Interview with Earle C. Clements, June 7, 1978

Project: A. B. "Happy" Chandler: The Dr. Charles P. Roland Interviews

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Interview Summary

Clements discusses Chandler's terms as governor, stating he thinks Chandler had a good first term and was generally beneficial for Kentucky. He mentions the Reorganization Act as one of Chandler's best pieces of legislation. Clements states that he was for Alben Barkley but had no official role in Barkley's campaign against Chandler. The accusations made against Chandler about the campaign methods he used during this run for Senate were discussed, with Clements denying the reality of the accusations. Clements states that he had a political relationship with Chandler when Chandler was in the Senate and that there was no antipathy between them, with each generally supporting the other. Clements states that some of Chandler's people had urged him to make the race for governor. They briefly discuss Strom Thurmond's run for president and personal connections to him. The interviewer asks about Clements' relationship with Governor Wetherby and about Chandler's negative relationship with Wetherby. Clements states his obligation was to the office he was holding and that he never tried to run Wetherby's administration. Clements discusses how he supported other candidates against Chandler except for Chandler's last serious run for governor. Clements describes some of the reasons he thinks Chandler was able to win a second term. The interviewer asks about Chandler's sending of state police to enforce desegregation, with Clements stating that he supported the actions. They discuss possible corruption in Chandler's administration, with Clements denying any. Clements discusses his administration, mentioning that the people he appointed took pay cuts, stating that he gave priority to what he calls foundation legislation, such as the rural road program, the building commission, and the Agriculture-Industrial Development Board, as well as discussing attempts to increase the salaries of government employees. They discuss in general terms Chandler's various campaigns and support in these campaigns. The interviewer and Clements briefly discuss Chandler's voting for Kennedy over Lyndon B. Johnson. Clements mentions a meeting when the Democratic former governors assembled together to meet Johnson when he came to Kentucky. Clements also makes concluding remarks about the way politics works when someone serves non-consecutive terms, discussing Barkley's terms as a Senator.

Interview Accession

1980oh107_cpr039

Interviewee Name

Earle C. Clements

Interviewer Name

Charles P. Roland

Interview Date

1978-06-07

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Clements, Earle C. Interview by Charles P. Roland. 07 Jun. 1978. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Clements, E.C. (1978, June 07). Interview by C. P. Roland. A. B. "Happy" Chandler: The Dr. Charles P. Roland Interviews. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Clements, Earle C., interview by Charles P. Roland. June 07, 1978, A. B. "Happy" Chandler: The Dr. Charles P. Roland Interviews, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7ttd9n5x87