North Carolina politicians forged a bipartisan alliance to reject Califano's stance
Califano failed to garner support from North Carolina politicians because of his anti-smoking and pro-desegregation stance.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Joseph Califano, April 5, 1991. Interview L-0125. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
- JOSEPH CALIFANO:
Just to urge him to do it. I mean, I talked to other southern governors.
You have to remember there was another thing going on at the same time.
I was in the middle of the anti-smokingߞI was mounting the
anti-smoking campaign. And there was, you know, North Carolina was the
number one state fighting that. And that was being fought by Governor
Hunt. Jesse Helms was trying to get riders on appropriations bills to
take away our funds for any anti-smoking effort. I mean it
wasߞso, it was kind ofߞI mean, there were cartoons.
In fact, I've got one on my wall. They did cartoons of me
down there. Political cartoons. So, it wasn'tߞjust
trying to see this one. [pause] Uh,
[pause] I mean I justߞI think that
problem, that complicated and made less effective my
ability to deal with the political structure. I could call the governor
of Virginia, I could call the governor of Alabama, or the governor of
Texas, and the governor of South Carolina, I didn't have any
problem. And I could call Jim Hunt, whose a friend of mine, but there
was, you know, he was underߞhe was at war over the smoking
campaign. Hunt and Jesse Helms went to President Carter asking to fire
me. So, it was not a, you know, we weren't having
aߞit wasߞthat element, in terms of making the
situation more complicated. The element of the ability to have a
discourse with the political leadership was very difficult in North
- WILLIAM LINK:
So there was a definite connection between the desegregation case and
the smokingߞthe whole smoking campaign.
- JOSEPH CALIFANO:
Well, it made the politicalߞit made my ability to use the
political structure to get the colleges desegregated, it really hindered
my ability to use the political structure.