Sunday, May 18, 2008

RIchard Nixon the wierdo

Much has been written about Nixon's mental make-up and temperament. His bizarre behaviour when he was under pressure over Watergate has been particularly well documented- one story is about how a wild-eyed Nixon would go racing down the stairs with Secret Service personnel in hot pursuit.

A recent biography, reviewed in the Economist, adds to the repertoire of stories of Nixon's weird behaviour:
Nixon hardly has a reputation as Mr Normal. But it is still astonishing to be reminded of quite how odd Nixon and his circle were. He wore a necktie when he was in his dressing gown. He once visited his mother, camera crew in tow, to wish her a happy birthday—and shook her by the hand. He sent memos to his wife, Pat, about how “RN” would like his furniture arranged. Nixon matter-of-factly ordered H.R. Haldeman to draw up a list of the “big Jewish” contributors to the Democratic Party. “Could we please investigate some of the cocksuckers?” Chuck Colson, Nixon's general counsel who famously said that he would run over his grandmother for his boss, once contemplated firebombing the Brookings Institution, a stately think-tank, and then sending in FBI officers dressed as firemen to steal a document that Nixon wanted.
To think that such a man was in charge of America's nuclear button!

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