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Sun Jan 24, 2021, 03:59 PM

Nixon rehabilitated his image. Could Trump? [View all]

Presidents Donald Trump and Richard Nixon both left Washington in helicopters and ignominy, awash in financial problems and their customary self-pity. Both were above-average paranoiacs who felt (with some justification) that the elites looked down on them and that enemies everywhere sought to undermine them; they despised the press, exploited racism for political purposes and used inept outside agents (the “plumbers,” Rudy Giuliani) to carry out their more nefarious plots. Neither was inclined to let aides rein them in. Both faced impeachment for trying to manipulate the opposition party’s nomination contest. Both degraded the presidency. Both came unglued at the end.

But then, astonishingly, Nixon rehabilitated himself. He methodically worked his way into the rarefied circles where he coveted approval, and he won over a large if far-from-universal segment of the public. Nixon’s post-presidency was a quest to make himself respectable again — and it worked. He landed in 1974 at his Spanish-style San Clemente, Calif., home essentially friendless, deeply depressed, unwell (a bad case of phlebitis), and beset by huge legal fees and back taxes. Through wit, grit, wiliness and determination he wrought one of the greatest resurrections in American politics.

If he could do it, can Trump?

For all their similarities, Nixon and Trump clearly are very different men. For one thing, Nixon was smart, and he was interested in the substance of governing; he studied white papers and was conversant in most topics the government touched. The only policies that seemed to interest Trump were those that served his (and his friends’) concerns — lowering taxes on the wealthy and rolling back regulations — and those (like the border wall and other anti-immigration measures) that signaled to his base that he’d maintain white supremacy. Having served as a congressman, senator and vice president, Nixon essentially understood the Constitution and limits, even if he overreached at times. When he lost a painfully close election in 1960, Nixon accepted defeat (after having allies check out the possibility of victory by recount in a few states).


In a word, no.

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Reply Nixon rehabilitated his image. Could Trump? [View all]
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Jan 2021 OP
Mme. Defarge Jan 2021 #1
Kali Jan 2021 #2
Ferrets are Cool Jan 2021 #4
Sanity Claws Jan 2021 #15
lagomorph777 Jan 2021 #20
soothsayer Jan 2021 #3
The Velveteen Ocelot Jan 2021 #5
Jarqui Jan 2021 #6
dchill Jan 2021 #9
Karadeniz Jan 2021 #7
Arne Jan 2021 #10
Karadeniz Jan 2021 #12
OhNo-Really Jan 2021 #8
Drunken Irishman Jan 2021 #11
niyad Jan 2021 #13
Thekaspervote Jan 2021 #14
rickyhall Jan 2021 #16
Rebl2 Jan 2021 #17
LeftInTX Jan 2021 #18
Paladin Jan 2021 #19