10 fascinating facts about Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon was one of the best-known American politicians of the 20th century’s second half, and one of the most controversial. So how much do you know about the 37th President on the occasion of his birthday?
Nixon burst on to the political scene just after World War II, when he won seats in the United States House of Representatives and the Senate from California. His political career ended in August 1974, with his historic resignation during the Watergate scandal.
In between, Nixon became one of the most famous figures in the world and fixture in national politics. Here are a few things you may, or may not know, about his roller coaster career.
1. Nixon and Franklin Roosevelt are the only two people to appear on a national presidential ticket five times. Nixon won election in four of the five races, as did FDR. Nixon was the winning vice presidential candidate in 1952 and 1956, and he won the 1968 and 1972 presidential elections. Roosevelt won four presidential elections and lost as a vice presidential candidate in 1920.
2. Nixon had a chance to attend Harvard but had to decline. As a student, Richard Nixon was third in his class and was offered a tuition grant to Harvard, but he was needed at home by his family.
3. He was also an outstanding law student. After graduating from Whittier College in California, Nixon received a full scholarship to Duke Law and he graduated third in his class.
4. Nixon was a lieutenant commander in the Navy during World War II. He served in a variety of administrative positions, but didn’t see combat during his time in the Pacific.
5. Richard Nixon almost became an FBI agent in the 1930s. Nixon applied to the agency but never heard back about his application. He has been accepted but then budget cuts eliminated his position.
6. Nixon was only 39 years old when he ran for vice president in 1952.Presidential candidate Dwight Eisenhower didn’t have a preference for a running mate, and party leaders favor Nixon for his anti-Communist stance and his strength in California.
7. Nixon survived two potentially fatal political losses in 1960 and 1962. Defeats in the presidential campaign against John F. Kennedy and the 1962 Californian governor’s race led many political observers to predict Nixon’s career was over. Within six years, he was President after winning a hard-fought campaign in 1968. Read the rest of this entry »
The Pauline Kael Award Goes To… The Left
Charlotte Hays writes: The other day, when a friend who is old enough to have matured past her Bernie Sanders infatuation—but hasn’t—said to me with a mixture of awe and disdain that I was the only person she knew who voted for Trump, she put me in mind of the New York film critic Pauline Kael. “I can’t believe Nixon won,” Kael is famously supposed to have remarked of Richard Nixon’s landslide victory in 1972. “I don’t know anyone who voted for him.”
As likely the only out-of-the-closet Trump voter in my trendy Adams-Morgan neighborhood in Northwest Washington D.C., I feel it is my right and solemn duty to bestow upon some unsuspecting worthy the Pauline Kael Award for 2016. Only problem is, there aren’t enough Paulies to go around this year. The competition is fierce. But a few contenders stand out:
“If your social circles are like mine,” Brooks wrote, “You spent Tuesday night swapping miserable texts. Not all, but many of my friends and family members were outraged, stunned, disgusted and devastated. This is victory for white supremacy, people wrote, for misogyny, nativism and authoritarianism. Fascism is descending.”
Further demonstrating his gift for unintended humor, Mr. Brooks professed himself to be “humbled and taught by this horrific election result.” How humbled? In the column, Brooks goes on to humbly offer himself and like-minded thought leaders (his social circle?) as being graciously available to pick up the pieces when Trump resigns or is impeached, which Brooks humbly predicted would happen within a year, thus sending all those chastened Trump yahoos back into their hollows so that Brooks and his ilk can redesign American politics.
“The job for the rest of us,” Brooks argued without a trace of irony or self-awareness, “is to rebind the fabric of society, community by community, and to construct a political movement for the post-Trump era. I suspect the coming political movements will be identified on two axes: open and closed and individual and social.” Humble pie this is not. Read the rest of this entry »
Richard Nixon chose little-known Maryland governor Spiro Agnew as his running mate for his 1968 presidential bid. Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey lampooned Agnew in this “Laughter” ad, created by Tony Schwartz, best known for the infamous “Daisy Girl” commercial for Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
She erased emails after the Benghazi probe wanted to see them
If the House panel investigating Benghazi really wants to get a look at Hillary Clinton’s emails, perhaps it should subpoena the Chinese military. Beijing—which may have hacked the private server she used to send official email as Secretary of State—is likely to be more cooperative than are Mrs. Clinton and her stonewall specialists now reprising their roles from the 1990s.
“Mrs. Clinton’s real message to Congress: You’ll see those emails over my dead body.”
On Friday Mrs. Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, disclosed that he couldn’t cooperate with the Benghazi committee’s request that she turn over her private server to an independent third party for examination. Why not? Well, the former first diplomat had already wiped the computer clean.
Of course she had. What else would she do?
The timing of the deletions isn’t entirely clear. Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy says they appear to have been deleted after Oct. 28, 2014, when State asked Mrs. Clinton to return her public records to the department. That could qualify as obstruction of Congress, as lawyer Ronald Rotunda recently argued on these pages.
The deletions certainly violate Mrs. Clinton’s promise to Congress on Oct. 2, 2012, when the Benghazi probe was getting under way. “We look forward to working with the Congress and your Committee as you proceed with your own review,” she told the Oversight Committee. “We are committed to a process that is as transparent as possible, respecting the needs and integrity of the investigations underway. We will move as quickly as we can without forsaking accuracy.”
Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Kendall say the vanishing emails don’t matter because State and the committee already have all the relevant documents and emails they’ve asked for. But State and the committee don’t have the actual emails, only the printed copies she provided to State.
Hillary used iPad for official emails at State
The Hill reports: Hillary Clinton used an iPad and Blackberry to send official emails at the State Department despite her claim that she relied on a personal address to avoid the inconvenience of multiple devices, according to The Associated Press.
And State had previously assured the committee it had everything it had asked for before Mrs. Clinton coughed up 850 pages of email copies from her private server this month—emails State couldn’t turn over before because she hadn’t provided them despite clear State Department policy that she and other officials do so….(read more)
Mrs. Clinton’s real message to Congress: You’ll see those emails over my dead body. Read the rest of this entry »
Responding to Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer’s interview with President Obama, aired on Sunday morning, Woodward noted:
“I found the interview with Obama very revealing, because he said he’s going to reach out to the other side — to persuade and sell. Now, if you’re going to reach out to the other side on something, one of the things you want to do is listen. But we didn’t hear that.”
“What we heard, is the continuous Obama line: ‘I’m heading in the right direction; this is right.’ …A go-it-alone approach just isn’t going to work.”
— TIME.com (@TIME) October 22, 2014
One of Style’s best feature writers ever, Martha Sherrill, writes the piece I most wanted to read on Ben Bradlee: http://t.co/VCQw12EHdR
— Hank Stuever (@hankstuever) October 22, 2014
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 22, 2014
David Remnick remembers Ben Bradlee, “the most charismatic and consequential newspaper editor of postwar America” http://t.co/VNP9oo2YNP
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) October 22, 2014
“The number who trust the government all or most of the time has sunk so low…”
CNN‘s Paul Steinhauser delivers the bad news: Four decades after President Richard Nixon resigned, a slight majority of Americans still consider Watergate a very serious matter, a new national survey shows. But how serious depends on when you were born.
” …that it is hard to remember that there was ever a time when Americans routinely trusted the government.”
— CNN Polling Director Keating Holland
The CNN/ORC International poll’s release comes one day before the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s resignation on August 9, 1974. With the Watergate scandal escalating, the second-term Republican president had lost much of his political backing, and he faced almost certain impeachment and the prospects of being removed from office by a Democratic-dominated House and Senate.
There’s a big generational divide over the significance of the scandal, with a majority of those older than 40 describing Watergate as a very serious problem and those under 40 saying it was just politics.
“Just 13% of Americans say the government can be trusted to do what is right always or most of the time.”
The poll also indicates that the public’s trust in government is at an all-time low. Read the rest of this entry »
“We need a special prosecutor with meaningful independence to make sure that justice is served and that our constitutional rights to free speech, to assembly, and to privacy are protected.”
Cruz said on the Senate Floor on Thursday…He referred to the Watergate Scandal, and said that when President Richard Nixon attempted to use the IRS to target political enemies, “it was wrong, it was an abuse of power, and he was rightfully condemned by both sides of the aisle… Both cases involved an abuse of power, but the difference is that with Nixon,
“Republicans had the courage to stand up to their own party. It saddens me that there is not a single Democratic member of this body who has had the courage to stand up to their own party and say that this abuse of power . . . is wrong.”
IRS Destruction of E-mail Evidence: ‘If Nixon Had Burned the Tapes as People Had Advised Him to, He Would Have Served His Full Term’Posted: June 24, 2014
“That there was targeting of these groups is not disputed…”
“The question that makes this interesting and the question that a special prosecutor would pursue is where does this lead, how high up does this go.”
Will noted that people have been saying that nothing has connected the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups to the White House, but he questions that. He recalled the Watergate scandal, which he said never would have been connected to President Nixon but for the tapes that showed him plotting obstruction of justice.
“Something equivalent to burning the tapes may have happened with the hard drive of Lois Lerner.”
Will explained that if Nixon had burned the tapes as people advised him to, he would have served his full time. “Something equivalent to burning the tapes may have happened with the hard drive of Lois Lerner,” Will said…(read more)
Today in History: 1972, Five Men Were Arrested for Breaking into the DNC Headquarters in the Watergate ComplexPosted: June 17, 2014
Today in 1972, five men were arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. In their possession were cameras, film, and tear gas guns. Ultimately, the suspects were charged with burglary and convicted in January 1973; however, the real scandal as would later be uncovered by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein revealed that the suspects all had ties to the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, a support group for President Richard M. Nixon. While Nixon denied any wrongdoing or knowledge of the burglary, a secret tape later surfaced and revealed that Nixon had known about the burglary cover-up and had tried to use the FBI to stop the investigation.
With Woodward and Bernstein’s persistent news reporting, their investigation sparked one of U.S. history’s biggest stories of crime, espionage and cover-up and shed a light on the importance of journalism and a free press – leading to the downfall of a presidency, with Nixon resigning office on August 8, 1974.
“It’s to me the equivalent of what was discovered with the Nixon tapes.”
“The point is that Republicans have done a terrible job in building the case. Even today I have to say, the questioning was disjointed, it was not organized. If they had appointed a special committee a long time ago the way it was done in Watergate, you would have had answers…”
FILE – In this April 29, 1974, file photo, President Richard M. Nixon points to the transcripts of the White House tapes after he announced during a nationally-televised speech that he would turn over the transcripts to House impeachment investigators, in Washington. The last 340 hours of tapes from Nixon’s White House were released Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, along with more than 140,000 pages of text materials. (AP Photo/File)
FILE – The original Nixon White House tape and original tape recorder are shown in an undated file photo from the National Archives. The last 340 hours of tapes from President Richard M. Nixon’s White House were released Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, along with more than 140,000 pages of text materials. (AP Photo/National Archives, File
FILE – In this June 18,1973 file photo, Soviet leader Leonid I. Brezhnev, left, whispers in the ear of President Richard M. Nixon as the two leaders stand on a balcony at the White House in Washington. The meeting was the only summit ever recorded on an American presidential taping system. The last 340 hours of tapes from Nixon’s White House were released Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, along with more than 140,000 pages of text materials. (AP Photo/File)
YORBA LINDA, Calif. (AP) — President Richard Nixon had just delivered his first major national address on the Watergate scandal that would ultimately cost him the White House when the calls of support began pouring in.
Audio tapes released Wednesday show that within hours of the speech on April 30, 1973, the beleaguered 37th president heard from Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and evangelist Billy Graham.
The calls were captured on a secret recording system that Nixon used to tape 3,700 hours of phone calls and private meetings in his executive offices between February 1971 and July 1973.
The final chronological installment of those tapes — 340 hours — were posted online by the National Archives and Records Administration as part of a release that also includes more than 140,000 pages of text documents. Another 700 hours of tapes remain sealed for national security and privacy reasons.
Since 2007, the National Archives has released hundreds of hours of the tapes, offering the public an unvarnished and sometimes shocking view of the inner workings of Nixon’s administration and insight into the president’s private musings on everything from Watergate to Vietnam.
Two really good articles in WSJ this week, the first by Kimberly Strassel, the second by Peggy Noonan. —The Butcher
The bureaucrats at the Internal Revenue Service did exactly what the president said was the right and honorable thing to do.
By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL
President Obama and Co. are in full deniability mode, noting that the IRS is an “independent” agency and that they knew nothing about its abuse. The media and Congress are sleuthing for some hint that Mr. Obama picked up the phone and sicced the tax dogs on his enemies.
But that’s not how things work in post-Watergate Washington. Mr. Obama didn’t need to pick up the phone. All he needed to do was exactly what he did do, in full view, for three years: Publicly suggest that conservative political groups were engaged in nefarious deeds; publicly call out by name political opponents whom he’d like to see harassed; and publicly have his party pressure the IRS to take action.
Mr. Obama now professes shock and outrage that bureaucrats at the IRS did exactly what the president of the United States said was the right and honorable thing to do. “He put a target on our backs, and he’s now going to blame the people who are shooting at us?” asks Idaho businessman and longtime Republican donor Frank VanderSloot.
Mr. VanderSloot is the Obama target who in 2011 made a sizable donation to a group supporting Mitt Romney. In April 2012, an Obama campaign website named and slurred eight Romney donors. It tarred Mr. VanderSloot as a “wealthy individual” with a “less-than-reputable record.” Other donors were described as having been “on the wrong side of the law.”
This was the Obama version of the phone call—put out to every government investigator (and liberal activist) in the land.
This month, I spoke at an event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Watergate scandal with some of its survivors at the National Press Club. While much of the discussion looked back at the historic clash with President Nixon, I was struck by a different question: Who actually won? From unilateral military actions to warrantless surveillance that were key parts of the basis for Nixons impending impeachment, the painful fact is that Barack Obama is the president that Nixon always wanted to be.Four decades ago, Nixon was halted in his determined effort to create an “imperial presidency” with unilateral powers and privileges. In 2013, Obama wields those very same powers openly and without serious opposition. The success of Obama in acquiring the long-denied powers of Nixon is one of his most remarkable, if ignoble, accomplishments. Consider a few examples:
Nixon’s use of warrantless surveillance led to the creation of a special court called theForeign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA). But the reform turned out to be more form than substance. The secret court turned “probable cause” into a meaningless standard, virtually guaranteeing any surveillance the government wanted. After hundreds of thousands of applications over decades, only a couple have ever been denied.
Last month, the Supreme Court crushed any remaining illusions regarding FISA when it sided with the Obama administration in ruling that potential targets of such spying had to have proof they were spied upon before filing lawsuits, even if the government has declared such evidence to be secret. That’s only the latest amongdozens of lawsuits the administration has blocked while surveillance expands exponentially.
Unilateral military action
Nixon’s impeachment included the charge that he evaded Congress’ sole authority to declare war by invading Cambodia. In the Libyan “mission,” Obama announced that only he had the inherent authority to decide what is a “war” and that so long as he called it something different, no congressional approval or even consultation was necessary. He proceeded to bomb a nation’s capital, destroy military units and spendmore than a billion dollars in support of one side in a civil war.