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tv   Richard Nixon  CSPAN  September 4, 2017 5:16pm-6:06pm EDT

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>> what you do down and brian texas? where you hit by harvey et al. >> we were with 24 inches of rain and we survived that without any flooding to the south of us they are in pretty bad shape. prayers are needed. >> thank you for calling in. >> a couple more facebook comments we want to share, jamie morris, a war of necessity, war of choice who is head of the council on foreign relations, former bush administration state department official, and lucille is reading two books that we covered two days at the national book festival.ishep david mccullough's the american spirit. both authors who use our, and by the way everything we've covered today we will re- airel the entire day beginning at midnight eastern which is 9:00 p.m. on the west coast. it's all playing again.
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plus since it's a three-day holiday weekend, book tv is onon for three days we will re- air the entire festival, 8:30 a.m. on monday labor day. that is what's coming up. now we have one more author speaking tonight and we will go back up into the history and biography room here at the convention center and this will be john aloysius farrell talking about richard nixon. book tv, live coverage. [inaudible conversations]
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>> good evening. welcome to the main event, the last program of the evening here in the ballroom. my name is ron, i am an editor corresponded at npr and also aha full-time faculty member at american university of school of public affairs. it is my great pleasure to be here this evening with john aloysius, jack farrell to his friends. he has written his third book. his first book was called clarence, attorney for the damned. i think you should buy that book just for the title. the second book was the democratic century and then he turned to richard nixon, the such >> just because he's such a
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popular character. >> because of that trajectory, i i have to ask, what made you turn to richard nixon. >> i was drawn to his story. the original subtitle for thee book was richard nixon, an american tragedy. i was struck as i did the research that people likee henry kissinger and elliot richardson would write in their diary or talk on the phone with each other and as watergate was collapsing around him, they would say this is really a shakespearean scene of someone who has so many gifts and yet this tragic flaw which ended up bringing t him down in quite a shakespearean manner. he was iago to his own a fellow. he was whispering in his own ear, you're not good enough, they hate you, there against me, and in the end it destroyed him and he had that
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one final moment of recognition, some of you may remember on the last day he was 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. it was this wonderful moment of self recognition when he sees that the tragic flaw has brought him down in just the way he feared the most, and in the end, that's what he got him. >> i'm struck by your comparison to iago to his own fellow. i don't believe that mine is in the book. i believe you have set it on. another occasion but i looked for it in the book and i don't believe i found it. is that something you thought of since you've written the book and what does it mean to you. >> when you write a proposal for a book, you try to come up with analogy as to what the story is bread when i wrote the book, that was in thee
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proposal. i didn't use it in the book. i probably should have. as i prepared for the book tour i came across it again and thought i probably should've used it but fellow is this great general and the lieutenant is very jealous of him and starts whispering in his ear and he puts these, this paranoia in hi him, and in the end of fellow ends up killing his beautiful wife because iago is so good at doing that.. nixon always had this susceptibility of telling himself over and over again i'm not good enough. one of the most heart rendering examples is when he comes back from china and he has accomplished everything hewa wanted to do in his life.ab
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he became president againstt all these odds, he came from the backwoods of california to become president of the united states. he wants to be a great man and he sees this opportunity in the cold war to drive a wedge between cold china and the soviet union and bring china into the family of nations. long before he was president, he wrote about this in an article of foreign affairs magazine talking about how this new century was going to be an information age but this is richard nixon in 1965. an information age dominatedrm by computers and the old communist monolithic societies would not be able to competehe with the nimbleness of science that will be needed in the 21st century. he sees this happening as he is president. he goes to china, he makes this amazing breakthrough and he comes back and is talking to henry kissinger on one of the infamous white house tapes and iago starts to whisper andar he says you know henry, the american people are bunch of
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sheep. they watch man television with all that handshaking in chinait and you and i know it really doesn't mean a thing.g. this is richard nixon being cynical of the american people, but badmouthing himself because he had such alf sense of inferiority. i should've used it in the book. it is a good bind. >> you mention that foreign affairs piece from 1955 in which he seemed to have a numbeand norma's amount of sophistication about asia. you point out he had toured asia as vice president and he learned a great deal. he seemed to have really taken that on as a study through. much of the rest of his life. one of the things about the book was you broke a bit of news that had to do with the asian land war that everyone knew we should try to fight but richard nixon nixon foundrd us fighting in vietnam, and the news had to do.
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[inaudible] who was sent on a mission by the nixon white house before he was elected president, when he was still a private citizen. what was that all about? >> it's almost 50 years. it will be 50 years next year and nixon was running in 1968, an amazing year of turbulence, the year that bob kennedy and martin luther king were assassinated and we had eugene mccarthy challenging lbj had riots at the democratic convention and in the midst of all this, richard nixon built a pretty good lead over his democratic opponent because lyndon johnson, the sitting president announced he wasn't going to run for reelection because of vietnam. then all the sudden, the
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democratic party start coming home in the fall of 1968. the blue-collar union workers leave george wallace and they start going back to the democratic party. the antiwar folks start forgiving humphrey because he does a little bit of it tiptoe toward a split with lbj on vietnam, and all the sudden at the beginning of september nixon had this young guy who was a vote counter and his name was alan greenspan. alan greenspan sends a memo and says were going to win 410 electoral votes but he'll be lucky if he wins a single state. but, it has closed dramatically by the middle of september. then lyndon johnson calls him in and says we are seeing some progress on vietnam, i may
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institute a bombing halt. now richard nixon thought he had lost the 1960 election because the kennedy stole it from him. he had seen johnson in 1966 do an october surprise in the off your congressional election so his paranoia kicks in.nd he sees these forces lined up against him, ready to steal something from him, once again, and he uses this connection, a woman named annae who is very well known in the palaces of asia because her husband had led the flying tigers into battle against the japanese in world war ii, and he sends her to the south vietnamese to tell them that if they can just hold on a little bit longer nixon will be elected and you'll get a better deal. so rather than going to paris
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and joining in the peace talks, which nixon thanks is a charade, the south vietnamese resistant don't join the peace talks. this is pretty much a known story because at some point lyndon johnson got wind of it w and he sent the fbi out to tail and tape and tap the republican envoy and the south vietnamese and the presidential palace so johnson is getting all this information and he sees what's happening. he gets on the phone and calls his senators and he says i'm reading their hand and this is darn near treason so he confronts nixon and nixon denies it but it has actually happened in the great tragedy
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of the story is that there really was a piece steal her from the soviet union and the soviet said, if you do a bombing halt we promise there will be productive talks. we'll get the north vietnamese to the table. so what nixon saw as a dirty trick, johnson actually believed was a chance to and the war earlier. nixon intercedes in the vietnamese pullback in the peace talks don't happen and he selected one of the closest elections in american history.y. with only 43% of the vote. >> so elements of the story, over the years, but nixon always denied it. if you go back and watch the famous nixon interviews, david frost asked him specificallytal but he says no, i would never do something like that. the last big piece of the
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puzzle, and the piece that confronted johnson in 1968 was whether richard nixon had been directly involved.d as i'm going through this material that's been released from the nixon library, there are handwritten notes by the chief of staff by bob haldeman. he is writing down what nixon is telling him and he sang keep them working on the south vietnamese. anyway we can monkey wrench that initiative. >> and that meant. >> throw monkeywrench into the gears and stop it. does my little contribution to history. on a rainy day like todayel you're at the beach and you fill out a jigsaw puzzle andet there's nothing else to do and you start putting the puzzle pieces together and then the sun comes out and you go away,
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but your brother-in-law comes behind you and he starts putting a few pieces of the puzzle together and eventually gets assembled. was so that was my little piece of the puzzle. i was glad to contribute. >> and a crucial piece it is. >> one of the things thate strikes me about your book and has struck others as well has been the extraordinary way that you managed to remain passionate and yet have an edge on the involvement on what's going on. now, you did not live all of this history,. >> but many of us have lived much of it. i read the book feeling as if i was reliving my life. did you feel that way at all? did you feel personally involved in these events, the larger events of not the specific events of richard nixon's life. >> i was a little bit torrent. i was in college during watergate.waat i was in college at the time of the great vietnam protest
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and yet, nixon was a bad guy for people of my generation. so when i started to go intowh his life, i approach it as a biography which is telling myself, all right, you had to be objective and fair on see it from his point of view. what i found as i looked into his life was that my empathy for him grew even as i was finding things out about watergate or vietnam. i was looking at where he came from and what he had to do to get to where he was. he was born in the california outback, his father was a blowhard, somewhat abusive. he managed to be someone who could fail to grow in orange
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county and he took it out in aon his son. he had five sons and two died in his childhood. his baby brother arthur died of meningitis and his older brother harold, the golden boy of the family, contracted tuberculosis and died over a time of six years that wasted the family's finances. by this point they had sold the lemon farm and moved to crossword roads outside of whittier. his father bought an abandoned church and had it towed down the road and opened a grocery store and began to sell groceries out of this old church. dick's job was to drive into l.a. to the market at 3:00 a.m. and get the produce and bring her back to the store and polish it and prepare it and then go off to school. he did this while trying to maintain a lot of
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extracurricular activities, drama, football, debate and he was very successful and very bright, but all the time knowing that the kids on the garden side of this town look down on him because of hism family situation. he always had this resentment, but at the same time this amazing drive and resilience. if there's anything about him to admire, it's the ability to pick himself up and even in the last years of his life, to mount a semi- successful comeback public relations -wise until he appears on the cover of newsweek magazine with the big headline, he's back. and nixon one in 1968. he won the electoral college so then he is president and he does continue the vietnam war,
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but we get changes in the way the draft work and we start to view the war more aggressively and people step back. in general, he de- escalated and moved us toward an american withdrawal which eventually would happen, but he also did a lot of other things, especially not first term which stands to surprise people who don't remember those years. he expanded social security benefit, the epa act that he signed, osha, occupational health administration, title ix for women athletes, he had a healthcare proposal that we write about in the book that was amazingly like what we now think of as obamacare. his administration pioneered the idea that we should, rather than go through a
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single-payer syste system, rather than medicare for all, we should tell insurance company that everyone has health insurance, we keep the private insurance framework and will be very slight differences between not visible and obama's, obama wanted to make it a mandate for every employer whereas obama's mandate was that all of us have to buy insurance if our employer isn't doing it. ted kennedy called me and said this is the biggest legislative error, not taking the steel from nixon. he offered it twice. especially 1973 when he was desperate for domestic support and offered it but the democrats look to him and said you know, he's weak, we will get him out and a new
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president will come i in. with the new president will get medicare for all. we'll get single-payer. it turned out to be jimmy carter, a conservative from georgia and inflation was raging and carter had promised a balanced budget so instead of getting national healthcare , you had a huge fight breakout between ted kennedy and jimmy carter and ronald reagan is elected and held in this new conservative era. ted kennedy knew he had missed his chance in 1973 by not taking richard nixon's proposal when he had opportunity. there were all these other things that nixon managed to accomplish that would, by today's white would count as liberal programs. expansions and provisions of new programs and benefits for people didn't get any kind of satisfaction.
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>> did he have any joy in it. >> two things. one, he had been part of the world war ii generation and they had seen a great crisis with the depression and then world war ii and had seen how muscular government can fix problems. it was not in the post- reagan area where bill clinton says the era of big government is over, he said it's not the solution it's the problem. to nixon and dwight eisenhower , there was nothing to be ashamed of or afraid up about government. we needed national defense to build highways across the country connecting every state capital. we would just do it. that was the way light eisenhower thought. when he had to invade normandy and bring down adolf hitler,
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it was doing need 5000 ships? let's get 10000 because this was their thinking. there was really no feeling that government was this great evil force in our lives in those days while other generations felt differently. nixon himself had certain things in the domestic side that he realized he needed to do for the public.oil sp the environment is a prime example. he's elected and three days later we have the biggest oil spill in our history up to that time in santa barbara california and nixon flies out and it's just as the environmental movement is kicking out and nixon has two choices. you can either go along with it or he can resist it and he sees it's vastly popular. he has 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
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measures. the result of that, at one point the major environmental organizations were pulled and asked to was the best green president.t. teddy roosevelt came in first and richard nixon came in second. but then there's other things that happened. i once said the subtitle to the book should be, and yet because, as you read the book you will see nixon was the one who brought about the polarization of america on racial matters. the so-called southern strategy.y. in the nixon administrationegren there was more desegregation of schools. his administration very quietly prodded by the supreme court and deese segregated the southern schools to the pointn that polls of southern black
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voters in the 1970s gave nixon 53 - 47 it was really appreciate it but nixon didn't want the rest of the country to know about it because he had been so successful with the southern strategy. so the same time that he's quietly doing that, he's appointing people like clement haynesworth and carl's well to the supreme court, guys that were borderline racist and then when they were defeated by congress, making these impassioned stands that he was the only one who understood south. while he was doing one thing quietly, not wanting to let the south know that he was doing it, he would take these outrageous steps to make it look that he was against blessing. he knew there was this feeling of resentment that people had in the late 1960s, people he
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called his great silentby majority, and he could tap it by telling them that these minorities want to easy, they want to move ahead of you in line, the donor to the hard work that you did, and he played that very successfully and really introduced that strain into american political life and it still with us today., morbid f >> the morbid fascination that nixon had with the media and to some degree comes to fruition with some of the things he did in watergate barger conspiracy, you don't start writing about that until the book is into page numbersom 400. maybe some people will be disappointed and not, but in another sense you are almost describing watergate from the beginning. you're talking about what itit was in richard nixon that led
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him from the relationship of the media to watergate. talk about his early relationships with the media.tif >> there's a great irony that both donald trump and richard nixon are so anti- press because both of them were creations of the press. in nixon's case, in southern california, the l.a. times was like the great elephant in the room and a really hard line conservative newspaper. from the beginning they took an interest in his career and promoted him, especially in 1950 when he iran against congresswoman. >> the pink lady.. >> he did not name her that. he did not call her that. >> no.ot she was actually first of the line in the primaries, and that's the kind of stuff is talking about, when you think
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about nixon going in as abo writer, you think about the 1950 race and you say horrible demagoguery, well it was, by the last days of the election he was literally accusing her of being a treasonous and embracing red china which had just come across the border and joined the korean war. >> because the korean war started during that campaign. >> practice. >> we were talking about his relationship. >> oh yeah. same thing with donald trump.po i spend a lot of time as a reporter reading the news and seeing donald trump grow by manipulating the tabloid atmosphere and that of course during the campaign he was such a feature on the evening cable news. it is a great irony that both
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nixon and trump both identify the presses the enemy.he >> now that's parallel, i had hoped and thought, it carries on when they get to washington. when he came east he discovered a very different attitude in the media toward his career. >> definitely. he took down a series of liberal icons. there is no, it's unavoidableels that strong elements were liberal. in nixon's case in the 1950s, many of them were liberal republican but still when here when after world war i and took down the spy and harry truman's state department and defeated. [inaudible] he was putting skins up on the wall that really marked him as a young conservative,
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aggressive newcomer when he got washington and the press indeed did severa several, some elements of the press did a job. to pearson, the great. [inaudible] the cartoonist for the washington post in particular could do these cartoons to the point that nixon couldn't stand his daughters to read the morning paper so he canceled his washington post and got it at the office. there was an element that took that native paranoia within his spirit and accentuated it in washington, but it was there from the beginning. that first campaign, another piece of the jigsaw puzzle i found was that he loved to make lists and he would sit in an armchair, put his feet up,
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even through his presidency and just write out lists and thoughts on yellow legal pads. one of these i found was, one of the first ones when he came back from the war he was running for congress, one of the things to do, go to the rotary meetings, stop by the local newspaper, buy and add, set up a voter organization in such as such neighborhood, put spies in the camp. there was something there from the very beginning that eventually grew and flourished and interrupted in watergate, but all along, he definitely had opposition from the local press the egg him on and he always believed, perhaps because of the early experience that he had with individual publishers that every newspaper decided whether they were with you or against you and that was it. not just on the editorial page.ow
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not just in terms of endorsement but how they covered you in the news. new >> and then there were some horrible misfortune. in the 1960s he runs against the most charismatic candidate at the time, jack kennedy who love the press who was a reporter who could relate to the press, and there is absolutely no doubt in history that the 1960 press corps, the actual reporters sided with kennedy. they got more editorial endorsements and nixon, who had used television so masterfully was betrayed by his performance in the debate. there were balancing factors in the media, but definitely the campaign reporters that he dealt with every day were very much pro- kennedy and there's really no doubt in history that this reinforced his idea that reporters were, at least,
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ideological on the table. >> i want to give you all an opportunity to ask questions. ask you one more as people come forward and you can line up at the microphone. we have one on either side, if you'd like to ask a question. let me ask you, the name of donald trump has come up and it's difficult to not draw parallels between the character characters, between the character of richard nixon and donald trump, the media element is an obvious one, what else do you draw as ass biographer and reporter, what you draw as lessons when we come to our own. >> i don't think there's a lot of comparison to tween the two men. nixon was definitely a foreign-policy intellectual, he read and wrote books, hegrea had a great dignity and respect for the office he
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never treated the position vote early. in that regard, there's not a lot of comparison between, i don't see a lot of comparison between the two men. they both campaigned, and perhaps trump took this from nixon, with sort of this politics of grievance, and at times when trump was campaigning, he venues the phrases nixon used, it's going to be of on order administration, and things like that. the sins that nixon was charged with or had been alleged about president trump are very similar. the saturday night massacre when he fired the prosecutor is similar to trump firing the fbi director. there's all this talk that
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perhaps trump will fire today special prosecutor. it's more of a superficial resemblance than an actual one. >> thank you. we will take your question spread this gentleman on the left. >> thank you very much. this concerns the five watergate burglars. i had the pleasure this week of attending a continued legal education program presented by john. he said, very definitively that if the five burglars had not been apprehended, breaking into the democratic headquarters at the watergate, they had another place to go that very evening, and that other place to go was the headquarters because, people in the white house expressed an interest in knowing what
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was going on there, and the point that he made is that while the break-in at the dnc did not come from the white house. se, the cover-up dead, but not the break-in, then subsequently committee other breaker never got a chance to happen. they said did come from certain individuals in the white house, and therefore, ironically, if the five guys that managed to make it to destination number two then watergate house of cards may have come down sooner. i would appreciate you addressing that. >> there are no questions anymore about watergate. the tapes show nixon talking to bob saying bob, we need more wiretapping. you need to go out now and follow the democratic candidate. this fast flood of tape that's
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been released, you have evidence that wasn't just from headquarters. that opened up an office to serve as a listening post and had gotten floor plans showing where the different desks and telephones were. this was almost everyone 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. it was a massive campaign. indeed, as you say, it's a signal of how it were that they thought they could break into the democratic national committee at 11:00 p.m. and burglar and install bugs and take photographs and still be fresh enough and energetic
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enough that it 3:00 a.m. they would drop up to capitol hill and do it the same night. they were doing it because they had blown all this money they had been given and others were saying, where's the fruits of what were spending money on. they panicked and they did incredibly stupid things throughout that whole episode.t >> he also said the motive of breaking into the headquartersme was to see if the mcgovern people had come across some of the information about the ellsberg psychiatrist break-in and they wanted to know if they were going to get hit with material from that. >> i won't argue about that. i know part of the motive, i think there were many motives for what they wanted. they basically wanted anything and everything.g you can't just say watergate does happen because so-and-so
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wanted this piece of paper. there were lots of things they were looking for. >> thank you. >> i guess some of the strangest moments was in 1970, after the bombing of cambodiaes and there's this weird press conference any staying up all night calling like 50 different people and he decides to go to the lincoln memorial and talk face-to-face with a bunch of student protesters. i was wondering, what did you take from that. what you think richard nixon was looking for is not encountered. >> i think the key of that encounter happens after he leaves the lincoln memorial and he's at the capital. he's at the capital and he tries to get in to the senate rejected and so he goes to the house of representatives. the whole purpose of the jaunt is to show washington that night.t.
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he has them get up and another walking out and leaving,er there's a cleaning lady and she comes over and she's carrying her bible and she says hi mr. president. i can't remember she asked him to sign it or she just notices that and she says read your bible and your be a saint. my mother was a saint. nixon's mother, throughout his life was kind of his conscience. she had died two years before he finally won the presidency. throughout that night, there's references of his rambling about his mom and you can make the psychological argumentay
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that he was very concerned about the fact that she would not approve of him expanding the war in the way that he did into cambodia, that the death of the four students at penn state would be something that she would object too. he was expressing not only tension but some guilt and shame. that's the way i've always interpreted that remark. >> let's see if we can get too a couple more. >> perhaps it would've been better if he had never become president, but given that he did, i've always believed it would've been better for nixon and the republican party in the country if he had one in 1960 rather than 1968. is that a sentiment that you share much mark. >> nixon was amazing in that all three times he iran as president, he iran as the more moderate canada in the rates.
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he was more moderate than jfk and george wallace and hubert humphrey and george mcgovern. he always represented the stayed center. if he was elected in 1960, i don't know how he would've handled cuba. it's also hard to play those hands out in retrospect. i know he would've supportedhe w the invasion.wo he always claimed he would'vee never let go on the way kennedy did. it would've been a full-scale invasion the way ike innovate invaded normandy. you still might've had the missiles of october but they might abandon april 1961 instead if this had provoked a superpower confrontation. he definitely was a calmer man in 1960. not a great candidate. he lost that race for reason. he came really close and
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actually believed he could do one it. y >> thank you. >> you had said one of hisis most admirable traits was his resilience. there was two great comebacks. how did he go aboutco engineering these comebacks, and why did the american people largely accept them. >> the first come back none on to come back from 1960 to 1968 is a great comeback. in 1968, you can't believe the chaos that americans had been i in. what they wanted was some sort of resemblance of normalcy. you find that even the most passionate liberals, they were writing on his behalf swingable
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here is a seasoned steady him that may be able to get us out of vietnam. i think his ability to present himself as a moderate, as an experienced man was what worked in 1960. i think there's a second come back, not terribly important, i don't think it will make much difference in history, but, he really did show some of himself. if you've seen the movie or the play, there's a moment where david frost dramatically takes his clipboard and throws it on the floor and says you have to lay more of yourself there otherwise ill never forgive yourself.the sw : they stuck it in and twisted and i would have done the same thing
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myself, so he was never a man to be underestimated, had great raw political skills and like i said, the tremendous resilience. >> thank you for your question. >> sir. >> we just have time for a few more. >> a couple of questions. the day richard nixon died on april 22nd, '94, when did you hear the news about it? >> i don't remember. do you? >> i think i was home that evening. [laughter] >> i was surprised. i thought he might live on longer. >> i was wondering did you read any of his nine books? >> i read very closely his memoir and i think it's one of the best presidential memoirs, rn, very big and thick, if everything he goes too much into watergate and goes in. he wrote another book later in
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life called in the arena which which was a sort of a secretary where he got some enemies but the one that i enjoyed the most two that i enjoyed the most were six crises which is what he t wrote and another book he wrote about when he was president i think it's just called leaders if i remember correctly so artt infix crises and leaders would be history that i recommend. see nick thank you. >> thank you for your question. i'm not sure how much you discuss gerald ford in your book but how would you compare andyo contrast gerald ford at a time when everyone thought nixon would be leaving office verses mike pence while everyone wonders was -- as obsequious as
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pence has been? >> might pence has a really tough job and i covered the white house. i was a political reporter for a time before it became a biographer and you have to really feel for them. i don't think ford was to obsequious. he was sending signals. one of them very famously at the time when nixon was under fire. he went out and played golf with tip o'neill at a golf tournament in massachusetts and allowed the photographer, tip o'neill was orchestrating impeachment in the house and allow the photographers to take a picture of ford with his arm around tip. in the last three or four weeks he himself did not talk much with nixon. i hesitate to make many
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comparisons to trump and tense because we are not at that moment of crisis. >> i think we may be able to take one more question. thank you for your question. >> yes, what do you think happened in the 68 election if george wallace was not a factor and didn't run? >> i think in the end the number of blue-collar folks that wallace took from humphrey. was less than the number of votes that he took from nixon in the border states. so if he had not run that would have meant that nixon would have taken those border states and humphrey ended up taking thosett anyway so i think probably nixon
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would have won no matter what.a. >> in the deep south states that voted for wallace? the deep south have gone to goldwater so the democratic party had been broken up already. >> the one chance that humphrey might have had was lost. >> the big threat to humphrey was that the blue-collar workers in ohio and illinois and michigan were going to go for wallace and in the end they did not.cut off >> i hate to have cut off the questions but we do have to give up the room as they say. thank you all. we want to thank the national book festival, library ofc- congress and c-span. [applause] thank you to c-span for having us on tonight and thank you jack farrell. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] and now on booktv from the hoover institution in washington d.c., a book release party fortt carl cannon washington bureau chief for realclearpolitics. his book, "on this date" provides a history of united states through three to 65 events, one for each day of the calendar year. [inaudible conversations]


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