I see Richard Nixon who would have been a 100 Years old Jan. 9, 2013, as the best and worst of what any American leader can be in his/her lifetime. He was a paranoid personality of unlimited political genius. “An American Political Giant” Nixon was a working class boy, from a working class family who became President of the United States in 1968. Nixon was a man of conscience who did some unconscionable things in his public and private life. People who didn’t live through ‘Watergate’ will never totally understand how it rocked the nation to its core. Watergate happened because Nixon wanted his political enemies investigated and potential rivals discredited in the 1972 Presidential race; especially Teddy Kennedy. The fact that he involved the FBI and CIA in the scandal is unforgivable.
Rumors still abound about why ‘Watergate’ happened, one by ‘Gordon Liddy on his radio show suggested there was a call girl list in a desk draw that was used by politico’s on occasion when they were looking to relax and have female companionship. Nixon wanted the list and the clients who used it to rent woman from a certain Madame, who it was also rumored that John Dean’s wife once had as a roommate. Another rumor was that Larry O’Brian was early in his life a bag man for Howard Hughes and had delivered 100,000 dollars in money to Nixon on one occasion. In a Feb. 2005 60 minutes interview Terry Lenzner, who was assistant chief counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee, said “Hughes, then owner of the Desert Inn and several other Las Vegas properties, funneled $100,000 to Nixon through Nixon friend Charles "Bebe" Rebozo”
Nixon supposedly sent the ‘Plumbers’ and Howard Hunt (Ex CIA) into Watergate to find out what Larry O’Brian the DNC Chair had on him, and if O’Brian was going to talk about the Howard Hughes connection to sink him in the 1972 Presidential campaign. Interesting that George Steinbrenner turned down the DNC job that Larry O’Brian took. George was sought as DNC because he had raised a ton of money for the 1970 Congressional campaigns. The New York Daily News sportswriter Bill Madden mentioned that story in his Steinbrenner autobiography – a great read on the Boss’s Yankee stewardship. If George had taken the job ‘Watergate mightn’t have happened.
After his resignation on August 8 1974, former United States President Richard Milhous Nixon retired to write his memoirs and rehabilitate his reputation. He wrote numerous newspaper and magazine articles, and published eight books, including The Real War. After reading all of Richard Nixon’s eight books, like 1978’s “The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, and 1990’s, “In the Arena: A Memoir of Victory, Defeat and Renewal, I saw Richard Nixon as one of the greatest political geniuses of my lifetime. And without doubt the greatest foreign policy genius this Country has ever produced.
I also stopped thinking it was Henry Kissinger who educated Henry Kissinger on foreign policy, and started to sincerely believe that what Dr. Kissinger didn’t learn about foreign policy in Harvard –Richard Nixon taught him. An example being Richard Nixon was the real architect of détente and the triangulated diplomatic approach, with China and Russia, that was a sensible attempt to try to win a peace with honor concerning our exit from Viet-Nam. I see Richard Nixon as immensely flawed, yet, immensely gifted and a political genius of the first rank.
Mike Flynn ‘Middle Class Mike’