Monday, March 3, 2008

President 37 - Insider

Yes, Richard Nixon was a former U.S. Senator. And a former U.S. Congressman, for that matter. But the Washington office in which he spent the most time before 1968 was that of Vice President.

It took Nixon eight years and two defeats to get from the Vice Presidency to the Presidency. In fact, Nixon almost messed up my "Senator vs. Governor" system by holding both offices, had the voters of California elected him to the Governorship in 1962. But Nixon got kicked out of California, established his primary residence in the East, and eventually triumphed by being in the middle between the Goldwater and Rockefeller forces in the party.

So the United States ended up with a well-prepared man at the helm. This man shared one characteristic with a later President, Bill Clinton, inasmuch as Nixon was both smart and dumb. Depending on your point of view, his dumb act was either (a) engaging in the cover-up, or (b) not burning the tapes that exposed the cover-up.

But at least we won't try wage and price controls again for a long, long, long time.


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