Thursday, July 12, 2007

New Nixon Tapes

From today's New York Times:
The National Archives made available on Wednesday more than 11 hours of tape recordings that show President Richard M. Nixon maneuvering in 1972 to remake the Republican Party in his image, crush South Vietnamese opposition to his efforts to end the Vietnam War and dole out patronage to ethnic groups based on how much they supported his re-election....
The most dramatic and revelatory tape recordings involving abuses of government power were disclosed in 1996 and included Nixon’s conversations as recorded by a hidden taping system as the Watergate scandal enveloped and eventually forced him from office.
The newly released recordings provide a fresh glimpse of the political Nixon, especially in the heady moments of his 1972 landslide re-election victory over his Democratic opponent, Senator George McGovern, as the Watergate clouds were just beginning to form.
The documents span a wider period and include a memorandum that may intrigue students of Nixon’s character. In the document, written in December 1970 to H. R. Haldeman, a top aide, Nixon expresses both anger and pain that his aides have not been able to establish an image of him as a warm and caring person. He makes several suggestions about how this could be accomplished, warning frequently in the single-spaced 11-page document that it must appear that the examples of his warmth were discovered by others and not promoted by White House aides.
For the rest, and links to tapes, click here.

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