Wednesday, April 27, 2016

'I Guess At Heart I Am A City Planner'

Moynihan, centre, at the opening of the renovated Willard Hotel, Washington, D.C., 1986

It was originally going to be called Moynihan Station. The plan – to rebuild New York’s Pennsylvania Station within the James A. Farley Post Office Building on Eighth Avenue – had been an idée fixe of New York’s senior senator since the 1990s. The city authorities had allowed the original Penn Station, a magnificent Beaux-Arts structure that had opened in 1910, to be demolished in the 1960s to make way for Penn Plaza and Madison Square Garden. Penn Station was moved entirely underground, an arrangement that Moynihan thought deplorable: ‘New Yorkers were left with a subway station when there had once been the Baths of Caracalla.’ He was particularly fond of quoting a line from the architectural historian Vincent Scully: ‘You used to enter New York City as a king; now you slither in like a rat.’

Pennsylvania Station, New York City, 1911

When Senator Moynihan learned in 1994 that the Post Office was vacating the Farley Building (which stood directly opposite the site of the old Penn Station and had been built to the same proportions by the same firm of architects), he set out to recover, as he put it, ‘an ancient glory.’[1] The project became one of Moynihan’s consuming passions in his final years in office, requiring much patient wrangling with Senate colleagues and local politicians, many of whom felt the plan was wasteful and unnecessary. After his death in 2003, it was proposed that the new terminus be named ‘Moynihan Station’ in his honour. In January 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new expanded version of the already well-advanced redevelopment plan, to be renamed the Empire State Complex, with the plan’s first champion relegated to a ‘Moynihan Train Hall.’ Tony Bullock, Moynihan’s former chief of staff, was dismayed at the change, noting that ‘Train Hall’ sounded ‘too much like “food court”.’ Maura Moynihan, the senator’s daughter, was more circumspect: ‘Me personally, I don’t care what they call it, as long as they build it.’ She added that her father would likely have been unfazed by the apparent demotion, having always felt that James Farley’s name should stay.[2]

The multi-year scheme to reclaim Penn Station attests to Moynihan’s lifelong fascination with public architecture, a facet of his career that is often overlooked but which was a preoccupation from almost the moment he entered the federal government. It is likewise a testament to his lifelong belief that there was a direct link between the quality of a nation’s public architecture and the health of its civic life. He was responsible for a number of similar endeavours: the restoration of the Prudential Building in Buffalo, western New York, the renovation of the Custom House in lower Manhattan, and the transformation of the Pension Building into the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., to name only three.  ‘I guess at heart I am a City planner,’ he wrote to a friend in 1988.[3]  It was, however, a different landmark bearing the name of the Keystone State that became the defining architectural project of Moynihan’s career: the redevelopment of Pennsylvania Avenue, the ceremonial route linking Capitol Hill to the White House. That project would span more than four decades and eight presidencies, and would require the raising of billions of dollars and the interventions of a former First Lady with a keen sense of history. Moynihan remained doggedly committed to it throughout. One eulogist suggested that ‘Moynihan’s achievements are worthy of the great public builders, from Hadrian to Georges Haussmann to Robert Moses.’[4] One need not quite that far to recognise the historic accomplishment of Pennsylvania Avenue’s renovation and Moynihan’s central role in it.

Years later, Moynihan would claim that the original idea had come from John F. Kennedy. The version he usually told involved Kennedy embracing the need to rehabilitate the Avenue, which was considerably dilapidated by the 1960s, before he even set foot in the Oval Office. As Moynihan explained in a 2002 Newsweek interview:

During the Inaugural parade in 1961, President Kennedy rode up Pennsylvania Avenue and waved left and right, as it were. And he noticed, to the right, there was just nothing there. The city had emptied out – in literal fact, there was only one residence between the Capitol and 15th Street. The president said, this doesn’t look like a capital.[5]

The story goes that Kennedy remarked on the decay to Secretary of Labor Arthur Goldberg, who passed the job on to Moynihan, then a junior official. In fact, the impetus for the plan came from Moynihan himself. He gave a more accurate account of the plan’s genesis in a 1972 article for the New York Times. It began in a Cabinet meeting in August 1961 when talk turned to office space. Or rather, as General Service Administrator Robert Peck recalled, the talk was ‘mainly bitching about parking in federal buildings – all right, it was supposed to be office space, but it was also about parking, it always is.’[6] The result was an Ad Hoc Committee on Federal Office Space, with Goldberg as chair. Moynihan was delegated to write the committee’s first report.

That report, published in June 1962, took an expansive interpretation of the committee’s brief. It included a one-page subsection titled ‘Guiding Principles of Federal Architecture.’ In that single page, Moynihan sought to provide a new rationale and template for public works across the nation. Any federal building, Moynihan wrote, should meet ‘a two-fold requirement’: first, it should ‘provide efficient and economical facilities for the use of Government agencies’; secondly, it should ‘provide visual testimony to the dignity, enterprise, vigor, and stability of the American government.’ Though a uniform ‘official style’ was to be avoided, emphasis was to be placed on ‘designs that embody the finest contemporary American architectural thought,’ incorporating regional traditions and fine arts influences wherever possible. Moynihan’s declaration was accompanied by a short proposal for the redevelopment of Pennsylvania Avenue, which was to be the first place that the principles he had articulated could be put into practice. The Avenue, he wrote, should have be ‘the great thoroughfare of the City of Washington’ and had instead become ‘a vast, unformed, cluttered expanse at the heart of the Nation’s Capital.’[7]

Only after the publication of the report did Kennedy begin to take an interest, authorising the creation of a President’s Council on Pennsylvania Avenue. Work began, Moynihan recalled, ‘in high spirits, but with no staff, no money and no legal existence.’[8] The drafting of the actual plan was overseen by the head of the council, Nathaniel Owings, founder and partner in the nation’s most prestigious architectural firm, Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. Only from the spring of 1963 did Kennedy begin to take an active interest in the project.[9] One of his last instructions before leaving for Dallas in November 1963 was to set up a meeting to enlist the support of congressional leaders.

After Kennedy’s death, wrote Moynihan, ‘a trust of sorts devolved.’[10] His later reworking of Kennedy into the protagonist of the story meant that the plan became a monument to the martyred president. Moynihan could count on the support of the president’s widow, Jackie Kennedy, who was wasting no time in constructing the ‘Camelot’ myth around her husband’s memory. On November 29, 1963, Moynihan was told, through a Kennedy family friend, that Jackie Kennedy was ‘completely behind’ the plans for Pennsylvania Avenue, which had been included on a list she had given to LBJ of ‘those projects left undone and which she feels were of great interest to President Kennedy.’ Moynihan wrote to Mrs. Kennedy a few days later to tell her that he was ‘immensely heartened’ by her support.[11]

By now an Assistant Secretary in the Labor Department, Moynihan agitated for White House support for the plan. In March 1964, he petitioned Arthur Goldberg, now a Supreme Court Justice, to persuade the administration to take more of an interest in raising architectural standards for the Pennsylvania Avenue project. Adopting the medieval habit of blaming the king’s bad advisers, Moynihan lamented to Goldberg that though the president was ‘immensely interested,’ the plan was stalling because ‘nobody around him in the White House or in the Bureau of the Budget really [gives] a damn about this subject.’ In January 1965, he made a similar appeal to Richard Goodwin, presidential speechwriter, pitching the redevelopment of Pennsylvania Avenue as a key component of Johnson’s wider domestic agenda. ‘Point number one of the Great Society is to rebuild the American city … [this] is a proposal to build the first modern downtown urban complex of the Twentieth Century.’ This was not merely a matter of ‘making Washington more attractive’ but of ‘whether America will be the first to do something that must be done the world over.’[12]

Johnson was persuaded to establish the President’s Temporary Commission on Pennsylvania Avenue, with Owings as chair and Moynihan as his deputy. The Commission met for the first time in May 1965. The administration remained essentially lukewarm on the subject, however, and little progress was made, not even on persuading Congress to create a permanent commission. As the urban crisis of the late 1960s took hold, with Johnson’s urban policy failing to meet its ambitious goal and riots a grimly anticipated annual tradition, Moynihan’s ambitions were displaced. In 1967, Moynihan, now back in academia, vented his frustrations to Nat Owings: ‘Pennsylvania Avenue is a project for spending money. The Administration does not want to spend a dime. Not even in response to the worst outbreak of racial violence in history. A fortiori not to play City Beautiful.’ Nonetheless, Moynihan continued in his efforts to keep the project on the national agenda. In November 1968, he urged LBJ, unsuccessfully, to make ‘some reference’ to the plan in his final State of the Union address.[13]

The Pennsylvania Avenue plan remained a preoccupation of his as he took up the post of Counselor to the President for Urban Affairs under Richard Nixon. He was invited to speak to the American Institute of Architects in 1969 (later published as ‘Architecture in a Time of Trouble’), to whom he argued that architecture was ‘as fundamental a sign of the competence of government as will be found. Men who build bad buildings are bad governors. A people that persists in electing such men is opting for bad government.’[14] Nixon, always on the lookout for grand and historic accomplishments to accomplish, proved more receptive to Moynihan’s theory of architecture as a test of American democracy’s vigour. However, a purely federally-financed effort to redevelop the Avenue had failed even when Great Society utopianism was the prevailing mood in Washington. Moynihan proposed instead the creation of a government-owned corporation, with federal seed money, to co-ordinate private funds for the redevelopment. In September 1970, following a well-publicised walking tour of Pennsylvania Avenue with Moynihan, Nixon issued a statement supporting a bill to create a Federal City Bicentennial Development Corporation.[15] The bill’s backers hoped that linking it to the nation’s approaching bicentennial in 1976 would be a spur to action. It would be another three years before the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation (PADC) was created.

Throughout, Moynihan remained in correspondence with JFK’s widow, Jackie Onassis (as she was after 1968), continuing to update her about the progress of the plans. It was through Jackie Onassis that he was able to enlist the support and assistance of Senator Edward Kennedy, who had treated Moynihan with a certain amount of suspicion after his decision to take up with Nixon. In May 1972, Onassis wrote a fulsome letter to Moynihan, lauding him as ‘the one who realized with all your heart how much President Kennedy’s vision of Pennsylvania Avenue meant to him.’ Moynihan forwarded a copy of this letter to Ted Kennedy explaining, ‘I am sure you would want to see how much this remains in her mind.’[16] Pat and Jackie’s collusion in burnishing this aspect of the Camelot mythology was crucial to the eventual success of the Pennsylvania Avenue project.

President Nixon and Moynihan tour the Pennsylvania Avenue development site, September 1970 (Credit: Flickr, cliff 1066)

As a senator from 1977, Moynihan continued to support and lobby the corporation. Upon his election, he had sought a seat on the Public Works Committee, surprising those who had expected the former ambassador to bid for a seat on Foreign Relations.[17] By this time, the Pennsylvania Avenue plan had gone through several iterations, becoming more diverse (‘a bit less monolithic, a bit more, well, urban,’ in Robert Peck’s words) as it was redesigned, and as more private actors were brought in. This was entirely in keeping with Moynihan’s original proposal. He had written in 1962 that the Avenue should not be lined with ‘a solid block of public and private office buildings which close down completely at night and on the weekends.’ Instead, the Avenue should be ‘lively, friendly, and inviting, as well as dignified and impressive.’ To this end, Moynihan suggested building a concert hall, opera house and theatre along the Avenue. When still a member of the Temporary Presidential Commission, Moynihan had even speculated about building a ‘bawdy house’ along the Avenue, to add to the general ambience.  

By the time it was dissolved in 1996, the PADC had succeeded in raising some $1.5 billion from private sources for the rejuvenation of the Avenue. The Willard Hotel and the Washington Hotel were restored, as was the Old Post Office and the National Press Club building. From 1986, Moynihan adopted the idea of building an International Trade and Cultural Center in the Federal Triangle (the area between Pennsylvania Avenue and Constitution Avenue). The Center was projected to be the second largest federal building, behind only the Pentagon, and, with a final budget of $818 million, the most expensive building the government had ever constructed.[18] Republican opposition was defused by offering to name it after Ronald Reagan. The Center opened in 1998, housing not only a number of federal agencies but also the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Financed principally with loans from private developers, the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center was the first federal building in Washington, D.C. to be designed for both government and commercial purposes. It continues to host over a thousand events every year – conferences, trade fairs, concerts, galas, and other functions. This heterogeneity makes the Center a microcosm of Moynihan’s overall vision for Pennsylvania Avenue. As he wrote to President Reagan in 1987, taking stock of the development to that point: ‘The result is cluttered and eclectic but very much American, and Americans should feel at home on the Avenue of the Presidents. This looks accidental. It was nothing such.’[19]

Pennsylvania Avenue, facing East towards Capitol Hill, 2007

The redevelopment of Pennsylvania Avenue has continued in fits and starts since the PADC’s dissolution. For instance, 2002 saw the opening of the Newseum, an museum of news and journalism, next to the Canadian Embassy (which had been constructed under the auspices of the PADC).[20] The Old Post Office Pavilion, saved from demolition by Moynihan, is currently being transformed into the newest Trump International Hotel. The Trump Organization acquired a 140-year lease in 2013 and Donald Trump promised to ‘restore this magnificent building to even well beyond its original grandeur.’ We can only hope that this is the most damage that Trump is able to do in Washington, D.C.

[1] Daniel P. Moynihan, Steven R. Weisman (ed.), Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Portrait in Letters of an American Visionary (New York, 2010), 619, 623
[2] Jim Farley had been a leading figure in New York’s Democratic Party, had served as Franklin Roosevelt’s campaign manager in 1932 and 1936, and had been Postmaster General from 1933-1940. For more see Daniel Scroop, Mr. Democrat: Jim Farley, the New Deal and the Making of Modern American Politics (Ann Arbor, MI, 2006)
[3] Weisman, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 499.
[4] Robert A. Peck, ‘Daniel Patrick Moynihan and the Fall and Rise of Public Works,” in Robert A. Katzmann (ed.), Daniel Patrick Moynihan: The Intellectual in Public Life (Washington, D.C., 1998)
[5] As Robert Peck noted, ‘History does not explain how John Kennedy had failed to notice this condition during all the years he commuted as a senator from the Capitol to his residence in Georgetown.’ Cathleen McGuigan, “He’s the Man With the Plan,” Newsweek, Nov 25, 2002; Peck, “Moynihan and the Fall and Rise of Public Works,” 82.
[6] Godfrey Hodgson, The Gentleman from New York: Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Biography (Boston and New York, 2000), 79.
[7] Hodgson, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 80.
[8] Daniel P. Moynihan, “Avenue of Presidents,” New York Times, April 4, 1972
[9] Weisman, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 156-57
[10] Moynihan, “Avenue of Presidents.”
[11] Weisman, Daniel P. Moynihan, 68-9.
[12] Ibid., 75-6, 88-9.
[13] Weisman, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 138, 157.
[14] Daniel P. Moynihan, Coping: Essays on the Practice of Government (New York, 1973), 233-42; “Moynihan Critical of Cities’ Design,” NYT, June 24, 1969.
[15] Kilpatrick, "Nixon Pushes Avenue Development," Washington Post, September 9, 1970.
[16] Weisman, 261.
[17] When the committee structure was reorganised in 1987, Moynihan oversaw the creation of a new Subcommittee on Water Resources, Transportation, and Infrastructure, of which he was named chairman. This gave him control of around 80 percent of the federal funds authorised by the committee. Peck, “Moynihan and the Rise and Fall of Public Works,” 69.
[18] Hodgson, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 342.
[19] Weisman, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 488.
[20] Eduardo Cue, “Canada Plans Chancery On Pennsylvania Avenue,” WP, June 24, 1977.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Four Horsemen and the Fighting Irish

"I don't think there's any point in being Irish if you don't know that the world is going to break your heart eventually."
-      Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Pat Moynihan only appeared on the New York-based sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live once. It was for the show’s 100th episode, on March 15 1980, a few days before St. Patrick’s Day, when he appeared as the narrator in a sketch reading ‘one of the Old Irish Fairy Tales.’ The story was that of Sean the leprechaun who ‘while wee, was even so the least wee of all the wee people.’ Sean lived with his fellow faerie-folk ‘in a tiny, small grass house nearby to an empty milk can.’ Played by Peter Aykroyd (with Jane Curtin and Harry Shearer as supporting leprechauns), Sean was an annoyance to the other leprechauns. Too large to escape after their acts of mischief, Sean was regularly caught and had to hand over pots of gold to be freed. Taller than a milk can and fatter than a bucket, Sean ignored his fellow leprechauns’ injunctions to diet (‘shamrock salads,’ apparently) or even slouch. One day, after having taunted Old Man McGuire by tying his shoelaces together, knocking over his tea, and throwing his scones out of the window, Sean was hiding behind the milk can when ‘a big wind’ blew up, knocked over the milk can, and flattened poor Sean. The sketch ended with Moynihan delivering the punchline, ‘People, even little people, who live in grass houses shouldn’t throw scones.’[1]

‘St. Patrick’s Day,’ wrote the New York Times in 1981, ‘is at once a clarion of spring, a saint’s day and the celebration of a people.’[2] It is also, in many respects, a uniquely American phenomenon. It is a day, as the old joke runs, when vast swathes of Americans rediscover their Irish lineage, however tenuous their link to the Old Country might be. The festival is particularly important in New York City, home to one of the largest Irish-American communities in the United States. The New York St. Patrick’s Day parade is not only the largest of its kind, but the oldest civilian parade in the world. Somewhere in the region of 150,000 marchers – bands, police and fire services, county associations, immigrant societies, and other clubs – process along Fifth Avenue, led by the 69th Infantry Regiment (New York), nicknamed the ‘Fighting Irish.’ As senator, Moynihan was a regular attendee at the parade, usually with some sartorial flourish to mark the occasion. In 1980, for instance, he was spotted marching arm-in-arm with First Lady Rosalynn Carter, wearing ‘gray pinstripes and a polka dot tie in green.’[3] Two years earlier, he had been the host the official pre-parade “wake-me-up party” at Charley O’s saloon on 48th Street, where politicians and journalists squeezed in to start the festivities ‘shamefully early’ (to quote the event invitation).[4]

Such propitiations are expected of New York Democrats, who have counted on Irish-American voters to return them to office for decades. However, Moynihan’s parade appearances, and his participation in folksy sketches, were far more than expedient politicking. Moynihan was, of course, an Irish-American, and proud of his heritage. However, his relationships with his own Irishness, with Irish-Americans, and with Ireland itself, were complicated and multi-layered.
Always keen to dispel stereotypes about Irish-Americans, in this photograph Moynihan invites members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to hear testimony from his two expert witnesses, St. Michael and St. Thomas, March 1976

The Moynihans came originally from County Kerry. Moynihan’s paternal great-grandfather, Cornelius Moynihan, farmed and bred horses in Headford Junction. His eldest son, Daniel, inherited the farm; the younger, John C. ‘Jack’ Moynihan (Pat’s grandfather) emigrated to the U.S. in 1886, where he got a job laying oil and gas lines for Standard Oil. Moynihan had the opportunity to see Headford Junction in 1951 as a holidaying LSE student.[5] Irish associations marked his life in other ways. As a young man, he worked as a longshoreman, a profession dominated by Irish-Americans in New York City; and when in London, his closest friends belonged to a Catholic family from Belfast, the Golloglys. However, unlike many other Irish-Americans, he was also an Anglophile, which, as discussed in a previous blog post, manifested in his dress and speech patterns.  

Irish-Americans were the subject of Moynihan’s first academic publication, his long essay on the New York Irish in Beyond the Melting Pot, the book he co-authored with sociologist Nathan Glazer, published in 1963. The book was a collection of case studies of five ethnic groups in New York City: African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians, and Irish. Glazer, who had been fascinated by the issue of ethnicity since his time as an undergraduate at City College New York, had hoped to recruit a sociologist from each ethnic group to contribute. In the end, he was only able to bring Moynihan on board.[6] The unifying theme of the book was that the so-called melting pot ‘doesn’t melt,’ that immigrant groups maintained strong ethnic identities over many generations, though those identities were certainly not static. According to Moynihan, the New York Irish had been defined by two institutions, the Catholic Church and the Democratic Party, which inculcated a respect for order and hierarchy, and a commitment to waiting your turn and slowly ascending the ranks.[7]

Moynihan’s observations about contemporary Irish identity are particularly instructive, and give some insight into his later impatience with the romantic nationalist currents in Irish America. He wrote that although New York’s ‘Irish era’ (roughly 1880 to the end of the 1920s) had long since passed, and many Irish New Yorkers were leaving both the working class and the Democratic Party, an Irish identity persisted. At root, suggested Moynihan, Irishness identified ‘someone as plain rather than fancy American.’ Moreover, the ‘more amiable qualities of the stage Irishman’ (friendliness, wit, courage, and a fondness for drink) still held cultural currency and there was ‘a distinct tendency to among many to try and live up to this image.’ Nonetheless, the identity was weakening. The ‘stage Irishman’ image was ‘essentially proletarian’ and no longer reflected the ‘middle-class reality’ of many Irish-Americans. Furthermore, the gulf between the Irish and the descendants of Irish immigrants in America was only widening. Irish-Americans who returned to their ancestral home (and here one assumes Moynihan spoke from some experience) found little to recommend it in comparison to their American lives. The charming stereotypes could not withstand an encounter with reality. ‘Few sights are more revealing than that of a second- or third-generation Irish-American tourist sitting down to his first meal, boiled in one iron pot over the open peat fire, in his grandparents’ cottage.’[8]

At the same time as he was researching and writing his contribution to Beyond the Melting Pot, Moynihan was making first foray into national politics was as an Assistant Secretary of Labor in the administration of the first Irish Catholic president, John F. Kennedy. Though Moynihan was not personally close to the Kennedys, he certainly felt an ethnic, as well as political, affinity for them, and frequently identified himself as a Kennedy Democrat, with all of the romance and mythology that the name is intended to connote.[9] He told a London Times journalist sent to interview him in 1971 that he had arrived in Nixon’s White House as ‘a sort of a Kennedy man … with an aura of acceptance and tragic heroism and noble but failed expectations.’[10] This was in spite of his closer association with Lyndon Johnson (He wrote in 1984 to Dean Rusk that ‘LBJ was always a bit of a brute to me. Thought me a disloyal Kennedy sort’).[11] It was after Kennedy’s assassination that Moynihan, emerging from a congressional hearing into a waiting row of TV cameras, made the famous remark that opened this blog post.

But Moynihan would not make a sustained engagement with the politics of Irish Americans or of Ireland until after he was elected to the Senate in 1976, within the context of intensifying violence in Northern Ireland and a resurgence of nationalist sentiment among Irish-Americans. The rise of the Northern Irish civil rights movement in the late 1960s was a key catalyst for that nationalism. Explicitly modelling themselves on African-American civil rights campaigners, Northern Irish activists, many of them students, marched and sang ‘We Shall Overcome’ alongside Irish rebel songs to protest anti-Catholic discrimination in voting, employment, and housing. Sympathetic organisations were established in the U.S., most notably the American Congress for Irish Freedom (ACIF), which claimed 3,000 members by 1969.

As peaceful demonstrations in Northern Ireland gave way to conflict, ‘the Troubles’, Irish-American nationalism became more hardline. Events in Northern Ireland galvanised the turn towards ‘physical-force nationalism’ among Irish Americans, most notably the ‘Bloody Sunday’ massacre of 1972, when British soldiers opened fire on a civil rights demonstration in Derry, killing thirteen protestors. NORAID (the Irish Northern Aid Committee) was founded in 1970, effectively to fundraise for both Official and Provisional wings of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Based principally out of Irish bars across the nation, NORAID reportedly had 80,000 contributors by 1972. IRA agents were able to purchase weapons in American gun stores, which were then smuggled back to Ireland, often with the collusion of Irish-Americans. This is to say nothing of the thousands of weapons and millions of rounds of ammunition stolen from American military bases that ended up in IRA hands.[12]

Moynihan watched the re-emergence of militant nationalism with rising horror. Although a supporter of Irish reunification through negotiated settlement, he was adamantly opposed to violence. He had little time for sentimentalism, having once written that nationalism among Irish Americans had become, by the time of the Easter Rising of 1916, ‘a hodgepodge of fine feeling and bad history.’[13] Moynihan’s sympathies were with the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), a party of constitutional republicanism, founded in 1970. He would go on to enjoy a long friendship with one of its founder members, John Hume – later a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.[14] It was as a result of appeals from Hume that in 1977, now Senator Moynihan joined with three other Irish-American politicians – Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, Speaker of the House Thomas P. ‘Tip’ O’Neill, also of Massachusetts, and Governor of New York, Hugh Carey – to issue a St. Patrick’s Day statement in 1977 that called on Irish-Americans to reject physical-force nationalism. Though the IRA were not mentioned explicitly, the statement entreated Irish-Americans ‘to renounce any action that promotes the current violence or provides support or encouragement for organizations engaged in violence.’ The appeal, noted the New York Times, was ‘unusual’ in that it broke ‘the long-standing reluctance to speak out on the issue by elected officials of Irish descent.’[15] The St. Patrick’s Day statement became an annual tradition, and Moynihan, Kennedy, O’Neill, and Carey were quickly dubbed ‘The Four Horsemen.’

By the early 1980s, the Four Horsemen were having to pick a careful path between the intransigence of Margaret Thatcher’s government on Irish matters and the violence of paramilitary organisations. In 1981, IRA prisoners embarked on hunger strikes to compel the British authorities to grant them the status of political prisoners. The Four Horsemen’s St. Patrick’s Day statement that year, co-signed by another 20 politicians, called for an end to ‘the fear and the terrorism and the bigotry’ and announced the creation of The Friends of Ireland, an organisation to promote a peaceful settlement and the reunification of Ireland through democratic persuasion.[16] After the deaths of several hunger strikers prompted protests in the U.S. – New York City saw demonstrations almost every day in May and the International Longshoremen’s Association orchestrated a 24 hour boycott of British shipping – the Horsemen issued a second statement, in August, calling for compromise and for President Ronald Reagan ‘to play an active role in ending the current deadly impasse.’[17]

At the same time, Moynihan remained implacably opposed to the IRA (though, interestingly enough, he did confess ‘a vague memory’ to Godfrey Hodgson of having been ‘inducted into an IRA auxiliary in the back of a bar in Rockaway Beach in the 1930s’).[18] This marked him out from many other Irish-American politicians, and sometimes put him at odds with the sympathies of his own constituents. The most dramatic confrontation came in 1983, when he refused to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day parade because the grand marshal chosen for the event was Michael Flannery, a veteran of the 1922-23 Irish Civil War and the founder of NORAID. Although sharply criticised by some of his own constituents – one Irish-American voter accused him of ‘talking English’ and a Bronx bar owner announced he would refuse to serve the senator – Moynihan had the solidarity of his fellow Horseman, former governor Hugh Carey, who also declined to march.[19] Moynihan and Carey were supported by the Archbishop of New York Cardinal Terence Cooke, who refused to give his customary blessing of the parade, pointedly closing the doors of St. Patrick’s Cathedral until the grand marshal had passed. But they were the minority. Flannery received a hero’s welcome, cheered by placard- and flag-waving crowds along Fifth Avenue. By contrast, Moynihan and his wife Liz had the front pew to themselves during the morning Mass, as ‘none other would sit with us.’ In a 1988 letter to a friend, Moynihan noted that 'our parade has not been the same since' not least because he was now ‘required to march in body armor, which takes some of the spring out of one’s step!’ As one journalist later noted, Moynihan was 'Irish, but not that Irish.'[20] 

[1] Moynihan appeared in another sketch in the same episode, extolling the virtues of New York’s wine industry to a group of homeless alcoholic wine snobs, played by regular cast members. “SNL Transcript,” March 15, 1980, papers of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Library of Congress, Manuscript Reading Room, Part II, Box 343.
[2] “Ireland’s Friends,” New York Times, March 17, 1981.
[3] Dudley Clendinen, “100,000 Parade as Irish Mark Their Special Day,” NYT, March 18, 1980.
[4] Maurice Carroll, “A Day Everyone’s Irish, Especially Politician,” NYT, March 18, 1978.
[5] Godfrey Hodgson, The Gentleman from New York: Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Biography (Boston and New York, 2000), 26-27, 45.
[6] In addition to the chapter on the Irish, Moynihan wrote most of the conclusion. Glazer took the studies of the other four groups. Nathan Glazer, “Daniel P. Moynihan on Ethnicity,” in Robert A. Katzmann (ed.), Daniel Patrick Moynihan: The Intellectual in Public Life (Washington, D.C., 1998), 16-21
[7] As Nathan Glazer writes, Moynihan understood the displacement of regular Tammany Hall Democrats by reformers in the New York Democratic Party as ‘an ethnic revolution,’ as Irish American regulars were supplanted by reformers who mostly came from WASP ( White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) and Jewish backgrounds, and found their way into politics through elite universities. Moynihan’s relationship with urban machines and reform politics will be the subject of a later blog post. Glazer, “Daniel P. Moynihan on Ethnicity,” 20.
[8] Nathan Glazer, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Beyond the Melting Pot: The Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians, and Irish of New York City (2nd ed., Cambridge, MA, 1970), 218-19, 221-29, 250-52.
[9] Hodgson, The Gentleman from New York, 77.
[10] Rough Transcript, Henry Brandon interview with Daniel P. Moynihan, March 23, 1971, DPM papers, LOC, Part I, Box 187.
[11] Letter, DPM to Dean Rusk, April 15, 1984, DPM papers, LOC, Part II, Box 8.
[12] Kevin Kenny, The American Irish: A History (New York, 2000), 247-52
[13] Martin Gottlieb, “Moynihan’s Views on Parade Stir Ire of the Irish,” NYT, March 4, 1983
[14] For more on Hume, see P.J. McLoughlin, John Hume and the Revision of Irish Nationalism (Manchester and New York, 2010).
[15] Bernard Weinraub, “Four Top Democrats Urge Halt in Support for I.R.A.,” NYT, March 20, 1977.
[16] Bernard Weinraub, “24 Politicians Urge U.S. Role in Ending Ulster Strife,” NYT, March 17, 1981.
[17] Kenny, The American Irish, 252; Bernard Weinraub, “Legislators Ask ‘Active Role’ by Reagan on Ulster,” NYT, Aug 4, 1981.
[18] Hodgson, The Gentleman from New York, 284.
[19] Martin Gottlieb, “Moynihan’s Views on Parade Stir Ire of the Irish,” NYT, March 4, 1983.
[20] Kenny, The American Irish, 253; Daniel P. Moynihan, Steven R. Weisman (ed.), Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Portrait in Letters of an American Visionary (New York, 2010), 501; Todd S. Purdum, "Political Notes: For Moynihan, Health Before Heritage," NYT, February 6, 1983.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

It Must Be Nice To Have Washington On Your Side

U.N. Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan and President Gerald Ford in the Oval Office, August 27, 1975

On February 15 this year, Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, gave a speech at the American International School in Even Yehuda, Israel. It came as part of a multi-day trip to Israel by Power, with the predictable itinerary for travelling diplomats: meetings with leading politicians and visits to the Holocaust Museum Yad Veshem and to an Israel-Palestine Coexistence Programme. The speech was delivered to students participating in the Israel Middle East Model UN. An ideal venue, one might have assumed, for some encouraging bromides about international co-operation.

Instead, Ambassador Power took the opportunity to publicly chastise the U.N. for anti-Israel bias. Within the organisation, Power charged, ‘Israel is just not treated like other countries.’ Some member states sought to use the institutional bodies of the U.N. ‘to delegitimize the state of Israel itself.’ The role of U.S., continued Power, was ‘to ensure that the criticisms of Israel are about policies and not of the existence of the state itself, which is what it still feels as though a lot of that criticism is motivated by.’[1]

A former professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, foreign correspondent, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Power has gained a reputation as forthright, even occasionally undiplomatic, during her time at the U.N. In November 2014, for instance, Power publicly criticised the European nations who failed to send representatives to the Berlin Conference on Anti-Semitism hosted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).[2] This blunt style has occasionally gotten Power into trouble, as in 2008 when she was compelled to stand down as a foreign policy advisor to then-candidate Barack Obama after describing his rival Hillary Clinton as ‘a monster’ in an interview with The Scotsman.[3]

She has been caricatured, according to The New Yorker, as ‘an Ivy League Joan of Arc’ and describes herself, in her role as ambassador, as a ‘pain in the ass’ for the Obama administration.[4] Power’s best-known book, 2002’s ‘A Problem From Hell’: America and the Age of Genocide, was a scathing rebuke of the U.S. for having ‘done nothing, practically or politically, to respond to genocide’ and thus become a bystander in the face of mass slaughter at crucial points in the twentieth century.[5] Her ambassadorship has been informed by such readings of history and defined by a commitment to the use of U.S. power in defence of human rights. An Irish-American, a Democrat, an academic by training, a rhetorical pugilist, and a stout defender of Israel, Power closely resembles another U.N. ambassador, one who stood down after less than a year in the post almost exactly forty years ago. That ambassador is, of course, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.

No, not really. You should have spotted the theme of this blog by now. If you want posts about Henry Cabot Lodge, go convene your own conference. This here’s Moynihan country.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan was the United States’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations from June 1975 until February 1976. President Richard Nixon, in whose White House Moynihan had served as Counselor for Urban Affairs, had originally planned to appoint him to that post in 1970. However, when the news leaked (or rather, when Moynihan accidentally leaked the news by sharing the information with a friend), the response from the press and State Department officials was so hostile that he was forced to withdraw.[6] In 1973, the by-now embattled Nixon appointed Moynihan ambassador to India, a post in which he served until early 1975.

The cause of Moynihan’s appointment to the U.N. position was an article that appeared Commentary in March 1975, and which had mostly been written in India, ‘The United States in Opposition.’ In this article, Moynihan argued that the political culture of the decolonising Third World had been shaped by British socialism, particularly the authoritarian Fabian variant that had emerged from the London School of Economics. As a direct consequence, he said, the U.S. found itself outnumbered in the international community, and outvoted in the U.N., by anti-‘imperialist’, anti-capitalist, and anti-American authoritarian states. This anti-American majority meant that the U.S. could achieve nothing productive within the UN, concluded Moynihan, and thus the U.S. should ‘go into opposition’ and use its moral authority to shame autocracies for corruption and abuses of power. ‘It is time that the American spokesman came to be feared in international forums for the truths he might tell.’[7]

Moynihan’s theory was, at least in part, pure bunkum. As the anthropologist St. Clair Drake pointed out, it dramatically oversimplified the political cultures of the postcolonial nations of the Third World, only a small minority of which could be said to have been influenced by Fabianism.[8] Nonetheless, his argument struck a chord in a White House which was growing increasingly receptive to the idea of a more aggressive posture at the U.N. In April, President Ford invited Moynihan to take up the post of ambassador. The New York Times was cautiously welcoming of his appointment. Its editorial hoped that Moynihan would steer clear of ‘a public brawl with the third world’ and that his ‘undoubted intelligence and awesome energies’ would be channelled into ‘constructive endeavors.’[9] Moynihan set the tone for his ambassadorship in a speech to the 69th Annual American Jewish Committee a few weeks later. Americans, he said, had ‘suffered an erosion of belief in the value of liberty and the defense of democracy, along with a weariness with the international role.’ There was a danger that the U.S. might become part of ‘a beleaguered minority,’ but even if that should happen ‘we must not forget that we are the party of liberty.’[10]

As U.N. ambassador, Moynihan was representing not only the ‘party of liberty,’ but a faction within the Democratic Party that also felt itself increasingly beleaguered. It was a faction that defined itself in opposition to what it saw as the anti-internationalist inclinations of the New Politics movement, which had been born in opposition to the Vietnam War and evolved a broader critique of establishment liberalism, eventually coalescing in George McGovern’s unsuccessful candidacy. The anti-New Politics Democrats found their organisational expression in the Coalition for a Democratic Majority (CDM), which emerged out of meetings between labour leaders, party elders, and liberal intellectuals at the conference which nominated McGovern. The CDM had announced its creation with an advertisement in the New York Times and Washington Post in December 1972, headlined ‘Come Home, Democrats,’ an echo and a repudiation of McGovern (the refrain of his convention speech had been ‘Come Home, America’). The ad called on the Democratic Party to return to the tradition of Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson, which, in foreign affairs, consisted of a ‘sober but spirited assumption of America’s share of responsibility for … a more secure international order,’ and a ‘belief that democracy works.’[11] Though Moynihan had not been a signatory to this advert, many of his allies had, and he fully subscribed to its tenets. Moynihan had been an opponent of the Vietnam War – and a member of the anti-war group Negotiation Now! – but like many anti-communists liberals, he worried that the disillusionment of the New Politics was driving Democrats towards an isolationist stance. A few weeks after his nomination, Moynihan accepted an award from the CDM for his work on behalf of ‘a strong America in national defense, international affairs, human rights, and economic life.’[12]

When he arrived at the U.N. in July, Moynihan reportedly told his assistant, Leonard Garment, ‘Let’s try, in a responsible way, to get fired.’[13] If that was the goal, then he succeeded magnificently. At the U.N., Moynihan established himself as a pugnacious defender of American ideals and interests and, for perhaps the first time in his career, courted national popularity. He made his first splash on October 3 when, soon after Idi Amin had spoken to the General Assembly, Moynihan gave a speech to the AFL-CIO convention in San Francisco denouncing Uganda’s dictator as ‘a racist murderer’ and adding that it was ‘no accident’ that Amin was head of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).[14] This drew condemnations on the Assembly floor from a number of African and Arab delegates a few days later. Though not present for the dressing-down, Moynihan was unrepentant, accusing Amin in a speech later that day of having ‘slandered’ the U.S., and adding that he was not in the U.N. ‘to hear totalitarian dictators lecture to us on how to run a democracy.’[15]

Unsurprisingly, Ambassador Moynihan infuriated fellow diplomats. Ivor Richard, Britain’s ambassador to the U.N., in a speech to the board of directors of the United Nations Association, tacitly chastised those who behaved as if they were ‘Wyatt Earp’ looking for a shootout at the O.K. Corral. Though not mentioned by name, Moynihan understood that he was the target of the rebuke. ‘Wyatt Earp didn’t do so badly,’ he noted in an interview soon after.[16] On another occasion, the ambassador from Mauritius, Radha Krishna Raphul, gave a speech to the General Assembly in which he said that many U.N. delegates avoided official contact with Moynihan because they ‘live[d] in positive dread of his manners, his language and his abuse.’[17]

Moynihan’s abrasive manner likewise exasperated his superiors at the State Department. In turn, he was frustrated by what he saw as their pointed refusal to support him. For example, when journalists asked whether he backed Moynihan’s remarks on Amin, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger replied that, while he agreed in substance, he might ‘express myself in a more restrained manner, given the differences in our temperaments.’[18] Moynihan interpreted this as a reproach. In November 1975, after less than five months in the post, Moynihan was reported to be considering resignation because of insufficient State Department support. Only a White House intervention persuaded him to stay.[19] Nonetheless, continued tensions with officials at State would eventually be the cause of his leaving the post in February 1976. Later that year, while campaigning for the Senate, Moynihan had a pie pushed into his face by a Yippie activist. Kissinger fired off a jaunty telegram promising that ‘[t]he State Department official who pushed the pie in your face will be severely punished. He will be sentenced to five years at USUN [the U.S. Mission to the U.N.].’[20]

While he served as ambassador, however, Moynihan declined to moderate his style. And growing admiration among the American public offered some insulation. Only a few months after the fall of Saigon capped America’s humiliation in Vietnam, after the OPEC oil shock and Watergate, at a moment of intense existential crisis for the United States, the fact that one of its representatives was mounting such a bullish defence of its values offered a form of catharsis. It proved immensely popular; one poll found 70 per cent of respondents wanted Moynihan to continue speaking out ‘frankly and forthrightly’ even at the expense of ‘tact and diplomacy.’[21] By January 1976, the U.S. mission to the U.N. had received over 28,000 pieces of mail relating to Moynihan’s performance, fewer than 200 of which were critical. The ambassador also received praise from former California governor Ronald Reagan, who was then challenging incumbent president Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination.[22]

Moynihan’s most dramatic confrontation, the one that defined his tenure, was in leading the resistance to U.N. General Assembly Resolution 3379 which declared ‘Zionism [to be] a form of racism and racial discrimination.’[23] Moynihan’s opposition was based less on any longstanding Zionist sentiment (‘Israel was not my religion,’ he said later) and more on what he understood Israel to represent.[24] This was of a piece with the theory he had espoused in his Commentary article, that democracy was embattled across the world and it was the duty of the U.S. to defend it. Israel was, Moynihan said, ‘one of the very few places … where Western democratic principles survive, and of all such places, currently the most exposed.’[25] That the resolution was sponsored principally by authoritarian Arab and Third World states, and apparently the product of Soviet machinations, was evidence to Moynihan of a totalitarian assault on democracy.

Despite increasingly desperate manoeuvres to defeat the resolution, in the end its opponents, and Moynihan in particular, could offer only symbolic acts of defiance. When the U.N.’s Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee passed the draft resolution on October 17, sending it to the floor of the General Assembly, the New York Times reported that Moynihan ‘walked to Israel’s permanent representative, Chaim Herzog, and embraced him.’ Diplomatically, the Times’ report omitted to mention that when Moynihan put his arms around Herzog, he had loudly said, ‘Fuck ‘em’ (these were, Moynihan said later, ‘pungent words of encouragement not necessarily found in the pages of the Babylonian Talmud’).[26]

The Assembly passed the resolution, 72-35, on November 9, 1975, coincidentally the 37th anniversary of Kristallnacht. A furious Moynihan rose to declare that the United States ‘does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act.’ Historians would calculate, he continued, ‘the harm this act will have done the United Nations’ and it was ‘sufficient for the moment to note one foreboding fact: a great evil has been loosed on the world … The abomination of anti-Semitism has been given the appearance of international sanction.’ It was, Moynihan said, a ‘terrible lie’ that would have ‘terrible consequences,’ and it ‘behoove[d]’ those who opposed the resolution to demonstrate that ‘while we lost, we fought with full knowledge of what indeed would be lost.’[27]

 Full audio of Moynihan's speech to the U.N. General Assembly following the passage of Resolution 3379, November 9, 1975

Such pyrotechnics led more than one observer to wonder at Moynihan’s wider political ambitions. Several reports linked his name to the Democratic nomination for one of New York’s Senate seats (it would be contested in 1976 and the incumbent, Republican James Buckley, was widely thought to be vulnerable). This chatter rose to such a distracting level that in October 1975, appearing on Face The Nation in the midst of the ‘Zionism is racism’ fight, Moynihan was asked outright about his intentions. Moynihan was unequivocal in denying any political ambitions, saying he would ‘consider it dishonorable’ to leave to the U.N. to run for office.[28]

Nonetheless, Moynihan’s fractious relationship with State Department officials would eventually persuade him to step down. In January 1976, Moynihan sent a long cablegram to the State Department criticising its officials for their failure to support his tactics of ‘counterattack’ which, he claimed, had enjoyed considerable success in disrupting the bloc of ‘mostly new nations.’ The department, he wrote, had been ‘reluctant’ to recognise those successes. ‘This mission does not expect such persons to change their minds,’ he added. ‘We do ask however, that out of a decent respect for their profession they stop blabbing to the press what is not so.’ Predictably, the cablegram leaked to the New York Times, though Moynihan denied any hand in that.[29] He resigned on February 2, 1976, giving as his official reason the fact that Harvard University had declined to extend his leave and, were he to stay, he would forfeit his tenure.[30]

Within a few months, however, he was back in New York, as a candidate in the Democratic primary for the Senate election. In that race, Jewish voters (who made up a third of the Democratic primary electorate in the state) would prove crucial to his eventual, narrow victory. Campaigning in the predominantly Jewish diamond-and-jewellery district on 47th Avenue, Moynihan was repeatedly buttonholed and thanked by passers-by for his support of Israel – it took him 45 minutes to cover 50 yards. This frustrated his more liberal opponent, Bella Abzug, who was herself Jewish and who had joined the Zionist youth group Hashomir Hatzair at age 12. ‘Two speeches do not a Zionist make,’ Abzug’s campaign manager noted tartly.[31]

Whether or not Moynihan was successful as ambassador depends on your perspective. Certainly, one can point to very few major policy accomplishments. For all Moynihan’s eloquent fury, Resolution 3379 passed, and was not revoked until 1991. Indeed, a Newsweek article from November 1975 on the controversy cited ‘many UN delegates and several experienced American diplomatists’ who felt that Moynihan’s noisy opposition actually made it more difficult to defeat the resolution.[32]

For Gil Troy, however, Moynihan’s abrasive style was itself the accomplishment. He argues that Moynihan was practicing ‘the politics of patriotic indignation’ at the U.N., an effort ‘to restore Americans’ sense of mission by getting Americans angry at the world’s bad guys.’[33] Moynihan characterised his own aims as ambassador in similar terms. ‘Did I make a crisis out of this obscene resolution?’ he said later. ‘Damn right I did!’[34] Kicking up a stink was the whole point. One’s judgement of that approach depends very much on whether one endorses Moynihan’s belief that the U.S. was ‘in opposition’ within the U.N. and had to embrace either Kabuki diplomacy or inaction.

As Troy acknowledges, probably the greatest practitioner of the ‘politics of patriotic indignation’ was Ronald Reagan. A number of ‘neoconservative’ Democrats, many associated with the CDM, who had supported Moynihan at the U.N. would shift their allegiance to the Republican Party under Reagan. The most striking symbol of that exodus was perhaps Jeane Kirkpatrick – a former Democratic activist who became the first woman to serve as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under Reagan – who, in her speech to the 1984 Republican convention, condemned the Democrats as the ‘blame America first’ party.

Moynihan was not one of those who switched parties, however. In fact, as senator from New York, he opposed Reagan’s military build-up in the early 1980s, arguing that the Soviet Union was living on borrowed time anyway, and so such aggrandisement was unnecessary. Nonetheless, he remained a defender within the Democratic Party of a tradition of robust liberal internationalism that he understood to extend back to Franklin Roosevelt. That tradition continues within the Democratic Party and is embodied as well as it could be in the person of the current U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power. Power has acknowledged Moynihan as a model, saying in a speech last November to commemorate the passage of Resolution 3379 that if U.S. representatives continue to echo Moynihan’s ‘moral clarity’ and his will to ‘relentlessly fight back against ignorance and hatred of all forms’ then ‘we will bring our nations and the United Nations closer to living up to their ideals.’[35]

[1] Yair Rosenberg, “U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power Slams Its Bias Against Israel,” Tablet, February 19, 2016, <>
[2] Only around two-thirds of OSCE’s 57 members were represented, many of those by deputy-level officials. Alison Smale, “Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador, Issues Warning on Anti-Semitism in Europe,” New York Times, November 13, 2014.
[3] In fairness to Power, she had thought the remark was off-the-record. The Scotsman published it anyway.  “’Hillary Clinton’s A Monster’: Obama Aide Blurts Out Attack in Scotsman Interview,” The Scotsman, March 6, 2008, <>
[4] Evan Osnos, “In the Land of the Possible,” The New Yorker, December 22 & 29, 2014, <>
[5] Samantha Power, ’A Problem From Hell’: America and the Age of Genocide (New York, 2002),  xxi
[6] Moynihan was, editorialised the New York Times, ‘simply not qualified for this job.’ “Wrong Man for the U.N.,” NYT, November 25, 1970
[7] Daniel P. Moynihan, ‘The United States in Opposition’, Commentary, March 1975.
[8] St. Clair Drake, “Moynihan and the Third World,” The Nation, July 5, 1975.
[9] “New Man at Turtle Bay,” NYT, May 3, 1975.
[10] Irving Spiegel, “Moynihan Bids U.S. Retain World Role,” NYT, May 5, 1975.
[11] Coalition for a Democratic Majority ad, NYT and Washington Post-Times Herald, December 7, 1972.
[12] Daniel Patrick Moynihan, with Suzanne Weaver, A Dangerous Place (Boston, 1978), 73-74.
[13] Timothy Crouse, “Daniel Patrick Moynihan: Working Class Hero,” Rolling Stone, August 12, 1976.
[14] “Moynihan Assails Uganda President,” NYT, October 4, 1975.
[15] Kathleen Teltsch, “Africans and Arabs Denounce Moynihan in the U.N.,” NYT, October 7, 1975.
[16] Paul Hofmann, “Moynihan’s Style in the U.N. Is Now an Open Debate,” NYT, November 21, 1975.
[17] “African Diplomat Says UN Figures Avoid Moynihan,” Chicago Defender, December 17, 1975
[18] Godfrey Hodgson, The Gentleman from New York: Daniel Patrick Moynihan, A Biography (Boston, 2000), 247.
[19] “Moynihan, About to Quit, Agrees to Wait,” NYT, Nov 22, 1975
[20] Telegram from Henry Kissinger to DPM, September 7, 1976, Papers of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Manuscript Reading Room, Library of Congress, Part I, Box 383.
[21] ‘A Fighting Irishman At The U.N.’, Time, January 26, 1976.
[22] Clayton Fritchley, ‘Moynihan-Kissinger Split: A Matter of Style’, WP, December 6, 1975.
[23] For a detailed and sympathetic account of the battle over Resolution 3379 see Gil Troy, Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight Against Zionism As Racism (New York, 2013).
[24] Troy, Moynihan’s Moment, 5.
[25] ‘Moynihan Says U.N. Must Bar Resolution Condemning Zionism’, NYT, 22 October 1975.
[26] Paul Hofmann, “U.N. Unit Endorses Draft Linking Zionism to Racism,” NYT, October 18, 1975; Troy, Moynihan’s Moment, 124.
[27] The full text of Moynihan’s speech can be found in Troy, Moynihan’s Moment, 275-80.
[28] ‘Moynihan Sees U.N. Assembly Voting Anti-Zionism Resolution’, NYT, October 27, 1975; Hodgson, Gentleman From New York, 259.
[29] ‘I was in the Navy,’ he told the journalist who telephoned him for a comment, ‘and my code is not to give cables.’ Leslie H. Gelb, “Moynihan Says State Department Fails to Back Policy Against U.S. Foes in U.N.,” NYT, January 28, 1976.
[30] Kathleen Teltsch, “Moynihan Said to Feel He Lacked Vital Support,” NYT, February 4, 1976.
[31] Frank Lynn, “Democrats in Senate Race Wooing New York’s Jews,” NYT, August 9, 1976; For more on Moynihan’s 1976 Senate race, see Patrick Andelic “Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the 1976 New York Senate Race, and the Struggle to Define American Liberalism,” Historical Journal, 57:4, December 2014, 1111-1133.
[32] Moynihan found that accusation particularly wounding. Hodgson, The Gentleman from New York, 248.
[33] Troy, Moynihan’s Moment, 212.
[34] Hodgson, The Gentleman from New York, 248.
[35] Ambassador Samantha Power, “Remarks on Overcoming the UN Resolution on Zionism is Racism: Herzog, Moynihan, and the Enduring Struggle to Eliminate Anti-Israel Bias at the UN,” November 11, 2015, <>