded Burger
as a good Republican to give up the Chief Justicesbip so the Republicans would have the choice.
They are going to persuade Powell. Two things happened. One, I was right as could be on
Powell, and I was wrong on Hatch I was wrong on Hatch because I didn’t know something. I
had been in the hospital in intensive care when they raised the salaries, so I didn’t realize that the
Constitution prevented Hatch from having it. The minute Powell resigned, I think everybody
knew it was Bork. There was no argument on who the next one would be. I felt a strong
inclination to get in the fight, and my wrre has always said that the Bork nomination was the
adrenaline that made me well. I worked on that Bork case. I think at first [Anthony] Kennedy
appeared as bad as Bork, but if you’re here today on the 3rd of July, one gets the feeling that
Kennedy was better than Bork, although he has had some terrible decisions, too.
What we learned from earlier battles was you have to have a bigger fight Lhan
inside the beltway. The Leadership Conference raised a lot of money, had a grassroots operation
going, working on Senators. People for the American Way had lots of television and radio and
publicity generally. It was a fight that had to be won not only inside the beltway but had a great
deal outside the beltway through the grassroots. I still think there was one factor that was more
important than the grassroots, than the testimony inside the beltway, and that was the 1986
election. I think the blacks coming in and helping the Democrats take the Senate back was
probably the number one factor in winning that particular fight. The way I sometimes put it in
writing is that Martin Luther King reached up from the grave and beat Bork with the Southern
Democrats who had been elected in ’86 with the blacks who had been registered by the ’65
Voting Rights Law.
Mr. Peck: Did you think when Bork was first nominated that you’d be
Mr. Rauh: I’ve trained myself to believe what I want to believe in that kind of
a fight. When we beat Haynesworth, and Nixon in a pique set up Carswell, I knew we had to
beat Carswell or we’d be laughingstock, because Carswell was worse than Haynesworth.
Haynesworth was a very wrong judge on labor, civil rights and ethics, but Carswell made him
look like Abraham Lincoln. So, I knew we had to fight. Everybody said, “You can’t do it,
twice.” Well, that was a time I guess I had my belief that you had to think you were going to win
because the press was so awful. They said, “Joe, you don’t have any votes. Tell me a vote you
got.” Well, we didn’t have any votes at that time. They said, “You still think you’re going to
win?” And, I said, “Yes.” That could be called dissembling, but on the other hand, I think you
have to believe in that kind of a thing. Suppose I had said, “No, we don’t have any votes.” The
fight would have been over. After all, I did get permission to come out in front of the ADA I
think the day afterwards against him, and that forced other people out, and we did finally build
up a situation. I guess I’m not exactly clear in my own mind what I mean, but I think I mean that
you have to train yourself when you’re going into a fight like that to believe in yourself and
therefore you never really consider whether you think you have a chance. You just start arguing
you have a chance, and that makes you think you have a chance.
Douglas Ginsburg is –
What was your reaction then after you’d beaten Bork and now
Oh, I have a speech I made on Ginsburg. I went to St. Louis to
speak at a forum that Barbara Eagleton was running. Tom had quit the Senate in ’86, and she set
up a sort of like the Women’s National Democratic Club, and she asked me to speak. The speech
was ordered 6 montbs,.but it was an opportunity to go after Ginsburg. I had no doubt that we had
to go after Ginsburg, as Ginsburg said quite truthfully, “I’m the most conservative man in the
Department of Justice.” I knew all sorts of stuff on antitrust cases, and that was an easy speech to
give. Luckily the St. Louis Post Dispatch covered it. There’s quite a story in the Post Dispatch
about opposing Ginsburg. I may be one of the few people that said that the grass he smoked
didn’t have anything to do with my opposition to him. In fact, I think that was not grounds for
beating him, but it was the ground on which he was beat.
Mr. Peck: He was beaten because his supporters deserted him after the White
House had decided to try and portray him as the law-and-order candidate.
Mr. Rauh: Bill Bennett, I guess, is the guy who finally did the coup de grace
to him He told him to get out. I guess that was with Reagan’s 0. K.
Mr. Peck: Then Tony Kennedy gets nominated. Now, you’ve just beaten two
nominations in a row. You’re duplicating the Haynesworth-Carswell situation, and now what do
Mr. Rauh: Well, you have to fight Kennedy if you’re a guy with the record I’ve
had in the case, Haynesworth, Carswell, Bork, Ginsburg. You have to fight it. I read all the civil
rights cases, and they are a pattern of the court of appeals changing the facts just enough so that
they can uphold the state action. I tried to get the Leadership Conference to go against him
People were tired again. Nobody would do it except Molly Yard. She had with her the NOW
Defense Fund. So, it was really NOW. I couldn’t get the Leadership Conference, so the ADA
said I could testify for them Molly and I and the NOW Legal Defense Fund, the three of us were
a panel to testify. Joe Biden, who didn’t brook any opposition on this point – he wanted him
through and through fast, Joe Biden put us down where we would have testified just about when
nobody was listening. We raised some hell, Molly and I, about testifying then. Joe announced
that even though these witnesses had wanted to testify after everybody had finished, they have
changed their mind and they want to testify now, and so we’ll put them on now. That was about
2:00 in the afternoon. He also pulled a little game on us. He added a gay. I didn’t mind that, but
bis motivations were so clearly to say: It’s that nutty woman, that crazy guy and a gay is what’s
against us. All I can say, he was one of the best witnesses I have ever heard because he was so
levelheaded, unextreme. He was just perfect. I really went up to him It was wonderful. Molly
was at her best. This lady who was testifying for the NOW Legal Defense Fund was absolutely
superb. She’s a professor of the stuff, and she was wonderful I dubbed Molly and me, the
”Committee of Septuagenarians against Kennedy”; and we did the best we could but we didn’t
get any votes.
Biden was rough Biden asked me what I think is unforgivable. He said, “You’re
here opposing someone. Do you think you know more about civil rights and care more deeply
than Teddy Kennedy?” That is dirty shot, I thought. He also said it about someone else, and then
he said it about himself. I had answered it, “Yes.” I said, “On reflection, Senator, I’d like to
change my whole testimony. I don’t say I care more than they do. I think you all care. I think
you’re just making a temble mistake. I just do not care to go beyond that, and I give you my
reasons, and I hope you’ll treat them fairly.” Something like that. I think I made a mistake when
I answered the first time yes. I don’t know what I think today, but I don’t think that was a fair
way to put it. I was not questioning Kennedy or Metzenbaum’s feelings. Metzenbaum thought I
had challenged his integrity. He said that he thought I had challenged his integrity, and I told him
absolutely not. So I’m glad that I made that clear. I didn’t mean to challenge anybody’s integrity.
I just felt so deeply that I guess I gave initially the incorrect answer.
Mr. Peck: One thing we skipped over was the ’84 election, Mondale’s attempt
to win the White House away from Reagan. How much of a role did you play in the election?
Mr. Rauh: I did ·make a couple of talks for Mondale. I was 100% for
Mondale. There wasn’t any question. I thought his tax thing was absolutely correct, that he’d
have been beaten worse if he hadn’t done that. The idea that you say you’re going to spend $90
billion – or whatever it was, the figure – and not have any way of getting was just corrupt. I
think Mondale was absolutely right. I didn’t have any major role in the campaign. I did whatever
they asked for. I felt strongly he had won. I had been in the primaries for George McGovern.
Mondale had come by that time to take much more conservative positions, other than the quite
brave tax position. I did speak to the ADA for McGovern. George had called and said, “There’s
to be one speaker each at the ADA convention, and then they’re going to discuss it and vote.
Would you represent me?” You know I felt for George, my God, you’re so wonderful on the war
and we had stopped the war by then, and I couldn’t say no. I said yes and I went there and I spoke
for George. I said, “You are planning to nominate the third or fourth most conservative man in
the race. The most liberal, of course, was Jesse Jackson. The second most liberal was Alan
Cranston.” I can’t remember if there was another one I mentioned, or whether I said, “And then
there was George.” Mondale was possibly the most conservative in the race. For George’s sake,
I waited ’til all the discussion was over and then I said, “I move to defer this to the next meeting
in June.” This meeting was quite early in the campaign, and I had a majority of – [Tape ends]