It's time to play the home version of the game sweeping the republic, Hate or No Hate. Today's contestants, based on 280,000 pages of documents recently released by the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, are Trickie Dickie and his henchmen.
NO HATE because Nixon could use Ol' Blue Eyes' connections
Political funds ''could conceivably come our way based on the successful establishment of a personal relationship between the President and Frank Sinatra," Charles Colson, special counsel to the president, wrote in a 1971 note to chief of staff H.R. Haldeman recommending a private meeting between Nixon and Sinatra.
The Washington Post
HATE because Nixon wanted to quash the game-changing Watergate coverage
Colson suggested in a Jan. 15, 1973, "eyes only" memo that the Post fire Executive Editor Ben Bradlee, pull Watergate stories off the front page or produce "obviously friendly editorials" on the Vietnam War as ways to prove it wanted to end its warfare with the White House.
NO HATE because Nixon wished he could speak like Britain's former prime minister
''The speeches I make are to the great credit of the speech writing team generally highly literate, highly responsible and almost invariably dull,'' Nixon wrote in a memo to his top aides while preparing for an address to the Canadian Parliament in the spring of 1972. He feared his rhetoric was so dull it would cost him politically in the fall re-election campaign. '. . . 'Now I don't mean to suggest that I should write or sound like Churchill. He is one of those rare birds where God broke the mold when he died. On the other hand, we can at least learn from him.''
HATE because Nixon found it "decadent"
In a Jan. 26, 1970, memo from to Haldeman, Nixon described Modern art as something "the Kennedy-Shriver crowd believed in," and that "those who are on the modern art and music kick are 95 percent against us anyway. I refer to the recent antics of Leonard Bernstein and the whole New York crowd." He had no intention of having $40 million in National Endowment for the Arts funds "scattered all over the country in projects of this type," and he ordered the "cleaning out" of U.S. embassies around the world that displayed Modern paintings. The embassies, Nixon said, "were loaned some of these little uglies from the Museum of Modern Art in New York."
Ghettos of America
NO HATE because Nixon wanted to use them to stoke white fury and backlash at the Democrats
A 1971 Nixon campaign document titled "Dividing the Democrats" lays out the dirty trick scheme to spread bumper stickers around the "ghettoes of the country" exhorting the Democrats to pick a black presidential vice presidential candidates in 1972.
HATE because, well, he was Ted Kennedy
Daily notes in 1971 by Haldeman's assistant Gordon Strachan touching on ongoing efforts to get Kennedy. "We need tail on EMK," he wrote from one meeting, referring to Kennedy by his initials. The idea: "get caught w[ith] compromising evidence. . . . Bits and pieces now need hard evi[dence]." Several prominent women are named as being involved with the senator.
Journalists (who could be bought)
NO HATE because Nixon relied on them for campaign intelligence on the Democrats
Known by the code name "Chapman's Friend," working journalists who doubled as a paid informants reporting to the president's political operatives about campaigning Democrats included Seymour Freidin and Lucianne Goldberg. You'll recall Goldberg was the literary agent who encouraged Linda Tripp to tape conversations she had with Monica Lewinsky about the intern's relationship with President Bill Clinton.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
HATE because Nixon feared they might become Nixonian
In a memo from the summer of 1972, Steven King, security chief for the Committee to Re-elect the President, reported on his sweep for eavesdropping equipment in the premises, and advised Nixon's operatives how to avoid being bugged themselves. "We realize that some of your Committee members probably have a particular fondness for such items as flowers in large flower pots and artificial birds," he wrote, but "such items nevertheless present a serious menace because they are so excellently suited to serve as hiding places for 'bugs.'"
He should know.