Interview with Joseph Rauh
QUESTION 5
INTERVIEWER:

LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT THE PRESSURE. BECAUSE LYNDON JOHNSON WAS NOT A, A GENTLE MAN. LET'S GO BACK TO THE… YOU COME BACK FROM JACKSON, 11 AND 8 IS THE CRY, WHAT HAPPENS?

Joseph Rauh:

The pressure that, when I returned from Jackson was incredible. Johnson was… President Johnson was a man who believed every man has his price. And he had two things on me, which he could squeeze with. One was that I loved Hubert Humphrey, and that I wanted Hubert to be President. Vice President, and hopefully one day President. The other was that I was General Counsel of the UAW, and Walter Ruther could uh, have some effect, he figured. So they would call and sort of say, "The President is very angry at that 11 and 8. The President doesn't want anything like that to go on… on there. Joe, you've got to stop it." And Walter would be very serious. He'd pound on me, and I'd say, "Well uh…" He said, "Just uh…" I said, "I just can't give up. I believe this Walter. I'm uh… after all I'm an employee of the UAW, but I'm not operating that way here." With Hubert, it was a little bit different. It was more fun. I'd say… he'd say, "Joe just give me something to tell the President!" And I'd say, "Why don't you tell him that I'm a dirty bastard, who is absolutely uncontrollable." And he says, "Well, the President wouldn't like that if I told him I couldn't control you." I said, "Well, then you'll have to think of what you want to tell him yourself, because that's the only thing I can think of telling him." He'd laugh. Hubert was, was wonderful. Ruther was tough. Anyway, they… those… that was Johnson's idea . My uh, biggest account, the UAW, my best political friend, Hubert. And he had them both. The girls in our office would sometimes when I'd get one call, because Johnson'd see something on television and get mad and call them both, why one of them would call, and then my secretary would say, it's the other one. Uh, ‘cause Johnson was using Hubert and, uh, and Ruther in, in tandem to try to pursuade me not to continue this uh, thing. Well, I uh… I said that there was no great sacrifice in continuin', it was lot of fun. The worst could happen is that something didn't go right, and I'd still eat. So I didn't uh, it didn't bother me terribly. It was a lot of fun actually.