McNamara spent the weekend deliberating with his family. If he accepted the president-elect's offer, it would mean moving to Washington and his salary would plunge from $400,000 to $23,000. McNamara drew up a letter which he handed to the president-elect on 12 December at his Georgetown home. His terms were simple but clear: 1) he would have complete authority to staff the Defense Department with the most competent men and that he would not use the type of reorganization recommended in the Symington Report. On his retained carbon, McNamara wrote: "2:30 PM 12/13/60 | Met with Senator Kennedy at his house 3307 N St. — handed ltr to him; he read it, agreed with its terms, & handed it to Bob K who also read it and placed it on a table in the room." Kennedy was keen to announce the appointment as soon as possible and immediately drafted a statement to deliver to the press. A photograph of that momentous occasion is included in the lot.
McNamara, now vested with the complete authority he had demanded, chose an outstanding group of men who went on to achieve cabinet status themselves: Harold Brown, Joseph Califano, John Connally, and Paul Nitze.
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