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Old 12-10-2003, 04:40 PM   #1
WSUCougar
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Nixon on Reagan (1972 White House tapes)

An interesting tidbit of presidential history...

National Archive releases new Nixon White House tapes

COLLEGE PARK, Maryland (AP) -- President Nixon didn't think much of fellow Californian and Republican icon Ronald Reagan, calling him "strange" and not "pleasant to be around," newly released White House tapes show.

Talking politics with White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman at Camp David in August 1972, Nixon switched the conversation to two Republican governors, Reagan of California and Nelson Rockefeller of New York. Both men unsuccessfully sought the 1968 Republican presidential nomination that Nixon received.

"Reagan is not one that wears well," Nixon said.

"I know," Haldeman agreed.

"On a personal basis, Rockefeller is a pretty nice guy," Nixon said. "Reagan on a personal basis, is terrible. He just isn't pleasant to be around."

"No, he isn't," Haldeman said.

"Maybe he's different with others," Nixon said.

"No," Haldeman said.

"No, he's just an uncomfortable man to be around," Nixon said, "strange."

The conversations are part of the 240 hours of White House tape recordings from the Nixon administration released Wednesday by the National Archives. Covering the period July through October 1972, the tapes are the 10th batch of Nixon recordings, totaling 2,109 hours, that the Archives has released since 1980. In all, there are about 3,700 hours of Nixon White House tapes.

Nixon installed a secret taping system in the White House. Some of those tapes later showed a White House cover-up in connection with the 1972 break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate office building.

The release of those tapes, which Nixon fought all the way to the Supreme Court, eventually led to his resignation in 1974 rather than face almost-certain impeachment and conviction.

The popular Reagan later served two terms as president. But like Nixon, Reagan had a scandal of his own, involving trading arms to Iran for hostages and illegally aiding anti-government forces in Nicaragua.

In 1980, Nixon told Parade magazine that he had several good talks with Reagan. "I think he values my foreign policy advice," the magazine quoted Nixon as saying. "I will be available for any assistance or advice."

Nixon's advice
Reagan had corresponded with Nixon for years. When Reagan was elected president, he sought Nixon's advice.

The disgraced former president offered some suggestions for Cabinet posts and a strategy for Reagan's first few months in office, urging him not to travel abroad for the first six months of his administration so he could concentrate on the economy rather than foreign policy. Nixon also pushed for his former chief of staff, Gen. Alexander Haig Jr., as Reagan's secretary of state.

Later, Nixon said Reagan's economic policies were unduly harsh and cautioned against giving him too much credit for winning the Cold War. "Communism would have collapsed anyway," he told Monica Crowley, a Nixon aide in his last years, according to her 1996 book, "Nixon Off the Record."
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Old 12-10-2003, 06:00 PM   #2
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This tends to fit into a lot that is said about Reagan personally. Even some of his closest aides have commented on the difficulty of getting to friendly terms with Reagan. He seems to be a man that stayed very much to himslef and didn't like to open up to anyone. Odd for an actor.

The only thing that really surprises me in this tape is that Nixon had anything good to say about Rockefeller.
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Old 12-11-2003, 09:29 AM   #3
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Ironic, too, in that Nixon is so often considered such a putz in his own right. I don't know enough about him and his cronies to know if he was personally liked by his inner circle.
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Old 12-11-2003, 01:20 PM   #4
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WSU: That's hard to say. I've done a lot of research on Nixon and he fascinates me almost more than any other President. There were some who loved the guy, but he was always distrustful of everyone. I don't think we have ever had a more paranoid President. Haldemann and Ehrlichman certainly protected him and were willing to do almost anything for him, but I'm not sure they really liked Nixon.

The defining problem in Nixon's life was that he wanted to be loved, but his fears and suspicions made that impossible, hence he was a very sad and lonely man always looking for his enemies.

If you're interested take a browse through either the Watergate tapes book or the more recent Abuse of Power tapes book. They give a great look into the mind of Nixon.
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Old 12-11-2003, 01:28 PM   #5
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If your biggest flaw is Richard Nixon didn't like you, I wouldn't be too worried.
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Old 12-11-2003, 03:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Leonidas
If your biggest flaw is Richard Nixon didn't like you, I wouldn't be too worried.


Now there you go again!
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Old 12-11-2003, 04:20 PM   #7
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Interesting story, WSU, now get back to Reindeering

JPhillips, I agree with you on Nixon as being interesting. I haven't seen that much about Nixon, but most of what I've seen is fascinating. Plus, his quote about waiting 50 years seems fairly accurate as his legacy has been growing somewhat as more and more people have forgotten about Watergate and forcused more on things like his work in foreign affairs.

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Old 07-30-2019, 05:22 PM   #8
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Previously redacted Nixon tapes have been released.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...-nixon/595102/

Reagan jokes with Nixon about "monkeys" from African countries that don't wear shoes.
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