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But, no, Johnson offered me, I guess, almost anything I wanted in the Cabinet--
Undersecretary of State, to replace Ross Quazill[phonetic], when he thought he was going to
lose him; go over to the Pentagon and get ready to take on [Robert] MacNamara's job,
because he thought he was going to move MacNamara over to what was then called HEW.
“Or, if you don't want that, go to HEW now.” It was crazy.
Kennedy offered you something, too, right?
Yes, sure. But his was handled much better than Johnson's.
How about Nixon?
No, he never offered me a Cabinet job. He reappointed me as chairman of the U.S.
Advisory Commission on Information, and hinted that he wished I could come down and help
out on a staff job at the White House, on communications, but that was so vague that it
wasn't an offer. I think if I had shown any interest in it he might have done something, but
by that time I was into the Red Cross and had seen enough of the Hill to understand the
problems of working with the Hill. While I didn't mind it, I thought I owed it to Ruth that, if
she didn't want to do it, I wasn't going to do it. In fact there was a period when the demand
on my time down there, or when the invitations were so strong--and this was certainly in the
Johnson period--that I just didn't tell her about them, because I didn't want her to feel she
was keeping me from doing something I wanted to do. Because most of the jobs I didn't want
to do anyway.
Which one of those opportunities do you think would have been best for you, would you
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