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Frank StantonFrank Stanton
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get the action, and around the ranch he had telephones in every crotch of every tree, he had the Senate list so he could check off how the vote was going to go. He played that role of majority leader, and as President, in terms of legislation, like Eugene Ormandy with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He knew exactly what people wanted and what to trade with.

Truman was the same way. I don't mean that he behaved the same way, but Truman knew. Because I think maybe I said on the tape, the time I was in Truman's office, when he was in a foul mood, and Matt [Matthew] Connelly said, “Don't stay,” because I was asked to be there on something to do for Truman but between the time I was asked and the time I got there some senator -- Oh, no. I'm confusing Eisenhower and Truman. At any rate, I was in Truman's office when Matt Connelly came in and said that somebody, some congressman from West Virginia, had said some pretty nasty things about Truman. Without batting an eye, Truman leaned back, grinned, and said to Matt, “Tell the son-of-a-bitch he can have the post office that he wants.” He knew what the guy wanted was authorization for a post office in his home district. That's the game that's played for votes. It happens all the time, and Johnson knew how to play it much better than Kennedy knew how to. Kennedy was a young, uninformed guy in many ways. When I was summoned to see Kennedy in December of 1960, which was before the inauguration and after the election, obviously, I was afraid, when I was summoned there, that I was going to be boiled in oil because I had had such bad relations with Kennedy during the campaign. He had threatened me, and his father had threatened to have my job. So, I thought I was in for a rough meeting. When I got there, he was on the phone -- or, when I was ushered into the little sitting room in Georgetown, at his residence there -- he was on the phone. There were two big armchairs like that, one there and one here, the phone was on the floor and he was talking. I could tell from the conversation that it wasn't something that anybody in the press ought to be hearing. I backed out, he said, “No,



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