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Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program

The Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program is comprised of over 3,000 linear feet of archival collections, along with an extensive number of oral history interviews, that document the unique political culture of the state of Georgia.

Rogers Wade

Rogers Wade has been active in the Georgia business and political community for more than 40 years. He served as chief of staff to Senator Herman E. Talmadge in Washington, from 1973 through 1980. Upon returning to Georgia, he was named vice president of Watkins Associated Industries, a national company with major holdings in transportation, development, seafood processing, insurance and communications.; A founding member of Leadership Georgia, Wade is currently active on the boards of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the U.S.O. and the Georgia Motor Trucking Association, and is a trustee of the Richard B. Russell Foundation. He has also been active on the boards of the Gordon College Foundation, the P.A.G.E. Foundation and the Fanning Leadership Institute at the University of Georgia. He has a B.S. and M.B.A. and is a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta. Wade and his wife, Marcia, are longtime residents of Sandy Springs.; Interviewed by Mel Steely on January 27, 1988 at an unknown location. This interview features Dr. Mel Steely asking Rogers Wade about his experiences working with Senator Herman Talmadge. Wade mentions that he feels Talmadge was a team player who visited Georgia as often as he could while senator, averaging a visit three out of the four weekends a month.He also mentions that the Talmadge office accepted as many event invitations as possible with most of these correlating to easy airport access along with parts of the state where support for the senator was weakest. Even if Talmadge was unable to personally visit an event, he sent his staffers (typically Wade) in his place.; According to Rogers Wade, Talmadge understood the importance of history but not his part in it.He was credited with developing a watch system that was used in the 1960s that allowed two senators to team up during a filibuster, but according to Wade, this system was actually designed by Senator Russell. When people asked Talmadge his opinion on ideas, he would either tell them "no I don't want to do it" or "I'll try to work it in." Wade says Talmadge used this system as a defensive tactic because he was asked for help so frequently. As a committee chairman, Talmadge treated everyone as a friend and gave a chance for everyone to have a say in the proceedings. Wade also recalls that Talmadge always voted last in committee, always started with the most junior Republican at the table, and then moved around the table finally ending with the most junior Democrat.; Steely then asks Rogers Wade what Talmadge was most proud of in his lifetime. Wade answers this by saying it was his 52 months of active-duty naval service followed by his part in the 1977 tax act legislation. Wade emphasizes that Talmadge could've stayed stateside due to the stature of his father, but that he chose to serve in the Pacific theater.; The interview then moves on to the Carter presidency and the thought Talmadge had about it.Wade comments that Talmadge never assumed he could be president because he was a white southerner from a segregationist background and that he and Carter were from very different backgrounds. Talmadge was not very familiar with Carter as they were not in state government together for a long period. The interview ends with Wade stating that if Carter had used the Georgia Congressional Delegation more effectively, he would've won a second term as the credibility of Herman Talmadge carried a lot of weight on Capitol Hill.