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No, no. No, my White House relationships really started with Truman.
Eisenhower offered me a staff position, for which I was absolutely unqualified.
Which one was that?
That was to be the foreign policy guy at the White House, a job that ultimately
that, ultimately, Nelson Rockefeller had and Kissinger had. It was not my cup of tea at all.
Ike misread me. He thought I had skills I didn't have, and I couldn't even say I had the
interest. I had no foreign language skills, I had an average understanding of what was going
on in the world but I wasn't a devoted foreign policy expert. I may have said this on an
earlier occasion: When Ike asked me to take the job--I didn't know what he wanted me for
when he asked me to come down and see him, late in the afternoon. He said, “I want you to
come down. You've been in broadcasting long enough. You've made enough money so you
can afford to come to Washington and give me a couple years.” I sat up, wondering what the
hell he was going to offer me. He said, “I want you to come and be my foreign security
advisor.” I grew up at a time when if the President asks you to do something, you sort of
salute, kick your heels and say, “Yes, sir.” I was very timid about saying I didn't want to do it,
or that I wasn't equipped for it, because I started to say that and he brushed that aside. I
said could I talk to the man who had the job, and could I also talk to the Secretary about it,
the Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles? Haven't I told you--
You told me this story, yes.
He said he didn't want me to take it. Well, that only confirmed my worst doubts!
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