Francis Bator was Deputy National Security Adviser to Lyndon Johnson, running the rest of the world while Walt Rostow made Vietnam safe for democracy. He recalls a visit to the Oval Office by Sens. Richard Russell of Georgia, John Pastore of Rhode Island, and Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts. All three states were, back then, textile producers.
They urged the President to hang tough against concessions on textiles in the Kennedy Round. Protection against textile imports was a red hot issue in the negotiations. The industry maintained a formidable lobbying operation.
After hearing them out, the president said something like, “Francis here is watching over all that for me and will certainly keep an eye out and keep me informed. He knows how important you all are for me.”
Heading for the stairs to the basement on the way to West Executive Avenue, with Russell and Pastore in the lead, Ted hung back and quietly said something like “You know Francis, with my brother, I know something about what it’s like when you have to think about this kind of thing from where the president sits. So please don’t take us too seriously ….”