Nixon: Man Behind the Mask - Gary Allen

Be Sincere Whether You Mean It Or Not

With the 1964 elections now history, the Nixon Express began to build up steam while its engineer carefully studied its 1968 timetable. Nixon's law firm allowed him seemingly unlimited time for world travel to keep up his reputation as an expert on foreign affairs, and for campaigning on behalf of GOP candidates. Hess and Broder observed:

"For major chunks of each year he circles the globe . . . on personal fact-finding junkets . . . For other parts of each year he circles the United States . . . restoring his credentials as a political leader."

During the 1966 Congressional elections, Nixon made appearances in thirty-five states for eighty-six Republican nominees. In addition he raised large sums of money to fill candidates' campaign coffers.

Although Nixon was campaigning for others, he made LBJ—the man most likely to be his opponent two years hence the target of his assault. Typical was this Nixon statement:

"Every time a housewife goes into a supermarket today, she is faced with the High Cost of Johnson . . . Every time a businessman tries to make a loan that would produce more jobs, he runs into interest rates that are really the High Cost of Johnson . . . Every time a young couple tries to buy a home these days, the door is slammed in their faces by the High Cost of Johnson."

In the off-year elections the Republicans picked up forty-seven seats in the House of Representatives, three Senate seats, eight governorships, and 540 seats in state legislatures. The Elephant that everybody had been ready to consign to the graveyard two years before was back in fettle and optimistically looking forward to the '68 jousting match with the rival Donkey. And Richard Nixon received much of the credit for the comeback. Candidates for whom he campaigned ran much better, statistically, than those for whom he did not appear. What is more, Nixon, the old master poker player, acquired more IOUs than a riverboat gambler. These political IOUs all had a 1968 due date.

Nixon had to do well in the primaries, as he admitted, to remove the "loser" image which dogged him. His main opposition in the New Hampshire kickoff primary was George Romney, who conveniently cut his own political throat by telling newspapermen he had been brainwashed on the Vietnam question. Polls showed Romney doing so miserably that he dropped out of the New Hampshire primary, leaving the field to Nixon. The unopposed victory was just the psychological boost the Nixon campaign needed. After that it was all downhill to Miami.

In his quest for the 1968 nomination Nixon assumed the Conservatives had nowhere else to go, and courted the Left. By attending the funeral of civil rights agitator Martin Luther King, Jr. along with virtually every other presidential office seeker and black nationalist, Nixon made it clear that he was willing to crawl for the Negro bloc vote. Certainly Nixon with his contacts had access to the information in the FBI file on King, which reveals King's close association with Communists.

Nixon, who had called the Civil Rights Bill of 1964, described by two former presidents of the American Bar Association as ten percent civil rights and ninety percent government control, a "great step forward;" capitalized on the hysteria following King's death to push another civil rights bill through Congress. According to the Los Angeles Times of March 24, 1968, NAACP member Nixon had been working behind the scenes to support a forced housing bill before the King assassination.

According to Human Events, Nixon played a strategic role in getting Congress to adopt the hastily drawn 1968 Civil Rights Act. He not only pressed for adoption of the "open housing" section, which had never undergone proper committee hearings, but he had been urging House Republicans to accept the Senate version of the Civil Rights Bill without any alterations. Such Nixon lieutenants as Representative Clark MacGregor of Minnesota helped to persuade House Republicans to accept the Senate amendments in toto. Nixon's telephone call to Representative John Anderson of Illinois, swing man on the important House Rules Committee, turned out to be crucial to the fate of the Senate bill:

The rules committee had appeared deadlocked over whether to send the Senate bill to a Senate-House conference, where House members could rework the legislation, or to send the bill to the House floor for a vote with a gag rule that would prevent any amendment whatsoever. Nixon phoned Anderson and urged him to send the bill to the House floor for a quick vote. Under pressure from Nixon and the tense conditions in the country following the murder of King, Anderson buckled. The Insiders and their puppets know that during the psychological shock of a disaster the public is willing to accept legislation that would not otherwise be adopted.

In order to capture Negro support in his 1968 quest for the Presidential nomination, Nixon formed an alliance with the revolutionary black power fanatics of CORE. CORE has adopted the forty-year old Communist cry for a separate Black Nation, and CORE'S retiring chairman, Floyd McKissick, the violent leftwing Socialist who has repudiated nonviolence, advocated not welfare for Negroes but a complete redistribution of the wealth, beginning with government subsidization of Negro-owned businesses. This has been mislabeled "black capitalism," and is a subtle perversion of the only true answer to the Negroes' economic plight, namely, the genuine free enterprise system. Liberal columnists Evans and Novak reported:

"In recent days, Nixon has been in contact with CORE leaders Floyd McKissick and Roy Innis [McKissick's successor] through intermediaries. Thus, their surprising agreement on economic black power could turn out to be Nixon's first real breakthrough into the Negro leadership."

CORE then came out in praise of Nixon for having seen "the relevance of black power," and claimed that Nixon is the "only Presidential candidate who is moving in the direction of CORE'S program." What Nixon and CORE advocate is not the channeling of private capital into Negro-owned or Negro-managed businesses, but nonprofit co-ops financed by government loans. Tax-free, nonprofit co-ops, financed by the taxpayers, do not constitute capitalism. What Nixon mistakenly calls "Black Capitalism" is in reality black communes or Black Soviets.

In a further quest to attract support of the bloc vote of Liberal Negroes, Parade Magazine of June 16, 1968, revealed that Nixon considered Edward Brooke of Massachusetts as his running mate. However, Brooke had decided to throw in his lot with Nelson Rockefeller. Liberal columnist Carl Rowan, who served in high appointive capacities in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, reported that leftward forces in Massachusetts:

". . . regard Brooke as one of their own—infiltrating the enemy camp—and making them like it. They regard the Massachusetts Senate race as a contest to see whether an ideological Democrat can go all the way to the top in a Republican masquerade."

The great puppet show of 1968 was the Nixon-Rockefeller contest. Many an astute observer believes that Rockefeller may have entered the Presidential race at a time when he had little chance of winning, solely to bring some badly needed publicity to the Republican party's race and to solidify Conservative backing for Nixon. Rocky and Richard were not the enemies they were pictured as being. ADA member Stewart Alsop wrote in his book, Nixon and Rockefeller:

"There are in fact, it should be noted, no sharp ideological differences between Rockefeller and Nixon, as there were between Dewey and Taft and Eisenhower and Taft. When Rockefeller worked in Washington for the first Eisenhower Administration, he often found an ally in Nixon on such issues as foreign aid. The difference is really a difference of style and background and approach to politics : . . ."

Nixon's friendly biographer, Earl Mazo, says that in Washington "Nixon and Rockefeller became good friends and supported each other consistently . . ." After the 1956 election Rockefeller wrote Nixon on November 7th: ". . . under you and the President the Republican party is now emerging, at home and abroad, as the great liberal party of the future." Joseph Alsop, brother of Stewart and also a member of the ADA, wrote in a 1963 column on the then upcoming election:

"What the Republican politicians call the 'old New York crowd' will almost certainly stick by Nelson Rockefeller as long as propriety and good manners require them to do so. But it is a very good guess that men like former Governor Thomas E. Dewey, and the financial leaders who used to work with Dewey, are already thinking hard about where they can go if Rockefeller does not make the grade. And it is an equally good guess that they are thinking about going to Nixon."

Then there was the little matter of Nixon moving into Rocky's apartment house and going to work for the law firm used by Chase Manhattan for its trust accounts. Rockefeller may have held some hope that he could actually wrest the candidacy from his own puppet, but as the Wall Street Journal's Vermont Royster observed:

"Indeed, Mr. Rockefeller's initial half-hearted campaign seemed only to demonstrate that he expected to lose to Mr. Nixon. The governor drifted along almost aimlessly while his vaunted staff became disorganized. Meanwhile, Mr. Nixon sailed on serenely, making no mistakes that could give the New Yorker an opening . . .

"It was only after Sen. Robert Kennedy's assassination June 5 that Mr. Rockefeller's campaign got rolling. By then, only a slim chance existed of stopping Nixon, but Rocky spared nothing spending millions for national advertising, and pushing himself through a frenetic cross-country campaign . . . "

The Rockefeller campaign suggested from the beginning that the New York governor was acting as a stalking horse for his ostensible opponent, Richard Nixon. First there was his reluctance to become a candidate at a date when he had time to forge a successful campaign. Then, when he did begin to flirt with the idea of getting in, he soon backed off, claiming that his old ardor for the Presidency was no longer there and that the rank and file wanted Nixon. He would not, he said, divide the party. Only after the primaries had come and gone, and Nixon had the nomination sewed up, did Rocky enter the race, spending money like a Rockefeller and keeping the Republicans in the headlines.

It was an eloquent performance. Nixon had to have an enemy on the Left to make him a salable commodity to the Conservatives. The Insiders knew very well that if Nelson Rockefeller came out against Hell, many Conservatives would begin to find redeeming qualities in Satan. Thus, if Rocky didn't like Nixon's Conservatism, it must be a very good brand of Conservatism indeed. Republican Conservatives began to salivate after Nixon as if he were to the Right of Barry Goldwater.

At Miami the country was treated to the picture of a super-confident Richard Nixon who seemed not to have a worry in the world. He didn't. And the biggest tip-off was the sight of Nixon's super-competent professional staff competing with Rocky's bumbling amateurs—a group crawling with just the sort of high-pressure New Left types guaranteed to offend the delegates. There may be some who really believe that Nelson Rockefeller couldn't put together a team of first-rate professionals, but they must be political kindergartners.

As the Elephant Herd assembled in Miami Beach for the quadrennial ceremonial nominating dance, Richard Nixon knew he had the prize in the bag. Relaxing before the festivities started, Nixon called a press conference in which he repudiated his past anti-Communist stands. A mere two weeks before the rape of Czecho-Slovakia by the Soviets and their henchmen. New York Times headlines blared: "Nixon Says He Has Eased Views On Communist Bloc Since 1960." Mr. Nixon explained to the newsmen at Miami that the Communist Conspiracy was no longer an unyielding, monolithic force. In 1960, the candidate maintained, "the Communist world was a monolithic world. Today it is a split world, schizophrenic, with very great diversity."

As Americans died in Vietnam, Nixon even said he believed that the "era of confrontation" with the Communist world had ended, ushering in a new "era of negotiations with the Soviet Union . . . and . . . the leaders of the next superpower. Communist China . . . "

In subscribing to the new myths and ignoring the old realities, Richard Nixon announced that the harsh words he had for the Communists in his 1960 acceptance speech are today "irrelevant." And, he added, "as the facts change, any intelligent man does change his approaches to the problems. It does not mean that he is an opportunist. It means only that he is a pragmatist."

At the convention the Nixonites grabbed Conservative issues lock, stock, and barrel. Unfortunately they did not adopt Conservative solutions, only the issues. But Conservative Republicans who should have known better loved it. The object, however, was to propagandize the Conservative wing of the Party, quietly pat its wounded ego, and sell it a gilded brick. That brick was labeled Party Unity.

The way the script was written, the disunity of 1964 was no longer the fault of those disloyal "Liberals" who betrayed and sabotaged Barry Goldwater, but that of the twenty-seven million ideological dervishes who had run screaming onto the swords of Lyndon's legions, believing that their sacrifice would somehow help to reestablish our Constitution and the American system of free enterprise. Now, with a Liberal candidate in prospect, it was the turncoats of 1964 who were leading the cry for unity and pragmatism. With Wallace in the race, the Liberals realized that they must have Conservative support to win. "Pragmatism!" they cried. And Conservative Republicans echoed: "Pragmatism!"

It was all very cordial. Liberals even permitted the former Conservative spokesman, a fellow named Goldwater, to support their plea for unity before the convention. It was like calling the victim of a mugging as a character witness for his assailants—not so much offering proof of the victim's compassion as providing evidence that when the muggers struck they hit the man in the head harder than anyone had realized at the time. Conservatives were now welcomed back into the Republican Party. It was like being met at the door of your own home by a hospitable burglar and invited to come in for a drink. Curiously, Republican Conservatives seemed elated by such courtly treatment from Party Liberals, and gratefully accepted the incredible invitation.

Thus, the Republican Right was forgiven for the "crime of 1964" and its sins were washed away in the soothing waters of Party Unity. It was quite a trick to get the Conservative lambs to lie down with the Liberal lions while their cage was being constructed, but that was precisely what happened. As the Insiders scripted a soothing of Party Conservatives to keep them away from the Wallace campaign, they also moved to keep the Party's non-Establishment Liberals (who also take these conventions seriously) from committing hara-kiri at the thought that the Republican Party might campaign on Conservative principles. Indeed, the scenario called for monumental staging.

The cast of this pragmatic extravaganza contained a protagonist on the Left (for the Liberals to cheer and the Conservatives to hiss), a Rightist knight of the silver screen (to make Conservative hearts go pitter-pat and to horrify unsophisticated Liberals), and a centrist (an experienced and highly competent professional, skilled at uniting the Party in a shotgun marriage to last until the second week in November). The centrist, as you know, got the girl in the end.

At Miami, Mr. Nixon was the one, on the first ballot. And his acceptance speech proved a masterpiece of pragmatism superbly eloquent and totally noncommittal. He sounded to the casual listener like a combination of Billy Graham calling for a crusade against sin, John Wayne delivering a Fourth of July speech to the American Legion, Pat O'Brien exhorting Notre Dame to "win one for the Gipper," George Wallace at his ironic best, and Martin Luther King ascending the mountain. The speech was delivered in terms that drew positive reactions from both Liberals and Conservatives without offending either. Such an accomplishment is more difficult than passing an elephant through the eye of a donkey, and one must admire Mr. Nixon's oratorical expertise if not his anti-ideology. The speech was amazing.

Mr. Nixon said that to the "new" Republican Party the enemy of liberty is not collectivism itself, but the mismanagement of collectivism. Generalities abounded. Although the address was far different in tone from Nixon's acceptance speech of 1960, in which he had attempted to outpromise the Democrats in detail, the theme was the same. The Wall Street Journal had dubbed the 1960 acceptance a wedding of the "Welfare State to fiscal responsibility." That theme was repeated in 1968—but this time Nixon hedged his bet by attacking the consequences of the very collectivism he proposed.

Richard Nixon knew that in 1968 the mood of the nation had become increasingly Conservative; Americans were sick of court decisions handcuffing the police, of the scandal-ridden "War on Poverty," of jogging inflation, and of the looting and burning of our cities by psychotic Black Nationalists and revolutionary delinquents. As America's pre-eminent reader of trends, he devoted his 1968 acceptance speech to an attempt to steal a march on these issues—all raised by George Wallace—just as he had attempted in 1960 to steal a march on the issues raised by John Kennedy. The difference, as always with Mr. Nixon, was a matter of solutions: This time he was arguing that his alchemists could cook up a totally new brand of federal collectivism guaranteed to cure welfare problems, racial hostility, violence in the streets, and probably warts.

Richard Nixon did say many of the right things in that speech—and he said them beautifully. He talked of the American Revolution being the only true and continuing revolution, and of what private initiative has done for our country. He spoke of law and order and America's declining world position. But by reading the address, rather than merely listening to it, one discovers that he conveyed many illusory impressions. The speech implied that we would recapture the Pueblo and free its crew, but made no specific commitment. It sounded as if Nixon would stop the war in Vietnam, but it said nothing about winning it. It dwelt on law and order, but promised only a war on "organized crime . . . loan sharks . . . numbers racketeers . . . filth peddlers and the narcotics peddlers . . . " with no mention of the Communists and their Black Nationalist comrades, who are making good their promises of guerrilla warfare. It also seemed to say that Nixon would cut federal spending and taxes; but again, this was only an implication made by the tone of the rhetoric.

Here was a candidate who even seemed to be promising an end to foreign aid—the very man who had said in his article of October 1967 in the Council on Foreign Relations' magazine, Foreign Affairs, that he sought a new Marshall Plan to dump even vaster sums of foreign aid into bottomless Asia.

The Republican platform committee labored mightily and brought forth an ideological mouse. It was the perfect platform for Nixon to stand on. One wag remarked that anyone from Mao Tse-tung to Attila the Hun could comfortably run on it. It made virtually no commitments. It did courageously declare the Party for good and against evil, but it was very hazy about how to tell which is which. Certainly the platform tended to be far more Liberal than even Nixon's acceptance speech, and the Party "moderates" called it highly "progressive." James Reston of the New York Times, gloating over the platform's abandonment of Conservatism, wrote:

". . [the Republicans] have learned from their disastrous campaign of 1964. Nobody is putting party ideology above party unity, not even Goldwater. In fact, Goldwater, Reagan, Nixon and Rockefeller have all accepted the objectives of a party platform that Humphrey or even McCarthy could accept."

Ah yes, and Mao and Attila too.

Following Miami, Nixon shifted gears into the smoothest, most professional, most public relations-oriented campaign ever conducted. One of the developments in modern political life that has concerned both Democrats and Republicans is the rise of public relations firms and their brainchild, television campaigning. TV, it is generally felt, puts a premium on wit and good looks at the expense of intellectual depth and the discussion of issues. Ugly old Abe Lincoln, it is often noted, would be at a distinct disadvantage against one of today's slick Madison Avenue products. Now, everything is charisma—that undefinable "it" that JFK had and HHH and RMN don't.

Whether you approve or disapprove of TV as a political weapon depends upon how well your candidate uses the medium. The Republicans loved it in 1952 and 1956 when "father-image" Eisenhower's "sincerity" came across better than Baby Dumpling Stevenson's egghead intellect. In 1960, however, the tables were turned as the Nixon-Kennedy TV debates turned out looking like robust and sun-tanned Charles Atlas versus a pale and puny Count Dracula in need of a shave.

In 1968, Nixon realized that he must learn how to turn TV into an asset or face another defeat. In Oregon Nixon was asked what he thought of artificially created political images. He replied:

"People are much less impressed with image arguments than are columnists, commentators, and pollsters. And I for one rejected the advice of the public relations experts who say that I've got to sit by the hour and watch myself. The American people may not like my face but they're going to listen to what I have to say."

With that he prepared to launch the most expensive public relations-and-TV-dominated campaign in the history of American elections.

Law partner Leonard Garment put together Nixon's staff of high- powered image builders. They included Harry Treleaven, who had run ideas up the J. Walter Thompson flagpole for eighteen years for such clients as Pan American, RCA, and Ford; Frank Shakespeare, who had spent a like number of years at CBS; and Paul Keyes, a producer of "Laugh-In," who was supposed to convey the impression that Nixon had a sense of humor. The make-up man from the Johnny Carson show was hired to make sure that Nixon never again went before the cameras looking like a baggy-eyed Count Dracula with insomnia.

With TV, the image is everything. And the image of the man need have no relation to the real man. The candidate becomes a product to be peddled like soap or instant mashed potatoes. The bright-colored box may belie what is within. Raymond Price, a Nixon speech-writer and TV advisor, was very blunt about this in a memo to Nixon:

"It's not what's there that counts, it's what's projected—and carrying it one step further, it's not what he projects, but rather what the voter receives. It's not the man we have to change, but rather the received impression. And this impression often depends more on the medium and its use than it does on the candidate himself."

Probably the most fascinating account of the Nixon-Humphrey campaign yet produced is The Selling of the President 1968, by Joe McGinniss of the Philadelphia Inquirer (until recently owned by Nixon's close friend and appointee as Ambassador to the Court of St. James', Walter Annenberg). The book jacket describes McGinniss' mission:

"Wondering if a presidential candidate could be advertised and sold like a car or a can of peas, Joe McGinniss informally joined the Nixon forces at the very early stages of the campaign. Around the clock, day-to-day, he lived with the technicians, ghost writers, experts, and pollsters."

Whether it was an advertising concept meeting, a television taping, a panel selection, an "ethnic specialists'" discussion; whether at a hysterical moment of anticipated triumph, or a quiet moment of misgiving and self-doubt, Joe McGinniss was there, listening, asking—eliciting some of the most candid, truly human disclosures and insights ever made about our electoral process.

It seems incredible, but apparently nobody on the Nixon staff made any attempt to discover whether McGinniss was friendly or hostile before admitting him into the inner sanctum. They know now; McGinniss's book was on top of the best-seller list for many months running, and it presents a most unflattering picture of Nixon and his campaign team.

McGinniss, it turned out, was a very nasty Liberal, a Eugene McCarthyite, and quite possibly a spy for the Humphrey campaign. But despite his foaming-at-the-mouth Liberalism, McGinniss' book contains some gems of conversations he sat in on that reveal the total cynicism of the Nixon campaign. In preparing for the all-important part that TV would play in the campaign, Harry Treleaven wrote: "There'll be few opportunities for logical persuasion, which is all right—because probably more people vote for irrational, emotional reasons than professional politicians suspect."

"I am not going to barricade myself into a television studio and make this an antiseptic campaign," Nixon told a press conference shortly after his nomination, as he prepared to do just that. Six months earlier, Nixon had said, "We're going to build this whole campaign around television. You fellows [his TV advisors] just tell me what you want me to do and I'll do it."

The Nixon campaign relied heavily on ten one-hour specials, spread around the country, that featured an audience of shills from the local Republican clubs. They were coached to scream like crazy every time Nixon answered a question and then to mob him at the end of the show to give the viewers the impression that the candidate was just oozing with charisma. Reporters were never allowed in the studio lest they report that the shows were staged. Staff members cynically referred to the shills as "the applause machine."

The semi-shills who fed Nixon the questions always included one Negro (two might be offensive and not to have one was unthinkable), a housewife, a businessman, a Liberal, and a working man. In most cases all went smoothly because Nixon had well-rehearsed answers to all the standard questions, which he had answered hundreds of times since New Hampshire. In fact, Nixon did turn himself into a veritable human computer, with stored answers for the most common questions, such as: "Is there a 'new' Nixon?" Response: "My answer is yes, there is a new Nixon, if you are talking in terms of new ideas for the new world and the America we live in."

Garry Wills described the Nixon human computer process:

". . .The tapes were sent to Washington, where computers typed "personalized" answers—one paragraph per concern, dialed out of a bank of 70 stock answers to the most common questions. That dialing process was a perfect extension of the man we watched on television.

"Bud Wilkinson would ask the same questions, or a panel would, over and over. There would be a pause (the internal dialing), a signaled mechanical frown of concern and "personalized" typing (print-out on the face—still fuzzy, that machine has never been perfected), and Nixon would finally deliver, in his tight resonant voice—like Disney's Audio-Animatronic figure of Lincoln, improvising Gettysburg Addresses to a ballet of programmed gestures—one of the 70 paragraphs stored in this walking memory bank."

But something went awry in Philadelphia, where local call-in show host Jack McKinney, a non-shill, was accidentally asked to be one of the questioners. McGinniss describes the repartee:

"Jack McKinney did not lead with his right but he threw a much stiffer jab than Nixon had been expecting: Why are you so reluctant to comment on Vietnam this year when in 1952, faced with a similar issue in Korea, you were so free with your partisan remarks?

"Not a crippling question, but there was an undertone of unfriendliness to it. Worse, it had been put to him in professional form. Nixon had been expecting, maybe, a request for comment on the war, to which he would have given the standard With-Peace-Negotiations-at-Such-a-Delicate-Stage reply. But here was a question which assumed that reply and requested that it be defended, in light of a seeming contradiction. Nixon stepped back, a bit off balance. This sort of thing threatened the stability of the whole format; the basis being the hypothesis that Nixon could appear to risk all by going live while in fact risking nothing by facing the loose syntax and predictable, sloppy thrusts of amateurs.

"Nixon threw up an evasive flurry. But the grin was gone from his face. Not only did he know now that he would have to be careful of McKinney, he was forced to wonder, for the first time, what he might encounter from the others."

After Nixon had easily fielded standard questions from the Negro, the businessman, the housewife, etc., McKinney got his second shot:

"It was McKinney's turn again: Why was Nixon refusing to appear on any of the news confrontation shows such as Meet the Press? Why would he face the public only in staged settings such as this, where the questions were almost certain to be worded generally enough to allow him any vague sort of answer he wanted to give? Where the presence of the cheering studio audience was sure to intimidate any questioner who contemplated true engagement? Where Nixon moved so quickly from one questioner to the next that he eliminated any possibility of follow-up, any chance for true discussion . . . ? 'I've done those quiz shows, Mr. McKinney. I've done them until they were running out of my ears.'"

"There was no question on one point: Richard Nixon was upset. Staring hard at McKinney, he grumbled something about why there should be more fuss about Hubert Humphrey not having press conferences and less about him and Meet the Press. . . . The audience cheered. Suddenly, Nixon, perhaps sensing a weakness in McKinney where he had feared that none existed, perhaps realizing he had no choice, surely buoyed up by the cheers, decided to slug it out.

"'Go ahead,' he said, gesturing, 'I want you to follow up.'

"McKinney came back creditably, using the word 'amorphous' and complaining that viewers were being asked to support Nixon for President on the basis of 'nothing but a wink and a smile' particularly in regard to Vietnam.

"'Now, Mr. McKinney, maybe I haven't been as specific . . . ' and Nixon was off on a thorough rephrasing of his Vietnam nonposition, which, while it contained no substance—hence, could not accommodate anything new—sounded, to uninitiates, like a public step forward. The audience was ecstatic. Outnumbered, two hundred forty-one to one, McKinney could do nothing but smile and shake, his head.

"The big telethon on the Sunday before the election was even more rigged. A battery of girls were brought in to accept questions by phone, but the questions Nixon was to answer had been selected and rehearsed in advance. Questions from callers approximating the pre-selected questions were then matched so that emcee Bud Wilkinson could say something like: Mr. Nixon, Mrs. J.J. Jones of Pompano Beach, Florida, would like to know what you intend to do about pensions for starving winos. Then Mr. Nixon could reply: 'I'm glad you asked that question, Mrs. Jones. Let me make it perfectly clear blah, blah, blah the usual doubletalk.' It all sounded very spontaneous, although it was a complete show biz fraud. Anyway, the campaign fraud only cost $25 million and that was given voluntarily. The cost to taxpayers in broken campaign promises has been considerably higher."

Part way through the campaign the image makers began to doubt that they were successfully creating an image of the "new Nixon" as warm and personable. They decided on a new format for TV spots that featured Nixon's voice behind a series of still pictures rapidly flashing on the screen. McGinniss describes the new strategy:

"The words would be the same ones Nixon always used—the words of the acceptance speech. But they would all seem fresh and lively because a series of still pictures would flash on the screen while Nixon spoke. If it were done right, it would permit Treleaven to create a Nixon image that was entirely independent of the words. Nixon would say his same old tiresome things but no one would have to listen. The words would become Muzak. Something pleasant and lulling in the background. The flashing pictures would be carefully selected to create the impression that somehow Nixon represented competence, respect for tradition, serenity, faith that the American people were better than people anywhere else, and that all these problems others shouted about meant nothing in a land blessed with the tallest buildings, strongest armies, biggest factories, cutest children, and rosiest sunsets in the world. Even better: through association with the pictures, Richard Nixon could become these very things."

Eugene Jones, the man who created these ads with the laughing, playing children and the glorious sunsets and Richard Nixon, told McGinniss that he was leaving the country after the election because he didn't think this was any place to raise children.

The cynicism of building a phony TV image was matched by the hypocrisy of Nixon's stand on the issues. Long regarded as America's number one political weathervane, Nixon constantly promised "new leadership" while at the same time using polls to decide which positions were the most popular. In a column titled "Nixon Reborn—In A Poll's Image," Joseph Alsop wrote:

"In this year's lurid presidential campaign, one of the most important figures behind the scenes has certainly been Joseph Bachelder of Princeton, N.J.

"Bachelder is a poller with a small planning-and-analysis staff of his own. He also has access, by contract, to Dr. George Gallup's nationwide polling apparatus and to the Gallup machinery for sorting and computation in Princeton. Long ago, Bachelder became Richard M. Nixon's personal poller, and Bachelder has since been taking polls for Nixon, almost nonstop, in depth and on a very big scale.

"The results that Bachelder has passed on to Nixon are among the most closely guarded secrets of the Republican candidate. Yet it is transparently obvious that the former Vice President's campaign strategy is heavily poll-dominated.

"In order to see why this is so, you have only to glance at the published results of other, less secretive pollers, such as Louis Harris. There is a near-perfect fit between Harris's most recent findings about the mood of the country and the things that Nixon and Spiro T. Agnew have been saying and doing since they took the stump."

Another example of the Nixon campaign cynicism was the candidate's making Attorney General Ramsey Clark a main target for his campaign rehetoric on law and order. Of course Clark deserved every brickbat and more, but privately Nixon thought very highly of him. Richard Harris wrote in the New Yorker:

"Apparently Nixon himself did not enjoy his attacks on the Attorney General. 'Ramsey Clark is really a fine fellow,' he said to his closest associates during the campaign. 'And he's done a good job.' In view of one of the candidate's top advisers, the candidate had felt compelled to use this 'simplistic approach' to stir up the voters."

The two CFR candidates, Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey, were remarkably alike in their views, despite the "image" of being poles apart ideologically. Neither deviated from the official CFR foreign policy of "internationalism," by which America is committed to opposing Communism with so-called Democratic Socialism. Both Nixon and Humphrey prided themselves on being staunch supporters of large foreign aid giveaways. This is the cornerstone of the foreign policy of the CFR, as it pours money into the coffers of the international bankers and their law firms.

Both candidates have always gone right down the line in support of the infamous "House that Hiss Built," the United Nations. Both Nixon and Humphrey have advocated the establishment of a UN army that would supersede our own. Both RMN and HHH have supported United World Federalists and Atlantic Union world government schemes.

While Nixon in the past had talked a hard line against Communism, in his press conference at the outset of the Miami convention, he had reversed this stand. This brought him into a position similar to Humphrey's on resistance to Communism.

Hubert Humphrey has been a leading advocate of the welfare state at home, which Nixon at one time opposed. But by 1960, Nixon had done an about-face on the welfare state, though he still paid lip service to the free enterprise system. Nixon justifies the welfare state in Conservative terms while Humphrey does it in Liberalese.

Humphrey and Nixon have both supported all civil rights bills, both the good ones and the bad ones. It was ironic to see NAACP member Nixon campaign through the South as a champion of home rule and a staunch opponent of school busing.

Given these close parallels in their records, how is it that Nixon is widely believed to be a moderate Conservative, while Humphrey is considered a quite radical Liberal? Much of it goes back to their earlier political careers, when these labels had a great deal more validity. Many ardent supporters of both men remember them as they were, not as they are. Humphrey has tailored his appeal to suit labor union and minority elements.

Nixon's target has always been "middle America," now generally known as "the silent majority." Therefore, both men have often said substantially the same thing, but they have couched it in very different language. A Nixon campaign speech and a Humphrey campaign speech were as different as winter and summer. In general, so were the audiences. But when George Wallace claimed that there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between the two candidates, he was more accurate than he realized. Wallace was referring to the two parties' stands on forced integration, but that was not the real story. The real story lay in the CFR control over both candidates. Rhetoric aside, they stood for virtually the same thing and both were run by the same bosses in New York. One was working the Liberal side of the street and the other was working the Conservative side of the same street.

While the Establishment Insiders had everything to gain and nothing to lose, no matter which candidate won, it was obvious in 1968 that Humphrey was only a foil for Nixon (although he almost beat him). The "big money" went behind Nixon the Republican just as it had gone behind Johnson the Democrat four years earlier. The March 1970 issue of Fortune (page 104) disclosed:

"After Nixon's nomination, national-level Republican committees spent nearly $25 million on the presidential campaign, white comparable post-convention expenditures by the hard-pressed Democrats came to less than half of that—about $10,600,000. Third-party candidate George C. Wallace reported spending $6,985,455.

"But it was the Republican revival among large contributors, especially businessmen, that really paid the G.OY.'s way in 1968. Large contributors, traditionally Republican, who had deserted Goldwater to support Lyndon Johnson, returned to the fold more openhanded than ever before.

"Nowhere is the return to the Republicans more apparent than in the pattern of contributions by members of the Business Council [Note: a virtual subsidiary of the CFR], an elite group of men who own, finance, or manage the country's major enterprises . . . Business Council contributions, predominantly Democratic in 1964, were once again overwhelmingly Republican in 1968, by better than three to one. One Business Council member who went full circle was C. Douglas Dillon, Under Secretary of State in the Eisenhower Administration and Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. In 1960, Dillon gave $26,550 to Republicans and nothing to Democrats. Four years later he put up $42,000 for Johnson, nothing for Goldwater. But in 1968, Dillon contributed only to Republicans ($9,000) . . ."

George Wallace, who notably failed to win support among industrialists, received nothing. Guess who was not the Establishment's candidate!

Another indication as to where the Establishment stood on Nixon was the stand taken by its key literary spokesman. In a last gasp before hanging up his typewriter, Walter Lippmann, a CFR founder who was for years known as "the official voice of the Establishment," pontificated from Mt. Olympus:

". . . It has become painfully clear that the Democratic party is too disorganized to run the country . . . This leaves us with Nixon as the one and only candidate who can be elected and shows the promise, like it or not, of being able to put together an administration to run the government . . .

"I do not shrink from the prospect of Nixon as president. He is a very much better man today than he was 10 years ago, and I have lived too long myself to think that men are what they are forever and ever.

"All in all we cannot deny that the near future will be difficult, and I have come to think that on the central issue of an organized government, to deal with it Nixon is the only one who may be able to produce a government that can govern."

Lippmann's apparent successor, James Reston (CFR), refrained from making a direct recommendation, but made it quite clear that the ideological differences popularly believed to exist between the two candidates were ephemeral. Reston admitted that in voting for Nixon the voters were casting their ballots for something they would not receive. According to Reston:

"He [the voter] has no clear ideological choice this year, as the voters had in 1964 . .

"The voters want a change. They are clearly leading the nation toward what they suppose to be—probably quite inaccurately a quite conservative Nixon administration . . .

"Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey do not differ about goals. They both accept the two related principles [internationalism and the welfare state] that have guided American [i.e., CFR] policy over the last generation . . ."

A third professional Liberal who surprisingly (to most Republicans) endorsed Richard Nixon was Stewart Alsop of the Fabian-Socialist Americans for Democratic Action. Alsop's recommendation in Newsweek was totally through the back door, as he turned on one of the founders of his own ADA organization:

"There is a compelling, if rather negative, case to be made for the proposition that the national interest urgently demands the election of Richard M. Nixon as President of the United States. The case rests largely on the mounting evidence that the election of Hubert H. Humphrey would be a national disaster . . .

"A stalemate between the White House and Capitol Hill existed when John F. Kennedy was murdered. But poor Hubert Humphrey has been deserted by virtually all the liberal Democrats and the imaginative intellectuals who helped to make Kennedy's brief rule exciting and productive despite the stalemate."

Presumably, Nixon would do much of what the "imaginative intellectuals" might recommend, though most of them would always dislike Nixon personally. The major reason given by Alsop for supporting Nixon was that he could pull off a staged surrender in Vietnam. Alsop continued:

". . . Nixon could negotiate without major political damage a Vietnam settlement that might get Humphrey impeached. Nixon is an able man with other qualifications for the Presidency, but this is the heart of the case for Nixon . . ."

Lippmann, Reston, and Alsop, all certified Establishment spokesmen and all extreme Liberals, support Republicans about every third blue moon, but in 1968 they obviously realized that there was an excellent opportunity to advance Leftward with Richard Nixon simply because he would disguise his programs in a Conservative costume.

On November 5, Richard Nixon made good his remarkable comeback, although the finish was much closer than most people had predicted, and Nixon appeared to be losing strength as the campaign progressed.

Richard Nixon had achieved the goal he had sought so covetously for many years. The question was: What price did he have to pay to get to the pinnacle of the political heap? Here was a man who was down and out both politically and financially in 1962. He was taken to New York, given a cushy partnership in a law firm, bought a cooperative apartment he could not afford, joined the finest clubs, lived the life of a millionaire, acquired nearly a million dollars in assets, traveled the world several times, spent his time politicking, and was made President of the United States. Somebody up there liked Richard Nixon. That somebody was the Establishment Insiders. Nixon was willing to pay their price, as Taft was not, and so, as Taft had not been able to do, Nixon became President of the United States.