Lot 78: TLS signed "Ike," two pages, 7 x 10.25, personal letterhead, September 29, 1961. Letter to his White House Chief of Staff, Wilton Persons. In part: "I thoroughly believe that when we face specific foreign problems or the government enunciates a specific policy involving our foreign activities, all of us owe it to ourselves as well as to the government to stand unanimously behind the President. On the other hand, I by no means believe that we should ignore our own right—indeed, duty—to look at past events with an impartial eye and try to keep the record straight.In my Chicago speech I said that the American people were disturbed by the 'seeming indecision and uncertainty that characterized governmental action in Cuba.' I used the word 'seeming' because I was not there. However, the detailed account given by Charlie Murphy in a recent issue of FORTUNE magazine has all the earmarks of authenticity, and since the government itself did not choose to give a detailed account…I think we must consider it about as good a record as we are going to get. Nevertheless Bryce tells me that the White House did not like my language and had been putting the story out to certain reporters that I had 'gone partisan in foreign affairs.'In one of the newspapers of a day or so ago, I saw an item that said the government was contemplating an expenditure program of 95 billion. Frankly I think that is shocking. It is a reflection of fear abroad and, as I see it, of a domestic design that looks to inflation as an appropriate policy for this nation." He adds a handwritten postscript, initialed "DE," in full: "To top it all—I have a clipping of a Goldwater column that refers to the 'inept Eisenhower Administration in Cuba' affair—Who is he to be such a geniusjQuery111100862250232603401_1448895020953" In fine condition.This letter comes from six months after the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion in which CIA-sponsored exiles attempted to overthrow the Cuban government, a plan which had been approved and financed under Eisenhower. Still, the blame fell squarely on President Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs disaster was a major embarrassment for the new administration. Even after retiring from the White House, Eisenhower remained somewhat active in politics from afar. His belief that they should "stand unanimously behind the President" reveals both his patriotism and bipartisanship, two qualities that endeared him to the American people and were crucial to his electoral victories of the previous decade. Interestingly, despite his disdain for Goldwater's criticism, Eisenhower spoke at the 1964 Republican National Convention and appeared in one of Goldwater's campaign ads. An extraordinary post-presidential letter on politics both foreign and domestic, particularly desirable with its focus on the infamous Bay of Pigs.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 466
Wednesday, 9th December 2015
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