I think people forget that.
If you look at any list of the Worst Presidents of All Time, Nixon's name will often pop up (alongside Herbert Hoover and a handful of POTUS'es who supported slavery) mainly because of the blatant misuse of power he exhibited around the Watergate fiasco.
But Watergate happened in the second presidential term of a man who had a loooooong career in politics... So that begs the question:
Was Richard Nixon always a piece of shit?
And I think the answer is a resounding- "NO!"
First off, the guy who is famously known for losing to a more handsome JFK in the 1960 Presidential Debates was actually a career-long winner up to that point.
Read to hear the details?
Since losing his bid to become student body president in high school, Nixon ran off a streak of over 30 years without losing an election. After that crushing teenage defeat, Nixon was elected president of the Whittier College student body, president of the Duke University Law School bar association, U.S. representative, U.S. senator, and vice president under Dwight D Eisenhower… TWICE.
And there was a chance that Eisenhower/Nixon might’ve won a third term BUT the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 195, and it set a two-term limit on the presidency. Plus, Eisenhower was not in the best shape, so he probably would not have survived another term… Ike suffered seven heart attacks from 1955 until his death in 1969.
(This is Truman… Apologies.)
Then Dick lost in 1960 to JFK and quickly followed that up with a losing gubernatorial bid in California in 1962. BUT, when he came back and won the presidency in 1968 handsomely AND his re-election in 1972 in a fucking LANDSLIDE, Richard Nixon became one of only two people in history to appear on a national presidential ticket five times (winning 4 out of those 5)… The other was some guy named FDR.
Then the shit hit the fan, and he resigned from the highest office in the land in disgrace leaving nothing behind but HUNDREDS of hours of tapes recording him saying some wild racist, homophobic, and anti-semitic shit.
(Not true, Dick.)
His life is very interesting and those tapes (plus his 'alleged' penchant for beating his wife) get pretty dark, and you can hear all about them in this week's episode of Twisted History… The greatest history podcast on the Barstool platform.
Take a report.
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