138. Memorandum From the Assistant to the President for Congressional Liaison (Moore) to President Carter 1

Because of the recent accords on Panama, the publicity Senator Howard Baker and Senator Robert Byrd have received and the deceptive vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, many people have relaxed on the Hill and in the Administration thinking the treaty fight has been won. We are still 9 votes short of the necessary 67, and any combination of 67 votes that we can see is very fragile.

Some Senators who will vote for final passage will find it very difficult to vote against emotional amendments (flag amendment) which do not mean much to us but would be degrading to Panamanians.

I am, of course, optimistic that we will pass the treaties. I met with Alan Cranston last night. Bob Beckel and Bob Thomson are busy going back to see Senators, as am I. Your speech tonight2 will create a good mood on the Hill for the next 4 or 5 days while there is a sort of legislative vacuum.

I have some suggestions for your consideration:

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1. I suggest that we arrange short appointments for you with Senators Ford, Zorinsky, Goldwater, and possibly Heinz.3

2. I suggest that you call Senators Hodges, Nunn and Burdick.4

3. I suggest that Hamilton call Dr. Kissinger and ask him to talk with Zorinsky and any other undecided members he thinks he can help.5

Former President Ford indicated he is willing to help in specific cases. I, also, suggest you consider calling the former President and asking him to talk with Senators Roth and Ted Stevens.6

  1. Source: Carter Library, White House Central Files, Subject File, FO 3–1, Panama Canal, 1. No classification marking. Carter initialed the top-right of the memorandum and wrote: “Nunn + Hodges + Burdick?”
  2. A reference to the fireside chat.
  3. Carter underlined “Ford,” “Zorinsky,” “Goldwater,” and “Heinz” and wrote in the right margin: “ok”
  4. Carter wrote in the right margin: “done.”
  5. Carter wrote in the right margin: “I will do.”
  6. Carter wrote in the right margin: “I will do.”