Thursday, August 11, 2011

Nixon's Departure from Office

This is pretty neat - George H.W. Bush was present when Nixon left the White House, as well as at Ford's swearing in and recorded it in his diary so we can read his view of the day.

Background from the site:
Bush affectionately referred to his own wife, Barbara, as “Bar.” He names several other people who were at the White House on August 9: Dean Burch, political counselor to the President, and his wife, Pat Burch; [Patrick J.] Buchanan, assistant to President Nixon; Tricia and “Eddie” Cox, President Nixon’s daughter and son-in-law; and Rabbi [Baruch] Korff, Chairman, Citizens Committee for Fairness to the Presidency.

Diary excerpts (you can view the scanned originals at hte site):
President Nixon looked just awful. He used glasses—the first time I ever saw them. Close to breaking down—understandably. Everyone in the room in tears. . . . I remember Lt. Col. Brennan who has been with him so long—Marine— standing proudly but with tears running down his face. . . . The Nixon speech was masterful. In spite of his inability to totally resist a dig at the press, that argument about hating—only if you hate do you join the haters.

We walked through the bottom lobby to go out. . . .We went over and hung around waiting for the swearing in of Ford.

And then the whole mood changed. It was quiet, respectful, sorrowful in one sense, but upbeat. The music and the band seemed cheerier, the talking and babbling of voices after Ford’s fantastic speech, crowds of friends, indeed a new spirit, a new lift. . . .

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