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“The Strauss Affair: Senate v. President,” Time Magazine, June 15, 1959

Democrats had gained fifteen Senate seats in the 1958 midterm elections, and some of them viewed Lewis Strauss’ nomination as an opportunity to strengthen their party’s prospects for the 1960 presidential race. Time described the Strauss confirmation hearings as a “stinging personal slap” at President Dwight D. Eisenhower. On June 19, 1959, the Senate rejected Strauss, voting 46–49.

From TIME, 2017. © 1959 Time Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States. The printing, copying, redistribution, or retransmission of this Content without express written permission is prohibited.

 “The Strauss Affair: Senate v. President,” Time Magazine, June 15, 1959

Congress Rejects Eisenhower’s Cabinet Nomination

President Dwight D. Eisenhower precipitated one of the most contentious confirmation hearings of the Cold War era when he nominated Edwin L. Strauss as secretary of Commerce in 1959. Strauss’ controversial decisions as the former head of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), his arrogance, and his condescending attitude toward members of the Senate during his confirmation hearings ultimately led the Senate to reject his confirmation on June 18, 1959.

I was impressed by Mr. Strauss in the first days of the hearing. . . . It was only after that he began to unfold the step-by-step evasion and snow us with words instead of direct answers to questions, and sometimes use downright deceit and falsehood, in reply to questions which had been asked.

Senator Gale W. McGee of Wyoming, Speech to the U.S. Senate, June 9, 1959