You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

Nixon, Nixon, Nixon

some goodies
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.

"There are innumerable examples of warm items," he wrote, saying that he had been "nicey-nicey to the cabinet, staff and Congress around Christmastime" and that he had treated cabinet and subcabinet officials "like dignified human beings and not dirt under my feet."
A proposal to name Walter Washington, the first black mayor of the District of Columbia, [as U.N. Ambassador] is dismissed during the conversation.

"We don't owe the blacks a damn thing, anyway," Nixon tells Mr. Colson, who notes that African-Americans had contributed little to his landslide victory.

Nixon responds: "After all, pampering the blacks isn't good. I think you've got a good point there."

Nixon also initially dismissed the idea of naming someone to a high position as "the house Jew," but then says of Leonard Garment, a White House lawyer, "Let him be the house Jew."
He tells Charles W. Colson, a senior aide, that the Republican Party is in trouble and needs to be reinforced with a coalition of working-class Democrats. "Basically, your leadership in the states is so bad," Nixon says. "Frankly, in California, it's Reagan. You can't do it around him. He's got to do it, and he is a drag."
Isaac Chotiner