dered whether Kennedy was going to send an ambassador tornthe Vatican. I said it wouldn’t be high on my list of things hernshould do; I’d rather have an ambassador to General Motors,rnFirst Boston, Morgan Guaranty, AT&T, the Pentagon . . .rnthey’ve got more influence on American life than the Vaticanrndoes.rnQ: You have bemoaned the “personalization” of the presidency.rnWhat do you mean by that?rnA: Harry Truman was the last really constitutional President.rnHe knew when he was President and when he was Harry Truman.rnHe had respect for the Senate in foreign policy. He knewrnwhat the House of Representatives was. He respected the rolernof the courts. When he attempted to take over the steel companiesrnand was overruled by the court, he backed down, but hernwent to the court for a test. On the other hand, when Kennedyrnhad trouble with the steel companies, he had the FBI and IRSrncall the people up and say we’re going to look at your reports.rnLyndon brought them into the White House, and said if yournfix prices in my presence, it’s all right; if you do it in Pittsburghrnwhen I’m not there, you’re violating the antitrust laws.rnQ: This strange notion of the presidency as a “bully pulpit”rnfrom which to sound off about dirty movies, national malaise,rnetc.—is this one aspect of personalization?rnA: It is. Nixon said, “I’m the moral leader of the country.”rnWell, who the hell said so? Who ever said the President wasrnsupposed to be the moral leader?rnQ: So if you had been elected in 1968, you wouldn’t have usedrnyour office to campaign against free verse?rnA: No, I’d concentrate on the real range of presidential responsibility.rnWhen Arthur Schlesinger defected to Bobby Kennedyrnfrom my campaign, he said I didn’t have a conception of thernstrong presidency. He said I’d have been a President likernBuchanan. That was a hell of a thing to say, because nobodyrnknows what Buchanan was like. If he’d said I’d be like Grant,rnwhy, it means I’d have been a drunk, but you say Buchanan andrneverybody imagines the worst. Four or five years laterrnSchlesinger wrote the book on the imperial presidency. PoorrnArthur: he’s got energy; he never quits.rnWhen Arthur defected, I said his defection is like a mistletoernblowing out of a beech tree in a slight wind. Some reporter saidrnmistletoe is a parasite, isn’t it? Well, I said, I hadn’t reallyrnthought of that, but it’s one of the worst parasites. So the guyrnwrote that I had called Arthur the ultimate parasite!rnArthur is the compleat historian: he wrote the Age of Jacksonrnafter it was over; he wrote the Age of Roosevelt while it was inrnprogress; and he wrote the Age of Kennedy in advance.rnQ: Political reporters were befuddled by your habit of quotingrnChesterton. Would you describe your politics as distributist?rnA: Part of it is distributist. I used him in opposition to the federalrnelection law and the reform of Congress. He said that thernPuritans always kill St. George but keep the dragon: that’srnCommon Cause. The distributism of Belloc and Chestertonrnis not quite pertinent today. They had an idea of small shopsrnand plots of land; we need distribution now in communications,rnpolitics, work.rnQ: What do you make of the restoration of Richard Nixon’srnreputation?rnA: I say just let him rest. I’ve always thought the worst thingrnhe did was not Watergate, it was the enemies list. To use thernpower of the FBI and IRS to persecute people, to “teach themrna lesson,” was essentially fascist.rnQ: In the I960’s, the Democrats had men—you. SenatorrnFulbright, Senator Russell—who understood that there werernlimits to power, both at home and abroad. Do you see any currentrnDemocrats in that same tradition?rnA: Sam Nunn seemed to have some idea of what to do withrnthe military-industrial complex, but most of it was supportive.rnHe was like Henry Jackson: a force but not for good. Theyrnmoved in when Jackson died: they had to have another “if yournknew what I knew…” guy. I don’t think Nunn quite provedrnout for them; they never had the influence or control on himrnthat they had on Jackson.rnQ: Is there any place for you, or people like you, in the DemocraticrnParty of 1996?rnA: I haven’t been asked to speak to Democrats since 1967. Inrn’68, we antagonized the labor movement, the Humphrey liberals,rnthe Kennedy forces, and the standard Johnson Democrats.rnSo there wasn’t much room left in the party for us. Actually,rnFulbright was an outcast in his last years.rnQ: That was partly because he’d been critical of the Israel lobby,rnwasn’t it?rnA: That hurt him. That’s like the Cubans influencing policyrntoward Cuba. I thought the high point was when Danny Inouyernput in money for a university, and they said we don’t wantrnit: he’s doing too much for us. Like that old Zukor book. Don’trnSay Yes Until I Stop Talking.rnQ: My guess is that you’re the only presidential candidate inrnrecent years who would repeal several constitutional amendments.rnA: I’m pretty skeptical of every amendment adopted after thernantislavery amendments.rnQ: What about the direct election of senators?rnA: You have to have direct election because there’s hardly anyrnrelationship between the way state legislators think now and thernway senators ought to be thinking. Part of the problem is thatrnparty politics has been taken over by governors. They changernthe dates of the primaries not to provide for a more open politicsrnbut to get more control. For example, moving the NewrnHampshire primary up to mid-February, when I had made therncase that the time for it was March 15th, when the sap wasrnrising in the maple trees and the New Hampshire people werernawake. February is the month in which human life is at itsrnlowest ebb. The mind slows down and the body slows down—rnthere’s been no good results since 1968. <£;-rnJULY 1996/17rnrnrn