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Oral history interview with Rick Rolf
- 1988-06-03 - 1988-09-24 (Creation)
.1 cubic feet 10 audiocassettes (8 hr., 29 min., 40 sec.)
Name of creator
S. Richard "Rick" Rolf was born in 1955 and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His family moved west when he was around 13 years old and settled in Ontario, Oregon. He earned a bachelor's degree in international affairs from Lewis and Clark College and began working as an intern for U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield soon after. He later served as senior foreign policy advisor, chief campaign strategist and spokesman for the senator. While working for Hatfield, he attended night school at Georgetown University, where he earned a master's degree. He also earned a master's degree in public administration from Harvard. He is currently senior policy advisor for the Bonneville Power Administration and a Senior Fellow at Portland State University.
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Scope and content
This oral history interview with Rick Rolf was conducted by Michael O'Rourke in Washington, D.C., and at the Benson Hotel in Portland, Oregon, from June 3 to September 24, 1988. In this interview, Rolf very briefly discusses his family background and early life in Ontario, Oregon. He talks about how he first came into contact with U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield in 1972 and how he got involved in politics as a result of the war in Vietnam. He discusses working for Hatfield as an intern after college and working toward an embargo on Ugandan coffee. He talks about other members of Hatfield's staff, including Gerry Frank. Rolf discusses how Hatfield interacted with other senators; Hatfield's opinion of the Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan administrations; and Hatfield's work as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Rolf speaks at length about Hatfield's opposition to much of the Reagan administration's agenda, both foreign and domestic. He discusses his foreign policy work of the 1980s, including two trips he took to El Salvador, the peace process in Nicaragua, and observing elections in Guatemala. He also discusses the geopolitics of the Middle East. He talks about Hatfield's feelings on the War Powers Act; Hatfield's filibuster against Selective Service; and Hatfield's opposition to nuclear weapons and nerve gas. He closes the interview by discussing Hatfield's real estate scandal and how it was resolved.
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Conditions governing access
Joint copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society and Willamette University. Use is allowed according to the following license: Creative Commons - BY-NC-SA: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
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Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Rick Rolf, by Michael O'Rourke, SR 1334, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Forms part of the Senator Mark O. Hatfield Oral History Project.
Incomplete transcript (167 pages) is available for in-person use at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
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Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.