Cyrus R. Vance

Clarksburg Exponent
December 4, 1976

Carter Will Name Cyrus R. Vance as New Secretary of State; Assails Steel Boosts

Less Travel Is in Plans Of Vance

By Harry F. Rosenthal
Associated Press Writer

Washington (AP) - Cyrus Roberts Vance now adds secretary of state to his list of government jobs, but nowhere in his biography is the title that suits him best: troubleshooter.

Nor, he indicated quickly, will be referred to as "Globetrotter" Vance in the manner of the man he'll replace in 1977.

In naming Vance to the top Cabinet post Friday, President-elect Jimmy Carter referred to the troubleshooting skill, saying Vance is a "superb adviser and negotiator." The President-elect used words such as level-headed and competent in describing his first Cabinet choice.

Vance, a job holder in two past Democratic administrations, won't take office until after Carter does on Jan. 20, and then only after confirmation by a Democratic-controlled Senate.

As he shared a news conference platform in Plains, Ga., with Carter, Vance was hesitant to answer specific questions.

But he made clear that he won't go hopping off to foreign outposts to conduct personal negotiations when aides can do just as well.

"I will travel to the extent necessary," he said, expressing his belief in delegating authority. Travel, publicized and covert, was a hallmark of the eight-year reign of Henry A. Kissinger.

Vance said there "appear to be some encouraging signs" in the Middle East and that the area would be given attention early in the administration. As for specifics: "I will beg off until I have further knowledge."

Not, he said, until he has met with Kissinger and familiarized himself with details.

One thing is sure. A world used to the flamboyance of Henry A. Kissinger will find him radically different in manner and appearance.

Vance, now 59, impressed Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1950s and rose through the Kennedy and Johnson administrations from general counsel of the Defense Department, to secretary of the Army, to deputy secretary of defense.

He was known as a good administrator, never an innovator. One man who worked for Vance described him as an echo. Another as a messenger boy.

But he made his reputation filling the hot assignments. He represented then-President Johnson in the Dominican Republic crisis of 1965, then in the Panama Canal Zone disturbances, the Greek-Turkish disputes over Cyprus, the Detroit riots, a Korean crisis, the burning and looting in Washington following the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968, and finally as the No. 2 negotiator at the Vietnam peace talks in Paris.

As the No. 2 man in the Defense Department in 1967, Vance defended the Vietnam war saying, "I believe that we are engaged in a just battle."

And after the summer 1967 riots in Detroit, he wrote a report that called for using federal troops to gather advance information in American cities where the possibility of racial strife existed.

"Folders could then be prepared for those cities listing bivouac sites and possible headquarters locations and providing police data and other information needed to make an intelligent assessment of the optimum employment of federal troops when committed," he wrote.

Later it was disclosed that military intelligence officers followed and kept detailed files on public figures, Vietnam war protesters, environmentalists and civil right leaders. The program received heavy criticism.

Vance and Kissinger couldn't be more different.

Kissinger, a German-Jewish refugee, pulled himself up by his bootstraps. He is short, portly and often rumpled.

Vance went to private schools, graduated from Yale. He is a 6-footer and dresses impeccably.

Both men are extremely articulate - but unlike Kissinger, Vance rarely uses slang terms. He speaks more directly than Kissinger, who is full of double convolutions, layers and layers of them.

Carter has said that he will be in charge of his own foreign policy, a role that would seem to fit the spear-carrier stance for which Vance is noted among those who worked for him. If that happens, power would flow back to the President's national security adviser as it [w]as when Kissinger had that job under Richard M. Nixon.

Vance was born in Clarksburg, W. Va. He served in the Navy from 1942 to 1946 in both the Atlantic and the Pacific, leaving the service as a lieutenant.

He became a partner in a New York law firm, leaving in 1957 to help set up an inquiry by a Senate committee into military and space programs. Johnson, then majority leader, was in charge of the hearings and persuaded Vance to stay on as committee counsel.

After John F. Kennedy was elected, the president's talent scouts asked Vance if he wanted a job in the Defense Department. Secretary McNamara made him general counsel.

He became secretary of the Army in 1962 and two years later Johnson elevated him to the Pentagon's second-ranking civilian job.

But Vance had a painful back injury, aggravated when he hurt his knee while examining a flat tire on his car. The pain was so bad at one point, that he worked in his office lying on a bed.

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