Why do I still find Richard Nixon so fascinating? After all, my political views on many matters are arguably more conservative than his were and would likely be if he were alive and politically engaged today.
On Tuesday evening, Feb. 12, a capacity crowd filled a replica of the White House East Room for a presentation at the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum. After that, they stood in line to buy autographed copies of my latest New York Times best-seller, "Heroes Proved." All of them heard: "Lyndon Johnson sent my brother and me to war in Vietnam. In his first address to our nation as president, Richard Nixon promised to bring us home.
We are here tonight to celebrate the centennial of a statesman, a profile in courage and an extraordinary man we are all proud to have served: the 37th president of the United States, Richard Milhous Nixon.
Will Barack Obama go down in history as our least merciful president? With less than two weeks to go in his first term, this reputedly progressive and enlightened man has a strong shot at winning that dubious distinction.
In 1968, it was called the credibility gap. Lyndon Johnson was no longer able to make it seem we were winning the war in Vietnam. Not that he hadn't tried.
Early in Ronald Reagan's second term, Bill Rusher, the publisher of National Review, was interviewing the president in the Oval Office for a documentary on the conservative movement.
He had to have run the worst, most disorganized and demoralizing, indeed chaotic presidential campaign in recent history. It was a perfect, agonizing reflection of the jumbled times.
"GOVERNMENT HAS BECOME so vast and impersonal," the presidential challenger asserted, "that its interests diverge more and more from the interests of ordinary citizens. For a generation and more, the government has sought to meet our needs by multiplying its bureaucracy. Washington has taken too much in taxes from Main Street, and Main Street has received too little in return. It is not necessary to centralize power in order to solve our problems."
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