By Alan Scherstuhl
By Amy Nicholson
By Charles Taylor
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Brian Feinzimer
By CAROLINA DEL BUSTO
By AMY NICHOLSON
By Amy Nicholson
After JFK stole the election in 1960 and I quit politics for eight years, I came back in '68 and aimed my presidential race at the forgotten American: white, middle-class, hawkish, patriotic, and totally ignored in the 1960s and early '70s. Ah, that crazy era. Bicke thought he had it tough; the whole world was out to get Dick back then. I racked up so many firsts as president—from the monumental (first president to step foot in the Kremlin and Red China) to the trivial (first president to campaign on Oahu)—that I was determined not to be the first president to lose a war. But the press and the commies and the hoodlums conspired to prevent this, and I had to spy on everyone from Bicke's beloved Black Panthers to my deadbeat brother, Donald, just to survive. Even the richest man in the world, Howard Hughes, was out to get me.
(Fun fact: this Leonardo DiCaprio kid is playing Hughes in a new Scorsese movie. DiCaprio is an executive producer of The Assassination of Richard Nixon, and the real Samuel Byck—the name was changed to protect the guilty—may have inspired the fictitious Travis Bickle character in Scorsese's Taxi Driver, which inspired the fake assassination attempt against Ronald Reagan, the most overrated president in U.S. history!)
When the walls caved in, I could always battle the depression by turning my anger outward and, say, secretly bombing Cambodia or escalating the war in North Vietnam on Christmas Day or ordering the break-in of Daniel Ellsberg's office. But what do you do when the press, Congress and your own party are against you? I tell you what you do, you rack up another first: the first American president to resign.
Instead of taking the high road, this Bicke fellow looks at footage of me on the TV and says, "You're a prick!" and later tries to hijack a plane and fly it into the White House to kill me—ME! THE PRESIDENT!!!
"They can rebuild the White House, Mr. Bernstein," he says on a tape he dropped in the mail that fateful day in '74, "but they can never forget me."
Ah, but this fool had no idea who he was messing with, and his plot ends tragically for him and a couple of innocent bystanders. Me? Not so much as a scratch, and I managed to keep the real Byck a footnote in history all these years. You see, I was always different. They wouldn't have idolized me like they did JFK and MLK. I had to make Hoover's boys and the networks sweep this thing under the rug lest the American public realize, "Oh, you mean we can KILL him?"
Oh, there was brief mention of the incident, one of which, cut into The Assassination of Richard Nixon, is an actual news clip introduced by Commie Cronkite as Bonny and Marie continue working, not even paying attention to the story on their TVs.
If only no one would have paid attention to Woodward and Bernstein.
Richard Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, remains dead and buried at the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace in Yorba Linda, from where he filed this review.
THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON WAS DIRECTED BY NIELS MUELLER; WRITTEN BY MUELLER AND KEVIN KENNEDY; PRODUCED BY ALFONSO CUARON AND JORGE VERGARA; AND STARS SEAN PENN, NAOMI WATTS AND DON CHEADLE. NOW PLAYING AT EDWARDS UNIVERSITY, IRVINE.
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