Secret White House Tapes

Meeting with Edwin Clark—June 13, 1950

About this recording

  • Edwin Clark
June 13, 1950
Recording has numerous skips and frequently repeats phrases before continuing the
conversation. The conversation begins with Eisenhower and Clark talking about Russell
Davenport and the institute with which he is involved. They discuss all the speculation
that Eisenhower might run for the presidency and the conversation turns to a discussion
of Ralph McGill.
McGill wanted to "put some money up" and approached Clark who tells Eisenhower
"Well, my ears come up right away. I considered it carefully. I thought, well, I'd speak
to you about it and here's what I'd like for you to do : one, set aside fifteen minutes, a half
an hour if you will, with McGill. Meet him, talk to him, I'll bring him up ." Clark says
that McGill "obviously has got more money than he can possibly use, has got no business
connection where he is trying to push a business for them" and he is interested in building
up the Republican Party so Eisenhower will want to run.,as a Republican . Eisenhower is
apprehensive about doing anything that would imply that he is seeking the presidency .
He tells Clark "Don't commit" and warns him to be careful of what he says because he is
known to be a friend of Eisenhower's . Clark assures Eisenhower `I say, "That's one thing
I don't talk about."'
Clark tells Eisenhower that "I would like to make the pitch to this guy [McGill] to get
some dough. I'm going to get quite a bit for you anyway for the institute." He reminds
Eisenhower that runnin g a campaign "That costs money. That's damned expensive."
Eisenhower tells Clark that he does not want to be difficult, but that he must be cautious
or he will be called "are a slicker, a slob, so-and-so, and I don't want none of it ." Clark
agrees with him and the recording ends .