Saturday, January 12, 2008

Nixon Vets the Candidates

Dick thinks Susan could have been a little more tactful about his White House years in the comment box over the weekend. But he's grudgingly consented to give us the benefit of his counsel on some of his old enemies and new bĂȘtes noire:


Another rich boy who thinks he has it coming to him, like Kennedy. He'll probably fold, like his candy-ass father after he talked a big game.


Dumb as hell but friendly, as I said when he was my mole on the Watergate committee. Sam Dash ran rings around him, and he's even dimmer today.


Used to think I saw a bit of myself in him in his better moments. But of course they're not like us. They smell different. Plus the bastard compared me to Bernie Kerik.


Growing on me, especially after he appointed Fred Malek (who counted Jews for me in '71) as his national finance co-chair. Even calls Malek "an inspiring public servant who has served our nation well." Credit where credit is due.


Best instincts of this bunch of clowns by far, even if he does look like Gomer Pyle. What's in the water in Dogpatch, Ark.?


Whatever it was, she didn't drink it. Now Bill loved the lucidity of my mind, like Gergen said: he got me.

But I always say that if the wife comes through as being too strong and too intelligent, it makes the husband look like a wimp. I mean Pat is spinning in her grave, for Christ's sake. And she never had to lock up the interns.


We don't owe the blacks a damn thing. Especially one who thinks he's better than we are.

What's Segretti up to these days? We need someone working full-time on that middle name.


Did his best to screw us with the Pentagon Papers, back in the day. Now everybody laughs at him, which is perfect.


Elmer Gantry in a $5,000 suit. All that poor-mouthing about his father the millworker: what a load of crap. I know what it means to have nothing, but we're Republicans. We don't talk about it.


Are you shitting me?

The guy I don't understand is the other Dick. Why isn't he fighting for it? Did he set his own office on fire?

I'm pinning my hopes on a brokered convention — which could happen if the voters never settle on any of these pygmies.

So if they deadlock in the Twin Cities, I'll be there before you can yell Milhous. I'm just saying.


skye said...

Outstanding, Ms. Loden!

Susan said...

You know, Tricky did say once that Jesse Jackson was the most exciting politician in America, so he might even be more generous toward Obama. Then again, that was for public consumption, and I suspect these are from his tapes!

Rachel Loden said...

Susan, you're right -- his trickiness would have been very likely to make nice noises about Obama in public.

I hadn't heard the Jackson quote. Just tried to find it (so far without success) but found instead an amazing NY Times article on how Nixon and his aides discussed running an independent black candidate in 1972 to try to siphon away Democratic votes, and Jackson was one of those discussed:

"According to the tapes, the President and his aides said they could devote millions of dollars to the effort and even talked of paying the candidate 'an incentive bonus' of $10,000 for every 1 percent of the total vote he pulled in."

"'Put that down for discussion -- not for discussion, for action,' the President said as the plan was laid out on Sept. 14, 1971, in an Oval Office meeting with his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, and his special counsel, Charles W. Colson."

So he certainly thought Jackson (and the others discussed) were exciting. Apparently nothing came of it, but this crew was a fount of creativity!

mark wallace said...

These are great. It's like he speaks to you directly from beyond the grave. Do you ever worry about that?

Susan said...

Yes, there's some thought that Nixon was behind Chisholm's run for prez. But some conspiracies simply leave one cold.

Rachel Loden said...

Mark, thanks -- I guess I don't worry about it, now that you mention it. Maybe I should.

It's actually strangely invigorating, in a ghoulish sort of way.

Sounds kind of like the plot of a horror movie -- poet undergoes vocal chord transplant from body of dead president...

Susan, do you mean "leaves one cold" in the sense of "chilling" -- in other words not beyond the realm of possibility, however unlikely -- or cold as in dead in the water, a non-starter, beyond even this crew?

Susan said...

I meant I thought it unlikely, but who knows.
I do suspect Nixon is appreciating Hillary C more and more these days. Alas.

mark wallace said...

Hi Rachel:

Well, one thing I note, as someone who writes some times in satirical voices not my own (and often reprehensible ones at that), that it becomes a manner of speaking that can be too easy, at least at moments, and perhaps especially when I'm tired. That is, I can be so good at speaking in these satirical voices at moments that I can't speak, or at least not well, in any other voices I might have access to.

It's one of the problems of the comedian perhaps; that the shtick you're channeling begins to take you over. Groucho Marx has often been talked about as an extreme case of this: even in private life he could never ever stop with the biting jokes, and it made people who knew him deeply frustrated.

I think there's a moment, in what book I can't remember, in which Allen Ginsberg has gone to see William Burroughs, and Burroughs is doing other voices endlessly, with a seeming inability to stop.

But of course, I'm at least partly laughing as I say these things while looking out over my shoulder, listening for the voices headed my way.

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