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tv   Richard Nixon  CSPAN  October 1, 2017 4:00pm-4:47pm EDT

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9:00 a.m., art leavine reports on the many health industry and at 10:00, plate cat strategist dick morris weighs in on the russia investigation and the trump campaign. at 11:30 p.m. eastern ucla recovery on incarceration in los angeles. that all happens tonight on booktv. con [inaudible conversations]ations >> good evening, and welcome to the main event the last program of the evening here in the bathroom. i am an editor correspondent pawedcaster at npr and a full-time faculty member at american university school of public affairs. it is my very great pleasure to
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be here this evening with johnai farrell. jack farrell to his friends. and he has written his third book, his first book was calledl clarence dar darrow, attorney for the dammed and the second book was tip o'neill, and then he turned to richmond nixon -- richard nixon, the life. he. >> pause hi is such a popular character. >> because of that that trajectory i have to ask what made you turn to dick nixon?n >> i was drawn to his story. the original subtitle for the book was richard nixon, an american tragedy, and i was struck as i did the research i that people like henry kissinger and elliott richardson and would wright in the diaries and as
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watergate was collapsing around him they would say, this is really like classic greek tragedy, shakespearean scene of someone who has so many gifts, and yet this amazing tragic flaw which brought him down in quite a shakespearean manner. he was always whispering in his own ear, you're not good enough. they hate you. they're against me. and in the end it destroyed him and he had that one final moment of recognition, some of you may remember on the last day he wasg in the white house, when he addressed his staff and family in the east room, and he said, remember, others may hate you but if you hate them, then you destroy yourself. and so there's this wonderful moment of self-recognition when he sees that the tragic flaw has brought him down in just the way
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that he feared the most and yet in the end that's what got him. >> i'm struck by your comparison to iogo to his ohno hello. don't believe that line is in the book.n you have said it and i look for it in book and don't i believe found it. is that something you havei thought of since writing the book and what does is mean? >> when you write a propose val to a book you try to come up with analogieses to what the story and is when i wrote the proposal, that was in the proposal. i didn't use it in the book, probably should have, because as i went back and prepared to go out on the book door i came across the line, and i have used it, but if you remember the play, othello is a great generaa and iago is his lieutenant, very jealous of him and starts whispering in his ear, puts these -- this paranoia in
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othello, and in the end othello kill husband is beautiful wife because iago was so good at doing that. nixon always had this susceptiblity of telling himself over and over again, i'm not good enough, and one of the most heart rending examples is when he comes back from chinese and has accomplished everything he wanted to do in his life. he has become president against all these odds, come from the back woods of california to become president of the united states. he wants to be a great man andrn he sees this opportunity in the cold war to drive a wedge between red china and the soviet union, and to bring china into the family of nations. long before he was president, h wrote about this in an article in foreign affairs magazine, talking about how this new century was going to be aut
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century of -- an information age.e this is richard nixon in 1965. an information age dominated by computers and that the old communist monolithic societiest would not be able to compete with the nimbleness of science needed in 21st century. so he sees this happening as he is president. he goes china, he makes thus amazing breakthrough and comes back and he is talking to henry kissinger on an infamous whited house tape, and iago starts to whisper and he says you know henry, the american people are a bunch of sheep. they watched me on televisionn with all that hand shaking and stuff in china, and you and i know it really doesn't mean a thing. this is richmond nixon, not really being cynical about the american people but bad-mouthing himself because he had such a sense of inferiority. that's where i -- i should have used it in book. it us a good one. >> you mentioned that foreign affairs piece from 1965 in which
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he seemed to have an enormous amount of sophistication about asia, in the book you point out he toured asia as vice president, part and he learned a great deal and impressed a lot of people. he seemed to have literally taken that on as a study through this life. one thing about the book that got canes was you broke a bit of news having to do with the asian land war that everyone knew we shouldn't fight but richard nixon found us fighting when he became president in vietnam, of course, and the news that you broke had to do with a person f named anna chenault, but not so well known today who was sent on a mission by the, nixon white house in waiting, before he was elected president. when he was still a private citizen but the nominee of the republican party. what was that about? >> well, it's almost 50 years, 50 years next year.
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nixon was running in 1968, amazing year of turbulence, the year that bob kennedy and martin luther king were assassinated and you had ujeep mccarthy challenging lbj and new hampshire, riot ted democratic convention, and in the midst of this, richard nixon builds a pretty formidable lead but september of 1968 over his democratic opponent, hubert humphrey, because lyndon johnson, the signature president, announced he won't run for re-election because ofno vietnam. and then all of a sudden, the democratic party starts -- the voters start coming home in the fall of 1968, and the blue collar union workers leave george wallace, running a as a third party candidate, and start going back to the democraticc party. the eugene mccarthy antiwar folks start forgiving humphreyey because he does a tiptoe towards
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a split with lbj on vietnam and all of a sudden what at thee beginning of september, richard nixon had this young guy who was a vote counter, and his name was allen greenspan. >> in counter.r. >> he send him a memo and says we're going to win 410 electorae votes, humphrey will be luckive he wins a sing state because wallace will take the rest. but aclosed dramatically by september and then lyndon johnson says to nixon, we'red seeing some progress on vietnam. i may institute a bombing halt. now, richard nixon thought he lost the 1960 election because the kennedyed stole it from him, and he had seen johnson in 1966 do an october surprise in the off-year congressional election biz announcing that he was closer to peace in vietnam. so nixon's paranoia kicks in and
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sees forces lined up against him, ready to steal something from him once again, and he uses this connection, woman named anna shen know, who was very well known in the palaces of asia because her husband, claire chenault, had led the flying tyings in the battle again the japanese in world war ii, and he sends her to the southam series to tell them if they can hold on, richard nixon will be aelectricitied and they can gate better deal. so instead of going to paris and join peace talks the south vietnamese resist and don't joint the peace talks. this is a known story because some opinion that fall lyndon johnson got win offed and send the fbi out to tail and tape -- to tap the -- the tapes always come back -- to tail and to tap
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the republican envoy -- anna chenault and the south vietnamese embassy and the presidential palace in saigon. so johnson is getting all this inflammation and he sees what is happening, he gets on the phone, calls the republican senators live everett dirkson and says i'm reading their hand, everett, and this is darn near treason. so, he confronts nixon, and nixon denies it, but it hasis actually happened, and the great tragedy of this story is that there really was a peace stealer from the soviet union to johnson that summer, and the soviet said, if you'll do a bombing halt we can promise there will be productive talks elm we'll get the north vietnamese to the table. so what nixon saw as a dirt from y trick, johnson believed was a chance to end the war earlier. but nixon examiner seeded and
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the south vietnamese pull back, and the peace talks don't happen and nixon is elect in one of the closest elections in american history. >> 43% of the vote. >> 43% of the vote.he so, elements of the story come out over the years, but nixon denied it. if you go back and watch the famous frost-nixon interviews, david frost asked him specifically issue did you send anna chenault to talk to soughtf vietnamese, and nixon said no, i would never do something like that. so the last big piece of the puzzle and the piece that con fronted lynn johnsonson in 1968 is whether richard nixon had been directly involved, and as i'm going through this vast amount of material that's been released in last 20 years at the nixon library in yorba linda, there are hand written notes by nixon's chief of staff, hr haldeman, back haldeman, and
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writing down what nixon is telling him, and nixoning says, keep anna chenault working on the south vietnamese, any way we can monkey wrench johnson's initiative. >> monkey wrench meant -- >> throw a monkey wherever into the gears and stop it. that was my little contribution to history. history is studies like -- a rainy day at the beach and youli pull out a jigsaw puzzle busca there's nothing else to do and then the sun comes out and you go away but your brother-in-law comes up behind you and he starts putting a few pieces of the puzzle together andts putti eventually the husbandle is assembled. that was my little piece of the puzzle. >> and a crucial piece. one that that strikes in the about your book has been the extraordinary way that yous manage to remain dispassionate and yet have a sort of edge on the seat involvement in what is
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going on now, you did not live all of this history, but i think a -- >> sadly, i lived some of it. many of us have lived much of it. >> for our generation, read the book feeling as though i was reliving my life. did you feel that way at allat when you went back through this? did you feel personally involved in these events, the larger events, if not the specific i events to richard nixon roz life. >> i was a little bit torn itch was in college during watergate so i wasn't in college at the time of the great vietnam protests, and yet nixon was a bad guy for people of my generation. and so when i started to go into his life, i approached i it as a biographer, which is telling myself, you have to be objective, have to be fair, have to look at this guy dispassionately and see it from his point of view.t what i found as i looked intoo
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nixon's life was that my sympathy, my empathy for him, grew, even as i was findingas iw thinkings out about watergate or this about vietnam which is a horribly cynical act. was looking what he came from and what he had to do to get to where he was. he was born in the california outback, as i said, and his father was a blow hard, somewhat abusive, managed to be someone who could fail to grow lemons in orange county, one of the most bountiful citrus belts in the world, and took it out on his son, and he had five sons and two of them died in nixon's childhood. his baby brother, arthur, died in like a week, shocking theba family of meningitis, and then his older brother, harold, the golden boy of the family, contracted tb and died over a period of six years that wasted the family's finances. of six
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so, by this point they had soldm the lemon farm, moved to crossroads outside of whittier and hi fought bought an abandoned church and taken down the road and put on a corner and opened a grocery store and began to sell goetz rid and dick's job was to drive into los angeles to the markets at 3:00 a.m. and get the produce and bring it back to this store and polish and it prepare and it then go off to school. he did this while trying to maintain a lot of extracurricular activity, drama, football, debate, and very successful, very bright individual. but all the time knowing that the good kids inside whittier, the kids in the sort of garden side of the town, looked down on him because of his family situation. so he was always had this resentment but at the same time this amazing drive and
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resilience. anything about dix nixon todr admire, out the resilience, the ability to picks himself up and even in the last years of hisms life, after watergate 0, mount a semi successful come back, at least public relations-wise, unless he appears on the cover of "newsweek" magazine with a big headline, he's back. >> and nixon is the one, and nixon won in 1968, 43% or not he won the electoral college because it was three-way vote with george wallace and hubert humphrey. then he is president and continues the vietnam war, but we get changes in the way the draft works works and start to vietnamize the war more aggressively and people step back, college campuses get cooler. not so much after the cambodia invasion in 1970 but you know what i'm talking. >> in general he de-escalated and moved us towards an american withdrawal, which would happen. but he also did a lot of other
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things especially the first term, which stands to surprise people who don't remember those years. i'm going to refer to a few of them.i'to expanded social security benefits. the epa act he signed. osha. the safety and -- occupational health administration. title ix for women athletes help had a healthcare propose sal in the book that was amazingly like we now think of as obamacare. >> very close to what we see is a obamacare. his administration pioneered the idea that we should -- rather that gone to a single pair payer system, that's right ran medicare or canadian or european system she's tell the insurance companies their american candidate that everybody has to have insurance. we're going to keep the private insurance framework, and the very slight differences between that scrimmage obama in that -- that principle and obama is that nixon's principle was to make ii
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a mandate for every employer to provide insurance, whereas obama's mandate was that all of us have to buy insurance if oure employer isn't doing it. ted kennedy told me before he died, this is my biggest legislative error was not taking this deal from nixon in -- especially nixon offered it twice in each of his two terms especially in 1973 when he was desperate for domestic support and offered but the democratss said, you know, he's so weak, we're going to get him out, new president will come in and with the new president we'll get medicare for all, singing payer, and jimmy carter, a conservative from georgia and the innation was raging and carter promise aid balanced budget in stayed of getting national health care you had a huge tight between ted kennedy and jimmy carter,,challe challenges carert in the primm
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maries and reagan racing is elected heralds in a new conservative era, ted kennedy knew he missed hit chance without taking the proposal. >> but there were other thing thursday nixon accomplished that would by today's lights in post reagan era would count as liberal programs, expansions of government power, provision of new rights, provision of new programs and benefits for people. did he get any kind of satisfaction from that part of his legacy? dishe have any joy. >> two things. he had been part of the world war ii generation, and he world war ii generation had seen a great crisis, two great crises, the depression and world war ii. and can see how muscular government, fix problems. so not like in the post reagan
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era where bill clinton says the era of big government is over and reagan said government is not the solution, government is the problem to inningson and to dwight eisenhower in particular, who nixon served as vice-president. there was nothing to be ashamed of or afraid about government. if we needed for national defense to build highways across the country, connecting every state capitol, we would just do it. >> that was the way that dwight eisenhower thought. when he had to invade normandy and bring done adolph hitler, do we need 5,000 ship inside let get 10,000 ships. this was their thinking. there was really no feeling that government was this great evil force in our lives in those days. world war ii generation felt differently. nixon himself had certain things in the domestic side that he
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realized that he needed to do for the public. the environment is a prime example. he is eye electricitied in and the days later we have the biggest oil spill in our history up to that time in santa barbara, california, and nixon flies out there and this is just as the environmental movement is kicking off and nixon has two choices, either good along with it or you can resist and it he see is it's vastly popular, has sort of a gut feeling that california is a beautiful place and we should keep it that way, and so you get this amazing tide of environmental measures, and it's in the book that at one point the major environmentale organizations were polled and asked who was the best green president, and teddy roosevelt was first and richard nixon was second. so, it's really a formidable record. the then other things happened. once said the subtight school be "and yet," because as you read
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the book you'll see that nixon was the one who brought about the deliberate porlarization of america on racial matter, the so-called southern strategy. in the nixon administration, with more degreg gages of southern schools than the johnson administration, eisenhower and kennedy administrations. his admission very quietly proceeded by the supreme court, but very quietly desegregated the southern schools to the point that polls of southern black voters in the 1970s gave nixon, like, a 53 to 47 plurality. really appreciated. but nix job didn't want the rest of the country to know about it bus he had been successful with the southern strategy. so, at the same time that he is quietly doing that, he is appointing people like clem mont haynesworth and hall carswell to the supreme court. guys that were recall really
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borderline if not outright racist, and when they were defeated by congress, making o impassionedstand he was the only one who understood the caught. so doing the right thing quietly, not wanting to let the south know he was doing it. he would take these outrageous steps to make it look like he was against busing, he knew that there was this feeling of resentment that people had in the late 1960s that white middle -- people he called his silent -- great silent majority, and that he could tap it by telling them a that, well, these minorities want it easy and want to leap ahead of you in line, don't want to do the hard work you did, and he played that very successfully and really introduced that strain into american political life, and it is still with us today.
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>> you know, the more morbid fascination that richard nixon had with the media and comes to fruition with some of the thingf he did in the watergate larger conspiracy, you don't really start writing about watergate or focusing on watergate or using that term until the book is interest the page numbers of 400. and maybe some people would be disappointed in that. but in another sense you're actually explaining watergate almost from the beginning.g. you're talk can about what was in richard nixon that led him to relationship with media and watergate. talk about his early relationship with the media in orange county, the little newspapers and then then "los angeles times" of the 1940s and '50s. >> a great irony at that time both donald trump and richmond -- richard nixon are so b antipress because both of themth were really creations of the press. in nixon's case, in southern
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california, "the los angeles times" was the great elephant in the room. really hardline conservative newspaper, and from the beginning took an interest in young dick nixon's career and proposed him, especially then 1950 senate race when he ran against congresswoman named helen douglas. >> the pink lady, though he did not call her that. >> no, she was actually first mt lined be heir democratic opponents in the primaried. that's the kind of stuff i talk about. when you think about nixon going in at a writer, you think about the 1950 race and say horrible demagogue ricer called her the pink lady. well issue it was horrible demagoguery. by the last day of the election he was accusing her of being treasonous and embracing ridea china, which just came across the border and joined the korean war. >> because the korean war started during that campaign.
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>> during that campaign. but -- where were we? >> talking bit his relationship with "the los angeles times." >> oh, yeah. the same thing with donald trump. i grew up on long islani and spent a lot of time as political reporter reading the daily news and the "new york post" and seeing donald trump drove by manipulating the tabloid atmosphere in new york city, and during the campaign he was such a feature on the evening cable news. it is a great irony that beth nixon and trump identify the press as the men of the enemy of me people. >> that's parallel that i had hoped and thought you might well make. it carries on when they get to washington, doesn't it? when richmond richard nixon came here's, as congress communicate vice president and then president, he discovered a different attitude toward the media.
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>> he took down 0 calm of liberal icons and it's unavoidable that strong elements of the eastern press were liberal. in nixon's case in the 195s, many of them were liberal republicans, but still liberal. when he went after earl warn and took down algier hiss and the spy in -- and defeated area soar hughes.ti he was putting skips up on the wall that marked him as a young conservative, aggressive copper when he got washington, and the press indeed did several -- some elements of the press did really a job on him. drew peerson, the great muckraker, picked him as a tarring. herb block, the cartoonist for the "washington post" in particular would into cart
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continues the point that nixon couldn't stand his daughters to read the morning paper so he cancelled his morningg "washington post" and got it at the office. so there was an element that took that native paranoia within his spirit and accentuated it in washington. but it was there from the beginning because that first campaign, another little piece of the jigsaw puzzle i found was that he -- nixon loved to make lists. he sit in an armchair, put his feet up with a yellow legal pad and just write out lists and thoughts. and one of these i found was one of the first ones when he came back from the war and was running for congress, a complete unknown, and there one of the to goes to do is go to rotary meetings, stop by the local newspaper and buy an ad, set up a voter organization in such and such a neighborhood, put spies in the voorhees camp.
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something forgot the beginning that grew and flourish and other runted in watergate, but a all along. >> -- all long he def northwesterly had opposition from the liberal press that egged him on.aps of t >> he always believed abuse of the early experience with individual publishers, editorialists, reporter, that every newspaper decided whether they were with you or against you and that was it, not just on the editorial page or endorsements but in terms how the covered now in the news. >> yeah. he had some horrible misfortune in the 1960 he runs against the most charismatic candidate of the time, jack kennedy, who loved the press, was reporter, who could relate with the press, and there is absolutely no doubt in history that the 1960 press corps, the actual reporters,
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were sided with kennedy. nixon got more editorial endorsements and nixon was -- had used television so masterfully in the famous checkers speech was betrayed by his performance in the debate us. the campaign reporters he dealt with every day were verb much pro kennedy and no doubt in history that this reinforced his idea that reporters were at least ideologically on the take. >> i want to give you all an opportunity to ask questions so i'll just ask you one more as people come forward and you can line up here at the microphones. the name of donald trump has come up, and it's difficult to not draw parallels between these characters, other people have done so. between the character of richard nixon and the character of donald trump..
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the media element is an obvious one. what else do you draw as ara biographer and reporter -- what else do you draw as lessons from this period when we come to our own era? >> i don't think there's a lot of comparison between the two men. nixon was definitely a foreign policy intellectual. he read and wrote books. don't he had a great -- because he served as eisenhower's vice president he had a great dignity and respect for the office. didn't blind him to commit the sins of watergate but still he would never treat vug farley. there's not a lot of comparison between the two men. they both campaigned, and perhaps trump took this from nixon, with sort of this politics of grandfather vans and resentment and in fact at times trump, when he was campaigning
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can usinged the phrases that nixon load, law and ordered a meteorologist and things like that. and the sins that nixon was charged with and that had been alleged about -- the saturday night massacre in which nixon fired the special prosecutor, is very close -- compared to trump firing the fbi director and the talk that perhaps trump will fire the -- today's special prosecutor. so the more of a superficial resemblance than an actual one. >> we'll take your questions. the gentleman on the left. >> thank you. this concerns the five watergate burglars. i had the pleasure this week of attending a continuing legal education program presented by
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john dean, and he said very definitively, without my hesitation, that if the five burglars had not been apprehended, breaking in into the democratic headquarters at the watergate, they had another place to go that very evening, and that other place to go was mcgovern headquarters, because people in the white house had expressed an interest in knowing what was going on there, and the point that he made is that while the break-in at the dnc did not emanate from the white house per se, the coverup did but not the dnc break-in -- that subsequent break-in that never got a chance to happen at mcgovern headquarters, did emanate from certain individuals in the white
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house and, therefore, ironically, if the five guys had managed to make it to destination number two, then the watergate house of cards might have come down sooner. i verb much appreciate you addressing that. >> there are no questions anymore about watergate. the tapes show nixon talking to bob haldeman and saying, bob, we need more wire tapping. need to go out now and follow the democratic candidate. and in this vast flood of paper that's been released in the last 30 or 40 years, you have evidence that there wasn't just mcgovern headquarters. they also done when muskie was at the front runner they opened up an office next to muskie headquarters to serve as a listening post and had gotten -- by putting -- that floor plans s
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of muskie showing where the different desks and telephones were. almost every one of nixon's aides at the white house, with the exception of henry kissinger, had some sort of involvement in one of these dirty tricks. a massive campaign. and indeed, as you say, it's a signal of what clowns gordon liddy and howard hunt were that they thought that they could break into the democratic national committee at 11:00 p.m., and burglar it and install bugs bugs and take photographs and then still be fresh enough and energy nettic much that at 3:00 a.m. they would drive couple capitol hill to mcg. headquarters, which they tried to break into three times already, and break successfully the same night, and they were doing it because liddy and hunt had blown all the money they'd been given and there bosses, haltman and mitchell and others were saying where is the fruits of what we're spending
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money on in and so they panicked and they did incredibly student things throughout the whole ensed. but deep is right in that regard. >> also said that the motive for breaking into the mcgovern headquarters was to see if the mcgovern people had come across some of information about the elseburg psychiatrist braken and wanted to know if they were going to get hit with op-ed material from that. >> i won't argue with him about that. i know part of -- think there were many motives. they wanted anything and everything. you can't just say, watergate just happened because so and so wanted this particular piece of paper. there will a lot of things they were looking for. >> thank you for yourey. >> i guess the strangest moments, from n a really strange presidency, was in i think 1970, tv the -- after the bombing of cambodia and has a weird press conference and staying up all night calls different people and
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to goes to he lincoln memorial,w and talks to protesters. i was wondering what did you take from that? what did you think richard nixon was looking for in that encounter? >> i think that that encounter happens after he leaves the lip lip memorial and goes up to the capitol and up at the capitol,to and he tries to get into the senate. it's looked. goes to the house of representatives and brought his valet because the whole purpose of the jaunt is to show the glories of washington at night, so he has him get up -- nixon sits in the chair below and he has the valet get up on the dais and give a speech and a cleaning lady come over and is carrying her bible, and she says, hi, mr. president, he asked him to sign the billion or he notices
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it and says, you know, read your bible and you'll be a saint. my mother was a saint. and nixon's mother throughout his life was sort of his conscience, and she had died only i think two years before he finally won the presidency. throughout that night there's references in his ramblings about his mom and how -- you can make sort of the psychological argument that he was very concerned about the fact that she would not approve of him expanding the war and n the way he did into cambodia, that the death thief four students at kent state would be something that she would really object to. he was expressing not only tension and some small but of guilt and seem about his mom. that's the way i interpreted that remark. my mother was a saint.
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you be a saint too. >> a couple more over here. >> perhaps it would have been better if richmond nixon never became president but given that he did i always believed it would have been better for nixon forks their republican party and the country if he had won in 1960 rather than 1968. is that a sentiment you share or not? >> nixon was amazing in that all three times he ran for president, he ran as the more moderate candidate in the race him was more moderate than jfk, than george wallace and liter hubert humphrey and more moderate than george mcgovern in 1972. so he always represented sort of the staid center. if he was elect net 1960, i don't now hoe he would have handled cuba. it's awful hard to play those hands out in retrospect.
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i know he would have support the bay of pigs invasion. he claimed he never would have let get to on in a half-asseed way that ken di. like the normandy invasion like. eisenhower. he was a calmer man in 1960, not a great candidate.e. lost that race for a reason. but came really close, and actually believed that he had actually won it. >> thank you.n >> you sudden his mosts a michelle traits was hist come b resilience, one was every he lost the presidency in 1960 and then after watergate. how did he engineer the comebacks and why did the american people largely accept them.
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>> in 19 -- the first comeback, the the greatest comeback, and i would sea that's true. maybe the greatest comeback in history to come back from 1960 to '68. in 1968, americans -- you can't believe the chaos that americans had been in, and what they wanted was just some sort of semblance of normalcy, and so you fine all -- even the most passionate liberal detractors of richard nixon, normam mailer, hunter thompson, were writing -- walter lippmann were writing on his behalf in the '68 campaign. saying here is a seasoned, steady hand that may be able to get us out of vietnam. so i think that his ability to t present himself as a moderate, as an experienced man, was what worked in 1960.
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i think that the second comeback is not terribly important itch don't -- i don't think it will make much difference in history, but he really did show some of himself, for example, in frost-nixon debates. if you have seen the movie or play, there's a moment where david frost, very dramatically takes his clipboard and throwske it on the floor and says you have the lay more of yourself bare here.et this is you opportunity and he says, yeah, gave them the sword and they stuck it in and twitsed and it i would have done the same thing myself. so, he was never a man to be unestimated, had great raw r political skills and like i said, tremendous resilience. >> thank you for you question. just have time for a few more. >> a couple of questions. the day richard nixon died in 1994, when did you hear the news about it?
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>> i don't know. can't remember. do you? remember where you were? >> i think it was -- i was home that evening. >> i was surprised. i thought he would live longer. that's a bryan lamb c-span question. >> did you read his books.ea >> i read very closely his memoir and i think it's wound of the best presidential memoirs, called rn and very big in think and he guess into much into watergate. he wrote another book later in life called new york the arena, a sort of a secondary memoir where he some digs in at his enemies. the two i enjoyed the most were six crisis, which was what low wrote after the 1960 loss, and then another book he wrote about agreed grate leaders -- great
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leaders he met when he was president. so rn, six crieses crises and leaders would be the ones i would recommend. >> six crisis is part of the first comeback. >> i'm not sure how much you discuss gerald ford in your book but how do you contrast ford versus mike pence, while everyone wonders when trump is going last. was ford as obsequious as pence has been? >> vice presidents job is a tough job. i've watched -- i covered the - white house -- a political reporter for a time before i became a biographer, and you really have to feel for them. don't think that ford was too obsequious, in the last six months before nixon's resignation he was sending signals.
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in one of them very famously, at the time when nixon was underfire, he went out and played golf with tip o'neill at a golf tournament in massachusetts, and allowed the photograph -- tip o'neill was orchestrating impeachment in the house, and allowed the photographers to take a picture of ford with his arm around tip. so, in the last three or four weeks he distanced himself, did not fall on the sword withword t nixon. i hesitate to make any comparisons to trump and pence because we're not at that statement moment -- same moment of crisis and drama. >> we may be able to take one more question. >> yes. what do you think would have happened in the '68 election if george wallace was not a factor, didn't run?
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>> i think in the end the number of blue collar votes thatco wallace took from humphrey was less than the number of votesss that he took from nixon in the border states.ixon in th and so if he had not run, thatat would have meant that the nixon would have taken those border states and humphrey took those northern states anyway, so i think probably nixon would have won no matter whatment the message was not that different. >> the deep south, the states that voted for wallace. >> the deep south went to goldwater in 1964 so the south had been broken up. >> the one chance humphrey mighe have had's -- >> the big threat to humphrey s

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