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Joe Mccarthy Visits Bill Buckley

May 2024
1min read

It was Labor Day 1952, and Sen. Joe McCarthy had come up to Stamford, Connecticut, to have lunch with me and my wife and with Brent Bozell and his wife (my sister). Bozell and I were doing research for our book on McCarthy.

During lunch the phone rang for him. He took the call and came back to the table, obviously concerned. “What’s the matter, Joe?”

“Well, that was the head of the Republican party in Massachusetts. He wants me to go to Boston and give a speech for Cabot Lodge. Trouble is, that’s hard to do. Joe Kennedy has always been on my side, and he contributed five thousand dollars to my own reelection campaign. If I go to Boston, Jack Kennedy will lose to Cabot Lodge, no doubt about it. That’s why they want me.”

We resumed lunch. And about fifteen minutes later McCarthy rose, excused himself, went to the phone, and was back in about five minutes, smiling broadly.

“Well, I took care of that one all right! I told his manager, ‘Sure, I’ll give a speech for Cabot. But he’ll have to ask me to do it.’” Big laugh. “Cabot Lodge would never ask me publicly. He’d lose the Harvard vote.”

And so John F. Kennedy beat (narrowly) Henry Cabot Lodge for the Senate and, in due course, became President.

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