tv Dwight Chapin The Presidents Man CSPAN June 30, 2022 10:01am-11:04am EDT
evening. ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the nixon library. my name is jim byron. thank you. welcome to the nixon library. my name is jim byron. thank you. i am the president and ceo of the richard nixon foundation. it is my pleasure to welcome you here this evening. we have a truly terrific evening in store for you. let me begin by welcoming some
special guests, starting with larry higbie, who is a member of the board of directors of the russian nixon foundation, and sandy when, a member of the board and a former president of the nixon foundation. colonel jack grand, a marine military aid to president nixon and his chief of staff in the san clemente years, judge jim rogin. thank you for being here, sir. jean hernandez, the mayor of the great city of -- thank you for being here. i want to welcome -- [inaudible] her colleague, dr. liu connector, who is the james h. kavanaugh chair in presidential studies, which is a new program at chapman university. we are joined by the dean of students, doctor jerry price, as well. a new program that the -- we are really excited about that. thank you all for being here. i want to thank all of our presidents council members that are here tonight for their support, which makes this evening and all of our evenings
like this possible. this evening, i have the pleasure of introducing two men who are contributing mightily tonight to american estuary. i am pleased that c-span is withholding tonight conversation for future broadcasts in the nixon foundation. we are broadcasting live tonight because this conversation will illuminate the richard nixon that these men knew and knew very well. today is the 50th anniversary of the day on which president nixon departed andrews air force base on his way to china. in that ensuing week, he would become known as that which changed the world. white chapin was on that plane. he was on air force one 50 years ago today. he was experiencing perhaps the apex of his more than 11 year career working with richard nixon. dwight was born in kansas, attended the university of southern california, and join to the nixon for governor team in 1962 at 21 years old.
he had caught the political bug. his hard work and uncanny ability would take him to nixon's side throughout the entirety of the historic 1968 campaign and into the white house on january 20th, 1969. dwight has written a terrific new memoir -- the president's man, which you can see here to my left. much of it deals with his work with president nixon. the president's man is it without a doubt one of the most important contributions to the understanding of the nixon presidency and nixon as a person that has yet been written. dwight will speak this evening with frank ann and. frank joined the nixon white house in the summer of 1961 as a white house fellow assigned to donald rumsfeld and bob finch. he worked with john glickman on the domestic council staff along with colonel brennan and a handful of other staff members. he was asked to fly aboard air force one on the final flight home to california on august
9th, 1974. frank worked with the former president in san clemente for five years as richard nixon's chief editorial assistant, organizing the research and writing of his memoirs, working with diane sawyer. frank received his bs from the georgetown university school of foreign service, a masters from the london school of economics, and a ph.d. from oxford. ladies entitlement, would you please join me in welcoming dwight chapin? >> [applause] >> thank you, tim. good evening, ladies and gentlemen. what a great group we have here. i want to thank you all for coming. this obviously is a huge occasion for me. i am really honored to have frank here asking the questions.
we hope you enjoy it. we are going to have some q&a at the end. be thinking of any questions you might have as you listen to us. frank? >> well, thank you. thank you for being here. thank you for helping to launch it dwight superb book. it's quite a story. it ranges over a whole period of history and a whole gamut of emotions from this -- there is a lot of agony. it sort of goes from kansas to the white house to the forbidden city to the federal correctional institution. it's a book for all seasons. it's a book for young people who are kind of planning on beginning a career and thinking about public service and for other older people who are sort of assessing or analyzing life choices and assessing their life.
so, i begin with a very pedestrian question. why a book? why this book? why now? why this title? why this cover? >> okay, wow. why now? well, frank and i were involved in the renovation of this library. we completed that work about four years ago. it dawned on me as i was doing that work with frank that richard nixon was really only known for two things -- china, opening it, and watergate. through the renovation process, we learned so much more about him. we knew it, but it kind of flagged it in our minds. i felt after finishing the project that i had an obligation to history to put
down what i saw and put it into my words. one of the unique things about my book is -- i have been out 50 years. i had a sense of perspective and i was able to apply that to what we had witnessed. one of the main reasons was for history. another reason was that i have grandchildren. i wanted my grandchildren to know what had happened to their grandfather and what had happened to president nixon. i had put forth as honestly as i could what happened with me. it is a combination of things that -- >> why this title? >> the title -- the title of the book came from my publisher. at first, i thought, oh, this is too ostentatious.
the presidents man to me was henry kissinger or john ehrlichman, the more senior man. they added it and came back to me and said, we are going to modify that. the memoir -- that made me feel a lot more. i became happy with that title. >> we have a few slides here tonight. some that are from dwight copiously illustrated book. illustrations that a rare both in black and white and color. but, i'm going to begin with one that is not in the book that is a favorite of mine. in case there is any doubt about who dwight chapin, and the role that he played -- a picture is worth 1000 words. this picture tells me, this was the phone on the president's desk. has the white house number. 4561414. a couple of outside line. it has a couple of cords, and then it has shape in, rosemary woods, and bob
haldimand. >> when the president pushes the buzzer, you go in! [laughs] asap. when he pushes the line button, then it's a direct line to your desk. >> this, unless that leaves any doubt, this is part of the diagram of the ground floor of the west wing. cabinet room, the oval office, and of course the real center of power, dwight's office. right outside. >> yeah they put mine right in the center there as you can see. so there is this cover. i know you had some choices. this was, this cover was the result of deliberation. this was another choice. i call this your j. crew catalog. i think that is where it can now be seen. what was the rationale
behind that? >> this was actually the picture i wanted on the cover. this was taken at the battle of a hub, september of 1969. nixon was going to go out on the columbia, which was a sailing vessel. it had been in the u. s. races. we were getting ready to board here, and he's talking to me. i liked the casualness of that. but my publisher felt that the book would be much better accepted, better in terms of the marketing, and believe me folks -- it's all down to the marketing. [laughs] so we moved from this cover to the one that you see of us in my office. that cover on the book, this is my office, which was between the cabinet room and the white house. this door here goes right out to the rose
garden. i was -- i had some very valuable real estate. >> to begin at the beginning, briefly, this is your family. in kansas? >> my mother, my dad, me i was 13 years old. i almost had my full height by that time. my sister linda. we lived in kansas, on a farm. >> this is you on a farm? on a horse on a farm? >> this is my horse, pat. i am proud to say that we won the white ribbon in the barrel racing at the local rodeo. i spent a lot of time on my horse. i spent a long time, with friends riding around the kansas plains. you can tell it's the kansas plains if you see any tree at all. [laughs]
>> moving right along, because we only have a short time. everyone should read the book to fill in all the back story, but in the meantime you begin moving up to the campaign. actually, this is moving way ahead. this is moving to 68. you arrive at 20 broad street, the nixon law office and campaign office. what was the lie of the land like there, 20 broad street? >> i was living in southern california, i had gone to usc. i got moved to new york city, when i got to new york city bob haldimand who had been my boss that j walter thompson said, i want you to call rosemary woods, who was nixon secretary. tell her you are available to come down and volunteer. i would go to my work at jay walter thompson, and then after work i would get on the subway and go all the way down to wall street
and help out. so, what they did was, they assigned me to a woman -- a conference room three or four floors down from at that time former vice president nixon's office was in the law firm the woman that was training me to answer the mail was patricia nixon., mrs. nixon is the one that taught me how to answer and correspond this. the significance of that in my opinion, and i talked about this in the presidents man. she got to know me and she got to know my wife suzie and our daughters. she would ask me questions. out of that became a trust because of the role that i ended up being and was the
denominator of trust. i think she communicated to mr. nixon, this young man has some of the elements of trust that they were looking for. and that's what led to me getting the position that i got. >> asked about ahead here, because the first time they came across nixon was in 62. to go back, and can you describe the first time you saw him? that 62 campaign was about? >> nixon had come back from washington d. c.. he decided to run against pat brown. and the campaign headquarters were on the boulevard, and we were told that we all need to assemble on a given day. and in came mr. nixon. the thing about it, it's interesting to me, the congressman, vice president, he
had about him this mystique. the former president and vice president. he came, and he went around and greeted all of the staff and shook hands. i like to think out that there was one man standing there talking to him, and he ended up being the mayor of san diego, senator, governor of the state of california. pete wilson. and he was with us that day. >> that was sort of just a grip and grin of nixon at that point. it was also bob haldimand, edgy walter thompson. he introduce you to the circle. and it tells a lot about richard nixon's personality.
>> i always had to have a summer job. my parents insisted on it. i did not have a job in the summer of 1962. that arrange for me to go down for an interview at the nixon for governor headquarters. i went in there and the young lawyer from usc by the name of herbert come back, he interviewed me and he inner -- he left the room, he came back, and he went down the hall to meet somebody and it was bob haldimand. he became the single most important man in my life as a relates to all of these points in history. i write in my book, and i mean it, that was the day that my life changed for the
better but forever. >> and how was it that he slowly brought you in to his can. and i don't know that he has a plan, but he got to know me and but like mrs. nixon, i think the trust relationship developed. one of the most significant aspects of it was when nixon ran for governor. and when goldwater ran for president in 1964, nixon went to that convention. he held an event on the sunday before the
convention started. the purpose of the event was to thank all of the delegates from 1960. it was a very shrewd, calculated reception, bright nixonian thought process. and bob position me right next to mr. nixon. i'm standing there, next time is the former vice president. as all of these delegates came in for hours, and everybody came, i would introduce myself and then i would say their names. nixon here is listening to that name, in many of the people he knew, tell professions memory, they would pass on to him, hey bob, nice to see you again. but that was the first time that i really got involved directly working with mr. and mrs. nixon. >> as you say in the book, in getting to know you want to trust you, the jobs you did
were wild on. it made him at ease with you. it was that he's that characterize the relationship >> as the clock is heavier, and you will find this in the book, in 1967, after i become his personal aide, it's just the two of us traveling all over the country. no other aides or anything. occasionally someone might go if it was a big speech, but for the most part, it was the two of us crisscrossing the nation doing political events and so forth. for our young man like myself, 26 years old at that juncture, it was one phenomenal education. >>, today that role is widely
well-known when the media was is becoming easier, politics were picking up into a media enterprise. the role of the young assistant, i know if you are president the creation, if you are among those present the creation of that, but working with him, it was really a master class both in psychology, and it retail politics. in the book, you talk about some of the rules he had about dinners, introductions, hats. >> and that is schedule one time and the buzzer went off. i walk into his office and dwight, it says here that after dinner
i dance with this lady. only candidates for sheriff dance. >> there were rules like this. never a, hat because they will try to take some crazy picture of me and so forth. i learned all of these rules. he had this phenomenal secretary, rosemary woods, who had been with him since he was in congress. she was of immense help. she was a tutor of mine. >> and, the role she played in his career, secretary in confidant, she was so close to the family. >> when i started working in the law firm, there were five filing cabinets and we were in
the room. pappy gannon, it rosemary woods, in myself. we have these five filing cabinets where anybody that had any correspondence and had any role in the campaign from 60 or 62, everybody was in this filing cabinet and rose had me to all of the filing. i thought, why am i here? this is crazy. i had to do all of that filing, and i learned the names of everyone across this country. and they were all involved in the campaign. it was an enhancement exercise that turned out to be very important. >> once you get established this trust with nixon, and he knew you could get things done, as you describe the, book you had a couple of baptisms by fire. one of them involved in eastern shuttle from new york to washington.
>> so we are going to go from washington to new york. and it ran every hour, the shuttle. we get on the eastern shuttle, he is by the window, and by the aisle, and i'm always there to keep people from coming in for autographs. and we pull out and we go to the end of the line and it was a very stormy day. the pilot comes on and he said, we are going to be here about two hours. he turns to me and said, get me off this plane. i went, whoa, what do i do? i got up and i walked up to the stewardess and i said, mr. nixon has got to address the un and we need to get off this
plane. needless to say, he was not going to address the un, but that is the thing that popped in my head. after a few minutes, the pilot announced that we were going back to the terminal to let mr. nixon off. as we got off the plane, there is all of this hissing, people hissing at us, but the good news was they let him get back in line at the right place. >> there was another version of that that was, i want to speak with of dark sun, that would've been the senate minority leader, a very influential man. >> we had gone out of the airport and check back in, and he said, get mr. dirksen on the phone. so i called his office,
and spoke to dirksen. mr. nixon came back into the sweet, and he said where is dirksen? he said, i wasn't there and not available. he said, dwight, i did when you talk to edward dirksen. it's more important to talk to the secretary. if i talk to the secretary, everybody on the hill is going to know i talked to her, and she will tell everybody, and she will tell everybody that she had a pleasant conversation with me. that was, like 101
politics. >> you have nice turn of phrase, you say that nixon train me to be the person that he needed me to be. what does that mean? >> i did not innovate what nixon needed or how it would all work. this was a practiced art form that lead back in the 1960s. our mentor bob haldimand had been very active in all of this. we were not in the business of reinventing how nixon would campaign, how he would be dealt with. we were in the business of implementing it the way that he wanted. you might say, what does that mean? we are talking about in an incredibly smart man here that wanted to have time for thinking. he wanted things regimented. he did not want any
surprises. all of the habit patterns and how people work, or in this case how the former vice president worked, it became the rules by which i was expected to follow. as i said in an interview yesterday, that became my credential. if i had to put something on it, my credential became the ability to understand what he wanted, when he wanted it in to deliver. >> this is another photograph that is not in the book. photographs in the book are terrific, and there's many of them, i don't know why i chose this one, but to me, it does not illustrate any of the points you want to make. but it does illustrate to me the point of what you are doing. it was early in the campaign, and being the candidate, you are standing there and carrying two brief cases. some papers are top of the first briefcase, there's a briefing book under your hand.
>> and he is smiling! >> you look intent! >> dwight is carrying everything. i don't have to worry. this would be a typical shot. particularly in the days when we were traveling just the two of us. >> the campaign, begins in very shortly early in the first week of april, the murder of dr. king, but the nixon's had met the kinks in ghana, in the independence celebrations. they had become quite close with the wives and the men. and, nixon who was vice president invited dr. king, and when that happened, when dr. king was killed, nixon wanted to go and pay his respects to scott king. you got
to go on that very said, very poignant trip. tell the story that led up to this. and eisenhower, nixon, they had an introductory role. this is a picture taken with dr. martin luther king and mrs. king's, bedroom. we flew down there, and the president was torn. he wanted to be president of all of the people, but he did not want to take on a political overtone like it was being used some way. it was very touching moment, and i described it
quite early in the book. mr. nixon and i, got on a plane on saturday morning. and nixon's great friend, and we went down and we sent one advanced man. and they got a car, they went over to the king house, and we pulled up, nobody knew we were coming. we are told the king family to not publicize that we were coming. and the president, candidate, at this point, they went to the walkway. these kids, dr. king's kids, he shook hands with each one of them and had some words. private words. and the candidate and i actually
walked in. when this was happening. he took her hand and he said, i'm so sorry. and he spent the remainder of time that he was with, i with the kids, and then about ten minutes later, he came back out and talk to the kids for another eight or ten minutes. and he went over to martin luther king's father's home. the thing that floored me, we pulled up there and there were many cars. it's kind of a entry hall, and you look through, and
there was dr. king sr. he saw nixon. in the two men started to one another, threw their arms around each other, and i did not know that nixon had known dr. king senior for years. they had this incredibly touching moment. i must say, and several different parts of the book, but these are the moments that we did not hear about. and these are sides of richard nixon that we never hear. but it's one of the reasons why i wanted to write the book. >> we come to election night, and you made -- we are really jumping forward. this was early in the campaign, and you are in the nixon candidate suite, a very small group of people. the
candidate has a suite, the family has a suite down the hall. you are keeping watch, when very late in the night, and you made some notes. one of them is a 4:30 in the evening, in the morning, and essentially -- but nixon said to have an open door. as one that they could come in and hang out and watch television and wait for the final word. he mentions price, ray price, the number of people. and then there is haldimand and you. he said people poured in and out. >> the suite was very small. and the president was in a bedroom and he was meeting in there with haldimand and in the main part of the suite was
larry and myself. we watch that evening unfold. for himself and for the family, they have this open house and the suite was larry and myself. we watched that evening unfold. for himself and for the family, they have this open house and invite people in for food. it was an incredibly long evening. and you saw the light coming through the window. and it is fall morning by the time he knew he had won. >> this picture is not only the importance of being at the right place at the right time, but having a camera. nowadays, everyone's camera. and those, days --
>> i took this picture. i was the only one with a nikon camera. he is looking at a tv screen. it happened to be turned to abc, what's coming on through the window, and that is john are looking at a time. it was very poignant moment and, one of the things i remember most about that is, that we are going to go to florida and put the government together. and bob haldimand was there and so forth. john mitchell was standing there. this is an incredibly strong man, he had done a phenomenal job running the campaign. and this tears goes down his face. he says, first time ever heard this, he
said mister president elect, i'm not going to be able to make that trip to florida. i have to go to connecticut and take care of martha. we all know that martha had an abuse problem and she was in a treatment facility and he loved her, and that's where he went rather than going with the president in florida. >> but you are the person who told the candidate nixon he was president. >> i was. he was in the bedroom, with john mitchell and bob and john are like man and, pointing to him, they -- went swimming
in and i said abc is declaring you the winner. he leapt out of bed in that was the start of the nixon presidency. >> that was the point which he went down to tell the family. >> he went down the hall to tell mrs. nixon and the girsl. julie had done a -- of the presidency. she gave it to, when he brought it back, he was in his bathrobe here. he showed it to us. she had been working on that for the whole campaign. >> so then you when, you are in the white house, the oval office, and what is happening there? >> this picture has been shown god only knows how many times, because it has all of us characters, i guess. it's got the president, john, myself,
and bob haldimand. i'm standing in front of the desk, and he's giving me some kind of instruction. it was not an abnormal -- this probably happened several different times. that was us in working mode. >> and you know that's early because the photograph on the wall was the one that had been taken in december of 68 just before he became president by the astronauts circling the earth. >> that picture of the moon on the right there, that was taken by frank -- at christmas time in 1969 and frank had autographed it. frank was a great friend of richard nixon's. in fact, we brought
frank in on the moonwalk, he was kind of our conduit with nasa. >> we're gonna have to pass over this, because we don't have time. this was my introduction to dwight chapin. i was a white house fellow, it was peripheral. i was an outsider, it's so when the trip to china was announced, i try to finagle a place on the plane. i wrote a memo, and this is my first contact with the white chief in. fortunately, even though your arguments are meritorious, you are going to be on this plane. and having never met him, we met in the mass and he said to me words that i will always treasure. nice try. >> and all of us that were involved in this, the idea of
going on the trip to china, there was no one in the white house that did not want to go to the trip to china. it was very dicey, picking the right people to go. >> and 50 years to the day that they left the south lawn, and headed to hawaii and then to guam, then shanghai and in beijing to handshakes at the airport and then right after. these are what we remember, and these were iconic images. but the highness was a lot of hard work in a couple of earlier trips setting it up. and this was your commission. tell the story of when you are issued this. >> i was issued this in october 1971. it was part of a credential. and we used it in terms of our trip to beijing. i
went with henry kissinger. and we use that title to give ourselves some more cachet with the chinese. >> this includes colonel brennon, who is here. >> this picture was taken in january of 1972 ahead of the nixon trip in february. there is jack brennan and myself, then i absolutely spectacular secretary, nellie yates. this was one of our planning sessions on china. >> and this is air force one. >> this is, you see the picture bob haldimand, next to him is the chief lieutenant, and they are drilling meet with questions. haldimand has skeptical look on his face like,
are you kidding me? and to his left, doctor henry kissinger, winston lord who later became ambassador to china. julie, william, and the far back on the right, there is kissinger's secretary. and we were always working. it was almost impossible to underscore the amount of energy that we put into everything that we did 24/7. this is a meeting where we picked up some chinese leaders on the way and beijing. i am sitting at a table at air force one, going through a plan
upon arrival in beijing. here is the president. this is a great shot, because it is so representative of what this man was all about. he's got books in front of him, he is working, he is studying, his picture is on air force one. and he is in the blue sport coat, he would always take that off, put on a sport coat when he was in work mode. >> in your book you wrote that
nixon worked as a nonstop machine, work was his hobby. >> i believe that. that and sports. he loved sports. he would go with david eisenhower's son-in-law's two baseball games and for the most part, work was not work. it was a combination of loving what he did. and loving being a strategist and being an incredible patriot. >> we want to have time for questions, we are going to have to just move on. in the book you are right at some length, and very moving length about your time in prison, and after. about nixon, about, which is so important -- the staff system in the white house that was set up by bob halderman, one of the lasting legacies. the white house staff system that he set up in terms of organization in management, it exists today. it still exists today! >> yes, i have met with six previous chiefs of staff. i
asked them about the procedures that bob haldimand put into place. bob and i would accentuate larry higby here. they put a system in place for the running of the modern presidency i spent a great deal of time in the book detailing this and the importance of this. it is still used today they would take too long to try to detail it here. but i believe readers are going to really going to get a lot out of that. particularly in comparison to the way that he solicited thinking, ideas, and so forth. when one wonders whether or not we need to be doing more of that in today's world. in terms of the prison aspect, let me put that in a
little bit of a different way. i made a mistake, don, my wonderful friend and i suffered greatly because of the mistake that i made. but the important thing is is the important thing that happened to richard nixon, we detailede in the back of the book, we have an appendix, we have a transcript of tapes from the oval office, my wife terry put the web address. you can go on there you can go to one of these sites where tapes reside, luke who is here. he helped put that together. you can read the transcript. you can listen to the voices of john d. and nixon
in the oval office. it is a unique experience. i encourage all of you to give that some consideration. we have to go into the appendix of the book to do it. but it is incredibly revealing. the most revealing part of it is, that break-in happened in june of 1972. as far ahead as march 1973, nine months -- richard nixon was not told the truth of what happened in watergate. that is what led to the fork in the road that really led to the cover-up. i encourage you to read that. >> this is frustrating, i have so many more pages and so many more pictures, but we should go to the questions. our library colleague is going to-- >> gentlemen thank you so much
please give it up for the moderators for today. [applause] >> we are now going to open the floor to questions directed for dwight chapin. if you like to raise your hand, signal me and i will find you. first we will start with a question from dr. laurie cox. >> thank you for the presentation, dwight. my question is about the fact that there is no shortage of nixon scholarship available. as a presidency scholar, what do you think that academics like myself get wrong about nixon? where would you suggest we go with future research on the nixon presidency? >> i think what we get wrong is not exploring what the man was all about. we go off on these tangents, you know? when i went
into the national archive to listen to some tapes, the first thing they asked me is, are you here to listen to the abuse of power tapes? well, the abuse of power tapes are the sexy ones, you know, he uses some language that is not good. it gets into the watergate stuff. but it is a tiny fraction of all of the tapes. we need our historians and the people who are going to explore this to dig into some of these other aspects of richard nixon. i think that is one thing that my book is going to accomplish. i think it raises enough questions of there is going to be other things explored. one of the key ones is, what was in relationship to the cia and the watergate matter? i mean bob haldeman identified early on
that we only know a little bit about watergate. it's going to take years for this to unfold. this is the 50th anniversary coming out. we are going to learn new stuff at the 60th and the 70th anniversary. >> perfect, thank you dwight. to your left right here. >> hi dwight, a question about the 68 convention. how governor agnew became the vice presidential nominee, but as part of that i have a question from a green bay packer's friend of mine, he wants to know if and somebody was actually under consideration? >> vince lombardi? [laughs] no. i don't know money things definitely, but that one i would think i know! agnew was -- governor of maryland. he was
tough on law and order issues. he appealed to a lot of the governors, he was kind of a neutral. nothing really pro about him but nothing negative. that decision, i think, was made in montauk the week before the convention. it was made with nixon, john mitchell, bob haldeman, and bob finch, all his advisers. that is what i know. i'm not an expert on that, so you might want to begin with somebody else on that. >> who? [inaudible] yeah. >> thank you, to. i we have a question right over here.
>> hi dwight. you mentioned early on that the nixon administration was known for two things, but they accomplish so much both domestically and with regard to foreign policy. what was left on the table that was not accomplished because the second term was so inundated with watergate? >> well, i'm standing up here and, very honestly, the person to answer that is in the first row. and that's larry higbie. but let me try. nixon had a plan underway to completely reorganize the federal government. he had a commission called the ash commission. they were going to come in and they were going to take that government apart and put it back together in a more logical way to run it. it was one of the great tragedies of watergate that they were not able to implement that plan. >> perfect, thanks to a. senator al again over here.
>> congratulations first on the book, do i. it takes me back to when air force one left andrews 50 years ago, i actually left on a plane the night before for managers air force base. frank there probably would have been some room on that plane for you. there was a c 1:24 cargo planes, we were part of the white house advanced communication team that cover the refuel stop of air force one, returning from china to anchorage alaska. we actually left before the presidential party left. it was about a six hour stopover in anchorage, we were the traveling white house we had the switchboard anchorage white house once air force one -- >> i thought i would throw that
in as a side by. >> i would like to mention something. today, march 17th, is the day that richard nixon walked out of the diplomatic entrance of the white house, all of the members and leadership of the bipartisan congress are there to wish him well. he goes out to andrew's air force base. we get on a plane, we go to various staff tables, the stewards had taken and put a little tv on one of the tables. on that table was the picture of the plane that we were on. and you see it
taxing down, turning, getting ready to take off. it was so heavy, and had to go all the way to honolulu. so the plane starts down the runway, and you hear the german voice you can guess who, henry kissinger. he says, this is amazing! i've never watched myself crash before. [laughs] >> very humorous moment. >> thanks, why. this is gonna be our last question right over here. mr. shape in, i have always been a little confused about the presidents relationship with the internal revenue service. can you give any light on what his attitude was towards them? >> well, i cannot speak to the relationship of the president to the internal revenue
service. i will say this, as the watergate thing got more heated there were incredible leaks out on all kinds of weird things. looking back on that, based on everything we all know now, i believe the deep state was well activated at that time. there were bureaucratic people into these various laws that were trying to undermine the president. but i cannot speak to the legitimacy of any complaint of the irs. that is just my intuition. i mean, the deep state did not get invented with donald trump. when nixon
introduced his cabinet, had a meeting with his cabinet, at that first cabinet meeting he said, let me tell you you've got 30, 60, 90 days to get in there and get your department reorganized before the bureaucracy takes you over. he knew what his people were up against. that deep state existed then. >> you were a very young man went into government. what advice, as we close, what advice would you have for a young man or woman thinking about going into government today? >> we have a very good friend, gordon strong roy, who testified at the watergate hearings. the last question that the senator asked him was, what advice do you have for young people about coming to washington? and gordon said,
stay away! [laughs] that to me was one of the most disgraceful statements that any friend of mine could possibly have made. and john are like man, who i quote in my book, had a different view. he said, come! make a difference. do what is right. get involved! one of nixon's favorite poems was teddy roosevelt -- the man in merino. it talks about the man with the sweaty brow who has gotten into the arena and fought for what he believed in. and he has done his best. and he makes -- the poem makes the point that it is much better, much more
credit double to the person that gets into the arena. and that fights for what they believe in. they are the people we should honor, and i believe it is imperative that we get new blood, young blood, and great people into our government. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, let's thank dwight chapin and fred again.
>> afternoon everyone, welcome to the washington post for this event. years ago today good afternoon, everyone. welcome to the washington post for this very special event. 11 years ago today, a break-in took place at the democratic national committee headquarters in the watergate building, just two miles from here. the white house press secretary at the time refer to the incident as nothing more than, quote, a third rate burglary.
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