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The RFK- Mayor Daly Phonecall


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One hears references to the phonecall that RFK received from Chicago Mayor Richard Daly basically saying the Daly would throw his support to RFK. This was right after RFK won the California Primary and right before he was lead into the killing zone.

My question is what are our sources on this phonecall. I seem to recall two of them were longtime Kennedy insiders. Was one Schlesinger? What are any other sources about this phonecall? Did Daly write anything about it later?

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Spinning off this I would like to ask a couple of conjectural questions.

1) Do you think Daly would have made this call on his own, without any previous discussion with other DNC bigwigs ad or party bosses in other big cities? To

me this seems highly unlikely.

2) Any chance the phonecall was suggested to Daly by someone who was already thinking about how to mend the rift -- as much as was possible-- within the

DNC after the murder of RFK. In other words, as a way of to some extent trying to bridge the gap btw the inside and outside of the Convention hall

at Chicago the following month. They could say "Well at least some of the Humphrey city bosses showed signs of working with Bobby?" Note that I am

not asking this ADMITEDLY CONJECTURAL question to imply that Daly knew about the Assassination plans. That would not have been necessary. Just, do

you think his call to Bobby may have been at the request of someone who could see more compartments of the plan, and was already thinking of a post-

Bobby Democratic Party?

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One hears references to the phonecall that RFK received from Chicago Mayor Richard Daly basically saying the Daly would throw his support to RFK. This was right after RFK won the California Primary and right before he was lead into the killing zone.

My question is what are our sources on this phonecall. I seem to recall two of them were longtime Kennedy insiders. Was one Schlesinger? What are any other sources about this phonecall? Did Daly write anything about it later?

--------

Spinning off this I would like to ask a couple of conjectural questions.

1) Do you think Daly would have made this call on his own, without any previous discussion with other DNC bigwigs ad or party bosses in other big cities? To

me this seems highly unlikely.

Re: #1. Daley, not Daly. Yes, he would have made the call on his own, especially given his support for JFK. The man was a king maker and supreme power in his state and city. The title of a recent bio, American Pharoah, came from an assesment of the power the man held.

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Hi Nathan,

David Talbot quotes Pierre Salinger's "P.S: A Memoir" from 1995 and I think Salinger is the only source on this. Page 196 of his book reads:

"When the first solid good news came in regarding California, I went upstairs to the suite to tell Bobby and to suggest it was time to go down to the ballroom. No, he said, he would wait a bit longer. We were sitting there talking when the phone rang, and it was Chicago's Mayor, Richard Daley. He was calling to make it official -- he would now publicly support Robert F. Kennedy as the Democratic candidate for President in 1968. Bobby and I exchanged a look that we both knew meant only one thing -- he had the nomination."

But Schlesinger doesn't mention this at all in "Robert Kennedy & His Times" and Salinger didn't mention it in his previous books, some of which covered the assassination, so I personally doubt the call happened. Frank Mankiewicz and Jim McManus recently told researcher Brad Johnson the call never happened because they would have known about it.

I don't know why Salinger suddenly chose to write about it in 1995. Daley died in 1976, so it's too late to ask him about it and Salinger himself died in 2004.

Best,

Shane

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One hears references to the phonecall that RFK received from Chicago Mayor Richard Daly basically saying the Daly would throw his support to RFK. This was right after RFK won the California Primary and right before he was lead into the killing zone.

My question is what are our sources on this phonecall. I seem to recall two of them were longtime Kennedy insiders. Was one Schlesinger? What are any other sources about this phonecall? Did Daly write anything about it later?

--------

Spinning off this I would like to ask a couple of conjectural questions.

1) Do you think Daly would have made this call on his own, without any previous discussion with other DNC bigwigs ad or party bosses in other big cities? To

me this seems highly unlikely.

Re: #1. Daley, not Daly. Yes, he would have made the call on his own, especially given his support for JFK. The man was a king maker and supreme power in his state and city. The title of a recent bio, American Pharoah, came from an assesment of the power the man held.

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Norman, I know who Daley is and about his history. I was thinking more in terms of evidence, discussion of the call in books etc. Backing JFK in 1960 and RFK in 1968 were two very different things for a big city democrat to do, so I don't read too much into Daley's 1960 JFK support as far as its implications for the one one guy who could have had one foot inside and one foot outside of the convention. This posture is what made RFK so dangerous to the status quo in 1968.

Shane, thanks for that reference but I seem to recall references to Schlesinger also being a source about the call. Anyone have reference to such a quotation?

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