Secret White House Tapes

Meeting with Arthur Gardner—February 6, 1950

About this recording

  • Arthur Gardner
February 6, 1950
Recording begins with Gardner commenting on the need for an article to be written.
Eisenhower agrees and says "But what I'm saying is that at this moment it seems to me
they minimize the good that can be done along that line so many of them seeking to shift
their burden ofresponsibility to someone that they are vaguely calling a leader in their
own mind. They don't know just who that is . Sometimes they think it's me, sometimes
they think it's someone else ." He talks ofthe need to keep ideals before the public
through editorials and speeches so that people come to regard these principles as their
own. He sees a need to educate people on our form of government. He recalls talking to
troops during the war and "In any event, I had to get out, as a soldier in war and try to
explain to kids why they were fighting. What was the difference between us and Hitler."
As the conversation turns to a discussion ofpolitics in a very general sense, Eisenhower
says that everyone must make up his own mind about whether you have a duty. The
conversation continues with Eisenhower talking about how he has not made up his mind
to seek any political office . Gardner tells Eisenhower "Any little American boy is
supposed to want to be president and that's all that is ."
The recording ends with Gardner giving Eisenhower his new address before he leaves .
Another man enters and speaks briefly with Eisenhower, but the conversation is largely
unintelligible .