On the evening of June 18th, 1954, Albert Love Patterson walked out of his law office in Phoenix City, Alabama.
Former state senator soldier in France in World War One was aware of how bad the situation the town he lived in was. He was a member of the Phoenix City Betterment Association, which in most towns probably wouldn’t be a big deal.
But in a town like Phenix City spelled P-h-e-n-i-x, no one knows why. Various stories on that on the border between Alabama and Georgia near the Chattahoochee River near Fort Benning, which earned its place from offering illegal casino gambling, being part of a betterment or civic association wasn’t the same as it might be in some other town.
In the 30s. The town was broke. And decided illegally to offer gambling service in city limits and not enforce sheriff deputies and judges hung with gamblers and gangsters, soldiers from nearby Fort Benning would arrive on their pay days drinking, carousing, prostitution, gambling would take place. Fights, disputes were common. Those foolish enough to complain about all the illegal activity in Phoenix would find themselves arrested, beat up or thrown in the Chattahoochee River, live or dead. Those arrested would find themselves released with their pockets a little lighter.
The gangsterism of the town was so bad that General Patton, who used Fort Benning, said he wanted to take two divisions across the river and take the town out.
Now, it looks like a great town today, there’s a big amphitheater by the side of the river. It’s a family town, good community. And part of the reason for that is that people like Patterson got involved back then and took a stand against corruption. The Phoenix City, a betterment association, tried to elect people to local government to get a better mayor. They couldn’t get anyone elected, nor could they get anybody in the larger county, Russell County, because the crime syndicate that controlled everything had so much money that it controlled the politics in both places. So the solution for the Phoenix Betterment Association was to go ahead and run for state office, which Albert Love Patterson did. Became a state senator, then he decides he’ll run for state attorney general, try to crack down on the crime in Phoenix City, which had become something with a statewide reputation. The crime syndicate backs his opponent, Red Porter.
But Patterson’s able to win out in a very close election, June 1954. Now that was a Democratic primary. General elections in Alabama were a formality in that he was pretty much going to be attorney general.
Eight days after it was determined he was the winner. Patterson walks to his car and alleyway on Fifth Avenue near the elite cafe. An assassin fires one shot and the attorney general elect drops to the ground.
A blue marker marks the historical spot today. And some who visit Phoenix City say that they still see his ghost, the ghost of Albert Love Patterson.
Either in the form of a man lying in the alleyway or a well-dressed man walking around. But it didn’t take a ghost to change things in Phoenix City after this event and after Patterson’s sacrifice, the assassination of the highest law enforcement official in the state soon to be summoned, the state’s attention on the governor came down hard. The National Guard was called in. Seven hundred and thirty four indictments were brought forth and the leaders of the crime syndicate arrested, including corrupt local officials. The sheriff, the prosecutor all arrested.
Many of the county officials arrested. Case had statewide publicity and the Democratic Party, now lacking a candidate for that general election, saw their opportunity. They can no longer run. Alpert love Patterson, but they could run his son, James Malcolm Patterson, on the ticket. He wins overwhelmingly and becomes a little bit of a star in the state with lots of goodwill. Four years later, he runs for governor and he’s up against an up and comer in Alabama politics, George Wallace, and as his daughter Peggy said, Wallace complained about Patterson. All he has to run on is his daddy. And to some extent, that’s true, but Wallace found out that while Patterson’s main issue was fighting crime, there was something deeper.
And we feel like that the federal marshals coming into the state against our will amount to an unconstitutional encroachment on the rights of this state and its people.
And we we something happens in nineteen fifty four. And that’s the Brown v. Board of Ed decision, which requires the integration of schools nationally. There are resistance movements in every one of the southern states. Patterson is up and coming. Gubernatorial candidate wanting to run on a crime issue says every time you bring up issues like that, that was it. What voters would want to hear, all people wanted to hear about were what you were going to do about segregating schools.
Well, that’s because the voters in quotes in Alabama at that time would be a smaller group than we might imagine today. Black voters were completely disenfranchised. These elections were entirely an election of white men.
Most black citizens of Alabama could not vote. There was a poll tax that was two dollars, which is not a lot. So everyone had to pay that. It’s not a lot. I mean, it’s more money than it is today, but not a huge amount. But if you had never voted before, if you were registering for the first time, you had to pay the entire back tax all of those years. Plus you have to be interviewed and then the clerk might just throw your application away. So Alabama elections in the nineteen fifties now become racist versus racist who can be more racist? And in this election, nineteen fifty eight. To hear George Wallace, his daughter, tell the story from some historical accounts. A Wallace was more of a moderate on race, somebody who wasn’t bringing the issue up a lot, although he might have very well had the same positions.
And Paterson, as the attorney general of the state, is able to do something about it, show voters that he was with them.
If, for instance, he sues the NAACP and doesn’t allow them in the state of Alabama because they are not allowed registered corporation, he sues the Tuskegee Boycott’s who are boycotting businesses and claims the Tuskegee Boycott Association is an illegal group and is liable for damages to businesses they caused with their boycott. They were boycotting because in the town of Tuskegee, black voters were gerrymandered out.
Paterson beats him in the nineteen fifty eight election and becomes one of the youngest governors in the nation, winning the election is 30.
As I record this, as I record this, John Malcolm Paterson is still alive. He is the oldest living. Let’s say he is the longest living. Ex governor from the time that he had served in office, now it’s a lesson that Wallace is not going to forget and that’s part of the George Wallace story, that he will make sure to be not just racist but over-the-top racist to be the guy that’s in the school blocking the schoolhouse door.
But for now, Patterson is governor and his story is not as well known, but he intersects with another young politician. And that young politician, of course, is John F. Kennedy. Now, you might think Kennedy, Massachusetts liberal. What has he got to do with an Alabama segregationist? Well, it’s interesting because in the 1956 convention, Kennedy runs for vice president. He does not win. He loses to Estes Kefauver. But what support that Kennedy gets is from those who don’t like Kefauver and other Southerners don’t like him. They don’t like his support for some civil rights issues. Kennedy’s not exactly like supporting Southern positions on civil rights. In fact, he’s quoted. As saying that the country needs to equalize the schools, the jobs, the the lunch counters and things like that.
But between the two, most of the Southerners favored Kennedy that enabled him to build relationships. He also does one thing after that loss in nineteen fifty six in the nineteen fifty seven civil rights bill, Kennedy offers an amendment which prevents those who are accused of civil rights violations from getting a judge trial and guarantees them the right to a jury trial. Now, Kennedy can play a game with this. He can say that, look, he’s looking out for the rights of defendants. But really, this is something that segregationists want so that they can commit their crimes and only be subject if they violate someone’s civil rights to a jury, which is going to be of their peers and probably not going to convict them. So Kennedy had become the not Kefauver candidate for some and developed this relationship with Patterson. Patterson also sees them as another young politician, another up and comer who supports him in the 1960 convention. Kennedy gets the Alabama delegation, one of his strongest southern states. So Kennedy has this little dance that he has to play in.
All politicians from the North had to play that. There’s this bank of votes sitting there from the South, both the votes of people and the votes of delegates and the support of governors and things like that that you want as a potential candidate for the presidency. But what comes with it is support of certain positions.
And in any case, even if you are successful with getting some Southern support as a Massachusetts liberal, it’s not going to be complete. So in both Mississippi and Alabama, there are uncommitted electors who run in these elections. And so while John Patterson sets up a. Pro Kennedy slate of electors in Alabama for the 1960 election. There’s also an uncommitted set of electors. Kennedy is going to get five electoral votes out of Alabama. The uncommitted slate will get six.
Very unimportant for his election because he’s going to clobber Nixon in the Electoral College. It is important for a question about Kennedy’s popular vote total, which is going to come up later. Paterson gets along well with Kennedy.
It’s Wednesday, October twenty six, nineteen sixty, and it’s not a good day for Martin Luther King Jr. He’s in a prison cell in Cobb County, Georgia, having been arrested during one of his civil disobedience protests. Now, that’s in the Atlanta metro area.
But at night at 4:00 a.m., sheriff deputies aim their flashlights into his face and yell at him to get up. They handcuff him, shackle his legs, grab him, get him out of the cell, and he keeps asking for an explanation. What’s going on? They say nothing. He’s in the back seat of a police car rolling into the night, going out into the middle of the country where there’s nothing, just the headlights of a car.
He’s fearful. So is his wife at home, Coretta King. She’s six months pregnant with the couple’s third child. It’s already been a week for this king participating and being arrested in a student led sit in. He didn’t want to disappoint the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and he wanted to help them trying to desegregate Rich’s department store, one of Atlanta’s institutions, a sit in in their snack bars and restaurants. King had advised them maybe hold off until the presidential elections over the students wanted insisted they wanted him there. If the two candidates saw him, it would force the issue of segregation.
He was arrested and now he had no idea where he’s being taken.
Fortunately enough, he discovered that the squad car was at least taking him to a maximum security state prison in Reedsville. Here’s the problem, though. As he saw it, he could still be put under hard labor. And if he’s out there on a chain gang with these other murderers and people, he’s not a popular guy among white men. Both candidates become aware of this situation that’s breaking in them in the last month of a very tight presidential campaign, John Kennedy and Richard Nixon.
And initially, it should be said, both men do very little. Nixon says he doesn’t want to touch the issue. It’s a hot potato. They’re contesting several southern states. So it’s Kennedy. It’s a hot potato. Jackie Robinson, who is a Nixon supporter at this time, Nixon is going to get a good percent of the black vote is because Republicans could expect in those days, comes to him, pleads with them, and is so angry when he has to leave the meeting with Nixon that Nixon’s not going to do anything.
The truth is, John Kennedy doesn’t really want to do much either. Neither does his brother Bobby. Again, they they also believe this is kind of a hot potato issue. And Kennedy is really courting. In 1960, Southern whites support Southern governors. He gets a backing from the Georgia governor. Vandiver it’s that look, if you’re not going to force me to desegregate my schools when you become president, I’ll support you for president.
It’s not new. A lot of Southerners supported Kennedy’s run for vice president in nineteen fifty six over Forfar because because of QIf offers position on civil rights and Kennedy’s ability, although he was a senator from Massachusetts to kind of straddle on that issue. So he does call the governor of Georgia.
Is there any way you could get Martin Luther King out, be a tremendous benefit? Governor doesn’t really commit to much, but says, I’ll see what I can do. Call you back. This is when an aide, Harris Wofford, who’s going to become much later, much later in the 90s, is going to become a senator from Pennsylvania who’s friendly with King and Sargent Shriver, who’s going to be a vice presidential candidate later in 1972. He’s the senator’s brother in law right now. They’re kind of heading up the civil rights section of the Kennedy campaign and they’re on the fringes of the campaign. They see an opportunity here. They also talk to Lewis Martin, who is a black businessman, a newspaper publisher who was helping out JFK to reach out to the black community kind of there. The Kennedy campaign’s liaison, Martin, is really concerned about King. He knows that most African-Americans are concerned about Martin Luther King right now. He should do something direct, pick up the telephone. It would be enough. Harris Wofford and Martin thought, if he just did that. They want more support within the campaign because they know that there’s opposition that’s going to come from Bobby Kennedy and Ken O’Donnell. Who is he? He’s a keek, kind of a South Boston Irish guy who’s their adviser. He doesn’t want to touch this issue either. So they kind of work around them. And Shriver is on the plane with Jack and and Kennedy surrounded by O’Donnell and three other aides. And they’re all against this idea. It’ll be seen as a gimmick.
No political upside to this. Kennedy asked O’Donnell privately, what do you think, and Ken says, I’m sympathetic to Mrs. King and her family. There’s a million ways politically this could be a mess.
But then Sargent Shriver catches Jack alone.
So my dad knew Martin Luther King, they had worked together in Chicago in the 50s. So he had a couple of guys came up with the idea dad was running the civil rights division of the Kennedy campaign for president in 1960. And they were told that if Kennedy ever said anything nice about Khrushchev, Castro or King, they were going to throw their support for Nixon. And at that point, a lot of African-Americans were voting Republican and many of them were Protestant. So they were wary of the Catholics in the Democratic Party. But I convinced Uncle Jack in a hotel room in Chicago, he waited till everybody left the room and he said to Jack, Would you mind calling Coretta Scott King? You know, Martin Luther King had been arrested a couple of days earlier in Georgia and people feared for his safety and he waited till everybody had left because he was nervous that somebody would say, no, blacks don’t think much is going to happen, whether it’s you or Nixon.
But they do want to know whether you care.
If you telephone Coretta Scott King right now, they will know you understand and help. You will reach their hearts and give support to a pregnant woman who is afraid her husband will be killed.
And Kenny O’Donnell, Jack’s closest aide, went to the bathroom. That popped the question Jack made.
The phone call was over in a minute, but it’s the candidate’s decision. He doesn’t confer with anybody else. That’s a pretty good idea. How do I get to Schriver hands over Coretta’s telephone number? Kennedy says, dial it for me, will you? Good morning, Mrs. King. This is Senator Kennedy after a brief exchange. He offers his sympathy. I want to express to you my concern about your husband. He mentions that he was aware she was expecting a baby and just want to know I was thinking about you.
There’s anything I could do to help. Please feel free to call me. Doesn’t promise anything, doesn’t ask for anything. Just just that Coretta does say I would appreciate anything you do to help it last no more than 90 seconds. The whole thing from Shriver telling him this to life is like a 20 minute episode to him getting on the phone. Kenny O’Donnell is like, you just lost us the election. Shriver Bobby was apoplectic. Bobby landed on me like a ton of bricks. He scorched my ass, Shriver recalled. So but it really didn’t cost him the campaign. In fact, it might have earned him the election because Kennedy got a good percentage of the African-American vote in that election, which was not available to other Democrats.
Is with Time magazine says in his book, The Making of the President, 1960 campaign historian Theodore Wife assess the impact of the call to Coretta. One cannot identify in the narrowness of American voting of 1960 any one particular episode or decision as being more important than any other in the final tallies. But the instinctive decision must be ranked among the most crucial of the last few weeks.
Theodore White observed that blacks were convinced that they had anointed Kennedy, some political leaders claim, in the black community.
White wrote that in no less than 11 states Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, South Carolina, Texas, Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Nevada with 169 electoral votes, it was their community that provided the Kennedy margin of victory.
The election, as it stands now, really over. The only thing we’re waiting for is Senator Kennedy. Now, this morning at about 11 00, five a.m. Eastern Time, the president elect and this is a pool story we have from Hyannis and pool reporters always write everything down in fear that their colleagues will trip them up wearing a gray suit and a red tie called on his father, Joseph, in his father’s house at Hyannis Port. Joseph Kennedy had a photographer as he walked across the lines of Kennedy’s picture. Kennedy advised him to wait, said he’ll get all the pictures you want.
Later, Nixon was embittered by his narrow loss and the surprising black turnout for Kennedy. Time magazine writes later, explaining his no comment at the height of the King uproar, he admitted it was a fatal communication gap. I had meant. Herb, his press secretary, to say that I had no comment at this time. Instead, he said he had no comment. But Time magazine asks, does this explanation conform to reality? Nixon had heard a drumbeat of voices within his campaign begging him to speak out to me immediately, but he remained silent.
We’ve made that position clear to the federal government. We have always enforce the law of the state. We will continue to do so.
We have the manpower to do it when there’s a Supreme Court decision during the Kennedy presidency in nineteen fifty sixty one, which says that bus transportation has to be desegregated, Paterson and Kennedy talk and agree that Paterson will have state troopers protect the bus that a group of Freedom Riders are riding in. These Freedom Riders are going to ride from Virginia to New Orleans through the southern states and test whether the court and whether the Kennedy administration is going to enforce the court’s ruling. It’s no good to have all these court cases. Black activists are thinking if we’re not going to have any support from the administration enforcing them. Patterson agrees on the highways.
He’ll protect the bus. Well, the problem occurs when the bus stops. The bus is warned, but still goes to a bus depot in Anniston, Alabama. The bus depot is closed. It’s been closed because there is a mob there that has shut it down. And they have the cooperation of the police, local authorities who are also Klansmen. They stopped the bus. They bang on the bus, they bust up windows, they throw rocks. They’re yelling, they’re shouting. It’s a huge mob. One Klansman lays in front of the bus. So it’s like the driver either has to run him over, which you can be sure would cause a lot of trouble. Stop the bus. They tell the Freedom Riders to get off the bus. They will not. They eventually firebombed the bus. It’s a horrible mess.
When the riders arrive in Anniston, they were met by a brutal mob which shattered windows, punctured the tires of the bus and set it on fire.
They held the door and I remember them saying, Let’s burn this burn. I’m alive now.
Kennedy tries to call his buddy Patterson to try to get resolution to these issues, as well as Richard Reeves. In his book, President Kennedy Describes, Patterson now sees the politics going in a different direction.
The president wanted to talk with Governor Patterson, the single Southerner who had supported his national political aspirations. Kennedy picked up the telephone May 18th, four days after the Anniston attack on the Freedom Riders and asked the White House operator to get Governor Paterson. Moments later, the operator called back to say Paterson’s office and the governor were unavailable. He had gone fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. The president called the next day. This time there was no fish story. Paterson simply refused to take the call. Finally, during a phone conversation with Robert Kennedy later, the same day, Paterson agreed to meet face to face with a personal representative of the president of the United States. So one of the few southerners in Robert Kennedy’s Justice Department, Siegenthaler, rented a car. He was in Bergen, Birmingham, and headed for Montgomery. Paterson is not receptive anymore to these messages. He says he’s got the spine to stand up to these agitators and he uses some choice words I won’t repeat. I believe I’m more popular in the country today than John Kennedy for the stand I’ve taken. But Siegenthaler and Patterson work out a statement declaring that the governor, not the president, was responsible for maintaining order.
Stephenville telephoned the text to the White House, the state of Alabama has the will, the force and the men and the equipment to give protection to everyone in Alabama on the highways and elsewhere.
Within hours, the president’s personal representative was beaten and bloody, his unconscious body halfway under his rented car down the hall from the Alabama Capitol. The new Freedom Riders, organized in Nashville, had left Birmingham at eight thirty Saturday morning, escorted by highway patrol cars.
There were men hiding everywhere, and within a couple of minutes they appeared surrounding the riders, beating them with baseball bats and lead pipes, smashing the equipment of newspaper photographers and television cameramen. Siegenthaler happened to be driving by. He tried to rescue two Freedom Riders young white women being chased by white men, swinging bats and clubs. He had stopped and tried to get them into his car, but he was the one who got clubbed to the ground. The representative of the president of the United States and all that could the federal government could do, there’s a federal building right across from the bus station and all they can do is watch what more can we say, what we can say about the story of James Patterson, as he did in the last day in office for all of his courting popularity with segregationist, he was term limited and George Wallace would win that next election. And Paterson, despite trying, would not win another one.
It is much later, much later, that Paterson recounts his activities.
Endorses Barack Obama in the 2008 election, meets with some of those Freedom Riders and with black activists, including John Lewis. In a meeting in 2011 where he offers an apology for what actions he’s done, some of the activists won’t meet with him, though they don’t want to be photographed with him.
Still, Kawakami Leland, who says, I don’t want to go, I don’t want to go to the meeting. Referring to old John Lewis, he said, John is more of a Christian than I am. I can forgive and I would like to see him do something, you know, start a scholarship or something, you know, rather than just saying he’s sorry to which an older Patterson replied that he didn’t have the kind of connections that he used to have. Paterson starts as a very sympathetic figure, but throughout history becomes less so, and this whole story of Paterson becomes somewhat relevant because we’re we’re going to answer a question about the popular vote in the 1960 election that a listener asked.
So I like this question from Tom Morris. OK, so who are the gumps of history by? You know, Roger Sherman signed all the constitutional documents. Robert Lincoln was near all of the presidential assassinations. What are the examples of people who were near the historical events but not directly involved? Hence, he calls them like your Forrest Gump’s of history? Well, it’s interesting, you know, let me drill down a bit. So what he’s talking about Robert Lincoln. Yeah. I mean, I don’t know if you don’t know the story. I’ve talked about it here. It’s kind of all over the place, really, because he’s the son of the president. He also does become secretary of war. And in that capacity, he gets to witness the assassination of James Garfield.
He’s in the train station when this happens, when he is near his father, when the assassination happens, he does. He’s not right there in Ford’s Theater. He goes to the bedside. We’ll talk about that in a bit.
He happens to be in Buffalo at the Panamerican exhibition when William McKinley gets shot. And not only that, in 1910, Robert Lincoln will end up being on a boat when the mayor of New York, William Gaynor, is shot by a disgruntled former employee.
He’s not killed gain or that time, so, yeah, I mean, there’s many jokes about, well, you don’t want Robert Lincoln near your presidential event.
Some of it’s just because he was a popular figure to be. A lot of people wanted him in administration. Lincoln, Robert Lincoln, that is does tire of just being kind of the president’s son and definitely tires of being in politics. That secretary of war position is all that will serve.
He became a railroad executive. He also became a lecturer and did start to give giving lectures about his father and. Lives all the way up into the nineteen twenties and is there to see the Lincoln Memorial built.
So, yeah, that’s an interesting one, though, so you have these people that are kind of like on the fringes, so I get the question and I guess like trying to observe those rules. There’s many one comes to mind is Nathan Deyn. He’s the continental congressman from Massachusetts and he’s a lawyer. He is the one who moves that the. Really, the kind of continental or confederation at this point, Congress emens that Articles of Confederation, which were in what will become the Constitution.
But he doesn’t like he doesn’t go to that constitutional convention, he just makes the motion which gets approved. To send a group to Philadelphia to edit the Articles of Confederation, well, it turns into a constitution that’s more than he wanted. He doesn’t like many of the provisions when the document comes back. He’s one of the members who were there.
When the confederation accepts the planned constitution and sends it out to the 13 states, he still has objections, not a fan of enlarging the government like that. At the end, though, he also has a role in discussing with with with on the fence New Yorkers about approving. And it’s as well. There’s a lot of disagreement over the Constitution, but we’re going to have anarchy if we don’t approve it.
So he’s also instrumental in eventually convincing the New York convention to ratify it with a couple of key letters. And he’s there when the confederation Congress accepts the completed constitution. He’s not at the last meeting that falls to another kind of Gump of history, although he’s just a gump for one appearance, a man named Phillip Powell, who is the last member of the Continental Congress. You know, if you draw a direct line to the confederation Congress after the Revolutionary War that started in 1774, Philip Powell in 1787 is the final member. And if I’m not mistaken, that last meeting happens are Fraunces Tavern in New York. It’s not even it’s not even in a or the City Tavern in Philadelphia to look that up. It’s not even in any kind of hole. OK, but there’s more to Nathan Dean, though. He during his time in Continental Congress, he is also makes the motion to. Approve the Northwest Territories as a place where slavery is not allowed. He’s surprised with what little opposition that it gets. So he’s not like a great fighter in the cause for slavery, but he’s the one that makes that motion. He goes to Massachusetts. He does not serve in the federal government. After the Constitution. He becomes more involved in his state. He becomes involved in the American prohibition movement. He is a delegate to the infamous Hartford Convention in 1814 that opposes the War of 1812 and is seen by many as being treasonous. But he actually goes to this convention to sort of help to prevent mischief. He becomes part of the American Antiquities Society that is formed to begin a collection of historical documents for the new American country. And he writes The general abridgment and digest of US law, which is used by lawyers for a lot as it as a core American legal document for a lot of the early part of the 19th century. Nathan Day.
What’s more, you know, so he’s a guy who kind of like sees the creation of certain states with that Northwest ordinance, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, without actually voting those states in specifically because at the time he’s doing it their territories.
Or without knowing that that’s what’s going to happen, you know, in fact, not so long ago he was awarded posthumously, there was a Nathan Deyn day in Massachusetts and in Indiana and giving his role in creating the territory that created the state. He is given a posthumous award as an honorary Hoosier by the governor at that time, Mike Pence.
So I don’t know, I put nation Dane Nathan, Dana is one of your gumps, I mean, it’s going to be hard to fit exactly in all these boxes, like some of the people had a little involvement in history. But here’s one. If you’re going to say Robert Lincoln, how about the man that was with Robert Lincoln that night drinking whiskey while his father was in Ford’s Theater? And that would be John Hay. Lincoln’s secretary helped keep Lincoln’s correspondence going, kept the visitors out. He looks about 17 and is impressed with the necessity of behaving like 70. What people would say about him with this important job of keeping anxious visitors out of Lincoln’s way when needed.
Act as a PR man for Lincoln, he’s devastated by Lincoln’s assassination, he’s there and then goes with Robert Lincoln to the president’s deathbed. He sent by Lincoln for a lot of these like little jobs that don’t work like a mission. The Grealy Horace Greeley has to go talk to Confederate agents in Niagara Falls or plan on trying to convert Floridians to the Union. But it’s always kind of on the outside. He becomes a poet. He becomes a reporter. He goes to Chicago during the great fire and interviews.
Mrs. O’Leary, whose cow was said to start that fire, he goes on a lecture tour along with Susan B. Anthony and Mark Twain, where he read some of his poems.
He marries Clara Stone, the daughter of a railroad magnate in Cleveland, lives in a millionaire’s row in Cleveland, supports Garfield, then Blaine for president. When McKinley wins, he becomes the ambassador to the United Kingdom and then later he’ll be secretary of state to the young. Now, the aging. The man that was a young man in Lincoln’s employ is now an aging man at Theodore Roosevelt’s employ, Roosevelt called him indispensable. So he he’s there for the open door policy, the Boxer Rebellion, during the McKinley administration’s stare for the early part of Theodore Roosevelt’s administration for his foreign policy.
So I think you got to put John Hay in there. Clark Clifford is another one, cuts across presidents naval officer who’s assigned to Franklin Roosevelt and then becomes an assistant to determine who likeSome really becomes an all around aide. He advises Truman on two important issues. One is to recognize Israel early for the Soviet Union does and the others, the Clifford Esli document, which advises Truman on various activities that the Soviet Union is doing that show that they are not behaving according to their. Previous statements after the war and that they’re trying to seize power in Europe as the Truman administration becomes a powerful attorney in Washington, D.C., his office famously is in Lafayette Square overlooking the White House.
He advises both candidates he is involved with Lyndon Johnson on Vietnam policy. Then after Johnson’s administration, he opposes it famously in an article in Foreign Affairs, Carter taps him in order to work on policy with India, but he also ends up getting involved in the Iran issue. And then finally, during the Reagan administration, he’s hit with involvement in a savings and loan scandal. He advises people, but never.
Only a short stint as defense secretary never really put Clark Clifford there in the same vein. I’m going to put James Baker there because James Baker goes all the way from President Ford runs President Ford’s campaign in 1976, the unsuccessful campaign. He’s then involved with Reagan, even though he’s connected more to George Bush.
They put him in to be Reagan’s chief of staff, a crucial decision which really may have impacted how Reagan’s presidency went instead of going with one of the more partisan California people. So James Baker then goes on to be secretary of state for George H.W. Bush and has a famous role with the president’s son in 2000 during the Florida recount issue. He’s also become very important. Just recently, Trump had made a statement that he wanted to have a James Baker will. He did because James Baker didn’t agree with Trump side. So good 30 year span in American politics, also a stint as treasury secretary. So you got to put him there. I’m tempted to say Jagga Hoover because he hears a real spane. Hoover, like, goes from Wilson because he was one of the key investigator and the leader of the anti-communist team for Attorney General Mitchell Palmer during the Wilson administration. And Hoover will go all the way through to Nixon’s administration when he died and obviously some famous involvement with presidents like Nixon and the Kennedys. He won’t get along well with Truman, who make sure he establishes a separate intelligence agency, the CIA, for foreign intelligence. Hoover wanted a piece of that. He does at least have a relationship with Franklin Roosevelt because for Franklin Roosevelt, Hoover provides this nice pro law and order image forum.
And for Hoover, he’s getting.
Funds and attention from the Roosevelt administration at a time of high government spending so that relationship could really be explored more that Roosevelt Hoover than it is we talk a lot about Robert Kennedy and John Kennedy and Hoover. But but I think he doesn’t really quite make it like a Forrest Gump type figure because he’s not just sitting there. He is certainly affecting events. But for someone that’s not president, he’s certainly involved with a lot of them.
So there’s one more name they’ll add to the mix, and that is Charles Dawes. Now, is he kind of a gump in the background of everything? Because he did become vice president, but his vice presidency was quite gumperz.
If you ask me.
Coolidge didn’t like him, and he ended up in the background on many issues, he did try to push forward a agricultural pricing bill that would help farmers and Coolidge was against it, didn’t like that Dawes was pushing it in Congress and and did everything to stop that bill.
So he’s born in Ohio.
He gets his start in Nebraska. He meets William Jennings Bryan and General John Pershing. They’re in this Nebraska people in the eighteen seventies, eighteen eighty start moving to Nebraska because it’s a city in Omaha, that area. It’s a place of opportunity. He disagrees with Brian on ISSUES. He’s a Republican, Bryans, a Democrat, but he gets along with them, goes to Chicago, becomes a big banker, ends up raising money for McKinley. It is an important part of the fundraising for the eighteen ninety six campaign, which would set fundraising records. He becomes the comptroller of the US Currency. He doesn’t get along with Theodore Roosevelt, so he’s not much part of that administration, but he does get involved in World War One working to help finance it and provide equipment. He works with General John Pershing, his old friend from Nebraska. Later in a congressional committee that’s asking about what was spent on the war is a famous quote kind of a pushback.
Helen, Maria, we weren’t trying to balance a budget, we were trying to fight a war, he becomes the budget director under Harding, he becomes the budget director under Coolidge.
He comes up with a financing plan for Europe that will end up winning him the Nobel Peace Prize. And then he does get the nomination and does become vice president. He’s even talked about of continuing as vice president under Herbert Hoover in nineteen twenty eight. But Charles Curtis is selected in his stead. But the clincher for me of this fellow that’s kind of like so much in the background of history is that Charles Dawes has something else that no other vice president has, and that’s a posthumous career in music and.
If you listen to my other podcast, the vice president’s podcast that I have up on iTunes, if you haven’t listened, I go there. I have an episode on Charles Dawes and I talked with Chris Nomen Brenno of the Don’t Worry About the Government podcast, who also is a musician and actually is behind my history, can beat up your politics theme. And he talks about Charles Dawes.
This song actually served as a bit of musical branding for Charles Dawes because when Doors would enter a room throughout his political career, this is the piece of music that would accompany him. So this was sort of his theme song.
Isn’t there a tinge of sadness in it?
Yeah, it is. It’s a bit wistful, like it’s searching. It has been recorded and performed by a number of different musicians and actually posthumously, Charles Dawes ended up winning a Grammy for this because it got recorded by a man named Tommy Edwards in the 1950s and his 1951 recording of became its All in the Game lyrics got set to it. That ended up becoming a chart topper and it got rerecorded again in 1958. This ended up hanging around, getting recorded by Nat King Cole, the Four Tops. Van Morrison has a very interesting version that is a departure, shall we say. But this song had a real resonance with people. What I think being a musician think it requires you to look outside of the box and think outside the box, because so often you’re just starting with a blank slate and you see this in his professional life as well. A musician looks at the blank piece of paper and goes space. I can fill it up with stuff and doors. I think you see that the same way.
So, Tom, I really like that question. Thanks a lot. It is one of those questions that I think you could have endless discussions about. People will have their own names and might disagree with some of these choices. So those are some of the best questions, right?
I received the following wire from Vice President Nixon in that wire, he says, Senator John F. Kennedy, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
I want to repeat through this wire. Congratulations and best wishes I extended to you on television last night. I know that you will have the United support of all Americans as you lead the nation in the cause of peace and freedom during the next four years.
So let’s go back to Alabama. And at the time of the 1960 election, where you have this really strange premodern politics situation where you have a Kennedy running for president, he’s not quite known yet as having done much on the civil rights issue, but he is known as a northern liberal. He has the support of a young Alabama governor.
Who’s a segregationist and something else interesting happens that they’re going to run. A slate of electors for Kennedy and a slate of electors who are going to be uncommitted but Democrats. And they could be held up by a governor, Frank Dixon, who’s a known segregationist. And six of them are going to earn spots in the Electoral College and they’re going to cast all their votes not for Kennedy, but for Harry Byrd. And it’s important to note Harry Byrd never steps foot in Alabama, but he’s a Virginian congressman and he kind of controls the financing of Congress and also has blocked any. Civil rights legislation from getting through. So he’s a segregationist in Virginia and they cast the votes for them. Five other electors will cast the votes for Kennedy. Nixon will get zero electoral votes in Alabama. So we go to Page Brousseau, the fourth longtime listener in my history can beat up your politics. Thanks, Page, he asks me. I can’t remember if I asked you about this before. To me, it’s case closed decision. Nixon won the popular vote in 1960. What’s your take? Well, the first thing we’re going to have to say to people out there is like, what the heck you’re talking about? Because this isn’t really a well-known story. But it is true to say that there is at least one way of dividing the popular vote in the 1960 election that has Nixon as the popular vote winner. And so you add to the story of Hillary Clinton, Grover Cleveland. But I’m telling you, it’s not as clear cut as those other cases, so. Let’s get into it.
I did this topic, by the way, many years ago, I’m at the point where 14 years, the archives so big I can’t even know and find everything that I talked about. I know at some point I’ve got to get it all into transcripts. But it’s a long process. And, you know, I know I discussed this in the past, but I also think that my the more you do research, things change over time. And so I as I influenced in the last podcast, I don’t like making such definite statements anymore because there’s so much complexity to history. But that being said, one shouldn’t be silent either.
We should investigate things and and at least let you know about what the various theories are about this, because a lot of the journalists who written about this will write things like there’s no way of understanding Alabama’s Byzantine voting. The popular vote is problematic. There’s no way to dissect it. So there’s people who are really certain and there’s people who are really not certain. But it is true to say that if you at least with one method of counting the popular vote in Alabama, Kennedy did not win the popular vote nationally in 1960. Nixon wins it by a very small amount, fifty eight thousand votes, but nonetheless wins it. There’s two reasons to talk about it. One is that I’ve seen things written principally by people who might be Republicans or at least supportive of the Nixon. We hear so much endlessly repeated about the 1960 election being such a close popular vote win for Kennedy, you know, when really it’s possible that it wasn’t. But really, there’s no outcome to this story that I’m about to tell that changes that at all. It’s close. Either way, it’s just a question of whether it’s a really close election for Nixon or really close election for Kennedy.
Nobody disputes that, that it was a close election. And the second reason I think people want to talk about it is because obviously with two recent elections, two thousand and twenty sixteen, where the popular vote.
Didn’t determine the Electoral College winner. Many Democrats were aggrieved.
And really, when you look at it, even this recent election, you’re getting to the point where there’s possibly a seven million popular vote difference between Joe Biden and Donald Trump and the Electoral College, you know, it’s going to reflect a big no win, but in each of those states are some really close contests. So I think people are pointing at this and so.
For the GOP, it wouldn’t be bad, right, to have another something to point to in kind of the defense, right? OK, well, nineteen sixty. Your guy, Kennedy, who you revere.
Might have lost the popular vote, and many believe that he did, and I think in an older episode, I actually said, you know, Nixon won the popular vote. When you count it, it’s much more complex. We’ll look at two things. One is the numbers. And that I think I looked at in the past episode. What I didn’t do in the past was look at some of the history and the politics, and that’s why we got into it earlier in the episode. And I think it’s critical to understand what’s going on.
The traditional accounts of the 1960 election have Kennedy winning a popular vote of thirty four million, two hundred and twenty thousand nine hundred and eighty four, while Nixon got thirty four million one eight one fifty seven, that’s one hundred and twelve thousand.
Popular vote victory. The closest ever, except for the 1880 election, which we think came down to 10000 votes, but what’s included in Kennedy’s total is three hundred and eighteen thousand votes from Alabama. And what’s included in Nixon’s total also is two hundred thirty seven thousand from Alabama, yet Kennedy did not win all of the electors of Alabama. He won just five out of 11 cast. So very simply, the simplest way I can say it is there is a way of counting the vote where you just give Kennedy five elevenths of the Democratic vote in that year and you get a Nixon win. Thirty four million one eight, one fifty seven versus thirty four oh four nine nine seventy six for Kennedy, that’s fifty eight thousand votes ahead for Nixon and he wins the popular vote. What’s the reasoning behind this? Alabama did something weird in 1960. Instead of voting just for Kennedy or Nixon and maybe another candidate, they gave voters the choice of 11 people to vote for. So 11 separate electors and each got their own set of votes. There were one Republican slate of electors, one Democratic slate of electors who were loyal to the Governor Paterson and thus loyal to the Democratic ticket, John Kennedy at the top of it. And then there was a slate headed by Frank Dixon and other electors who were uncommitted electors, and they could go anyway, but they were Democrats. And Frank Dixon was known to be a segregationist as governor. And in the end, those that those electors, as we indicated, cast their votes for Harry Byrd, OK.
So this is where it gets complicated. Kennedy didn’t get three hundred and eighteen thousand straight up votes for Kennedy. What it is, is that a judge that Paterson, the governor chose, Allen got three hundred and eighteen thousand three hundred and three votes.
And then Frank Dixon got three hundred and twenty four thousand votes. So he got more than Kennedy’s high elector. So there’s a school of thought that says now you have to take that Democratic vote and split it six eleventh and five eleventh, because otherwise you’re doubling the popular vote or you’re indicating falsely that there were no popular votes for Harry Byrd when he got six electoral votes from the state. OK. However, my counter to that would be a couple of things. Alabamans did cast three hundred and eighteen thousand votes for somebody that they knew was going to vote for Kennedy. It’s just that other electors got less votes and some of the uncommitted got more. And then that one high elector, the popular Gov.. Former governor of the state, got three hundred and twenty four thousand. That’s another thing to look at and why I want to get to the rich history of this, because if you look at the other the uncommitted sides, top elector was a popular governor and all Kennedy had was a judge. That difference, which is only about 5000 votes. It shows that Kennedy was popular enough in Alabama. Now, what some historians have looked at is that, look, Frank Dixon was a segregationist.
So what this really is, it represents within the Democratic Party, there were two choices. You could have the segregationist ticket or you have the Kennedy kind of liberal ticket and the segregationist ticket won. So how can you give Kennedy those popular votes? But that’s one of the reasons I wanted to go deeper into this history, because when you look at it and it’s not a fun story, it’s really a story of two segregationist winning. Patterson was no liberal. So anyone casting a vote for James Patterson’s loyalest ticket could feel just as secure if they were segregationist, that they they were voting the right way. So it’s not that clear on that issue to some historians will say, like, well, the people that voted for the uncommitted ticket knew they were voting against those policies. I don’t know, because Patterson, it turns out, was just as much of a racist as any until his recent conversion. So here’s so there is a third way to one. If you just say, OK, Bruce, Alabamas was weird in this election, the way they set it up, it’s just not a real true popular vote. Let’s say you just get rid of Alabama.
In that case, Nixon does not win the popular vote.
In that case, if you just get rid of Alabama, you have Kennedy at thirty three million, nine to nine, eight for Nixon at thirty three million, eight seven one one fifty seven, Kennedy gets an even narrower thirty one thousand victory. So the thing to remember about Alabama is that you need Nixon getting two hundred and thirty seven thousand votes there to make the argument about Nixon winning the popular vote till you can’t simply disregard Alabama.
The only way Nixon wins the popular vote is if you give Kennedy five elevens of Alabama, which would be one hundred and fifty seven thousand votes. And that brings him down to a fifty eight thousand.
Popular vote loss. I know I’m throwing a lot of numbers at you. There’s no other way. What I’ll do is on the fans of my history could beat up your politics site, will put up an article that explains a lot of this. And so you can you can look into it yourself as well. But that’s where I have a little bit of an issue with saying Nixon won the popular vote because you’re bringing Kennedy down a one fifty seven. But given Nixon the full to thirty seven, it’s true that there were Republican electors that the high elector was to thirty seven of those 11 Kennedy. Again, I just can’t separate that, unlike in other elections where there might have been a popular vote loser, there were three hundred and eighteen thousand Alabamans that cast their vote for C, G, Allen, who they know we’re going to vote for Kennedy. So I’m mixed on it. And in terms of just disregarding a state’s popular vote. Right. As to determine the popular vote winner an election, there is some precedent for that because that’s exactly what any early account of popular votes like.
If we say Andrew Jackson won the popular vote, you have to remove states that didn’t have any popular vote. So if there’s other some other kind of system for determining electors, you just get rid of that popular vote in the totals, which may not be fair. We don’t know, for instance, what Andrew Jackson would have gotten in some of the states that didn’t have a popular vote. Suffice it to say that the one thing that that that’s clear in all three ways of looking at the election, given Nixon all the Alabama and giving Kennedy only five elevens of it, giving Kennedy his full elector, high elector or just disregarding, Alabama has an extremely close election which reflected changes in America, people moving to suburbs, African-American voters switching their allegiance from Republican to Democrat, but not completely, not completely by any means. Democrats appealing to Catholic voters, but also putting Lyndon Johnson on the ticket to try to hold to Protestants and Southerners. But thanks, Paige, for that question. I mean, it’s a really good one.
Alex White asked me on the fans of my history and politics site, I really enjoyed the episode on John W. Davis and was wondering if you would look at doing additional. Also ran shows. Alex White also recommends a book by Irving Stone. They also ran. And Alex, I can definitely say it’s a wonderful book to read. It did sit on my bookshelf for a very long time. The problem I had, it was one of those old mass market paperbacks and it literally fell apart on me. And it could be could have been an influence on that episode. I’m not sure I didn’t use it for this particular one. So Irving Stone, they also ran a great book. One thing to keep in mind is that Irving Stone’s not a pure historian. He was a writer of historical fiction. Think of him like Gore Vidal and his books are great and all of that. And he wrote a ton of books. And there’s nothing wrong with reading literature a little for history as well. In the last episode, I talked a lot about this podcast and myself, and one of the things that I really should make clear is, no, I don’t have I’m not a historian by trade. I don’t have a degree in history of a degree in literature. And that’s where I actually came from. I was more interested in the biographies of writers lives and things like that. And so so Irving Stone is appealing to me in that way.
What Stone does in that book is compare the people that lost the election sometimes to the people that won. And so someone like James Cox, you know, in the graphic on the cover of the book, appears very tall to Harding, appear very small. Lewis Cass compared to Zachary Taylor.
Fremont, much larger than Buchanan, you know, and I think that a lot of readers of the book sometimes might quibble with his choices and but that’s what they are. They’re they’re Irving Stone’s choices for who would have been better president any time you get into that. Like, I felt that he was a little unfair to Zachary Taylor, who might be a better president if short served better president. And people have sat in. Lewis Castle was a squatter sovereignty guy, you know, before Stephen Douglas. And I think that I don’t know what kind of presidency that would have been. He thought it would be a great one. Fremont. Well, it’s hard to think of a president. It could be worse than Buchanan. But he was a little bit of a hothead and did get into trouble during the Civil War. So I don’t know what kind of president he might be. I mean, these things are hard to predict. Certainly, William Jennings Bryan, he didn’t think he’d make a good president. I think there were some issues with Brian then, but it’s but it’s hard to tell and the one thing but Batstone feels that he would have been too religious.
And introduce that into government, perhaps.
Was he this country’s greatest secretary of state, perhaps not, but he had good reasons for not wanting to get involved in that European war, those countries were literally butchering each other over small amounts of land. I think a lot of Americans wanted a part of that. And when we got in, we got in late and we got in with the most the timing that we entered World War One was in the best interests of the country.
So, you know, in the one office that he actually held, William Jennings Bryan could be laudable. Some mistakes as well. The other thing you can say about Bryan is that the issues that he brought forth are issues that are very much in our politics today and didn’t have a voice before him, you know, bringing to a major party the idea of the common person, what prices they were paying and what credit was available to them are issues that really influenced the 20th century.
Yeah, I highly recommend that Irving Stone book and Alex, thanks a lot for your question.
Alex Robinson wrote me a Twitter and I’m at Twitter at Atami hissed at and why HST about Nixon and dirty tricks like Nixon always claimed that what he did was the same thing that Democrats were doing in terms of Nixey dirty tricks.
Is there any truth to this? And thanks, Alex, for asking that question.
So there’s a couple of ways to approach it.
One is that the Watergate committee that invested Watergate also looked at this question. There were Republicans on the Watergate committee. Fred Thompson, who would later become a senator and presidential candidate and an actor, was on was the Republican lead counsel for the Watergate committee. And he made sure that if they were going to look at things that the Nixon White House did, they were going to look at what Democrats did as well and paltry evidence who at all came up.
And they also interviewed Frank Mankiewicz, who helped to run the and Robert Stearns, who helped to run the George McGovern campaign and said they were available to both be questioned by Democrats and Republicans. And no evidence was brought up that there was any dirty tricks on the part of the McGovern campaign running against Nixon. They also felt that, unlike statements Nixon was making, that these were just, you know, things that are normally done in politics, that 1972 was made so different and there was an unalterable chasm between the McGovern campaign and the Democratic establishment that they could not recover from. Now, what are they talking about?
Things that occurred in the nineteen seventy two campaign where, like, there would be billboards out there in Florida during the Florida primary saying, like, help Muskie bring more busing to the state. Well, he didn’t put those billboards up, but even worse than that, there would be letterhead, you know, attacking Scoop Jackson and other candidates, Humphrey, for having an affair or for you guys or things like this on the Muskie letterhead. Well, someone had stolen that Muskie letterhead. You know, it wasn’t something from the Muskie campaign and that caused problems because then the Scoop Jackson people in the Humphrey people hated the Muskie people and just made things bitter.
Muskie loses that primary.
There’s also the Canuck letter, which turns out to be the work of Charles Colson, but they don’t find that out to well. Well, later, the Muskie letter, the Kanuk letter, really it’s called, is a letter in which Muskie allegedly says that, like New Hampshire, just a bunch of Kanaks, which would have been a pejorative for French Canadians in a big part of New Hampshire’s population. So it’s just this rumor that’s printed in a very Republican sympathetic Manchester Union newspaper has no proof at what all they can’t even find the guy who wrote it. And it turns out it’s Colson behind the whole thing. So there were tricks that really got Nixon, the opponent that he wanted that he could beat, which is George McGovern. And then you add to that Watergate, the break in, which had a lot of motives. But one of the straight up political motives for that breaking into the Watergate Hotel is they wanted to find out, was the Democratic establishment patching things up with the McGovern campaign? I mean, as it turns out in history, it might have been useless, like there was no chance those two sides were really patching things up that well.
But that’s what they wanted to know. And that would be critical piece of information that they attempted to get in using that bug in the in the Watergate. OK, so also in the Watergate hearings, you have Pat Buchanan testifies and he takes umbrage with any idea that these dirty tricks contributed to Nixon’s win in 70 to 80 points out, you know, Muskie loses Florida because George Wallace beat him in Florida. Muskie loses the New Hampshire vote because he just didn’t run a good campaign. Also, George McGovern had been instrumental in changing the Democratic Party rules to favor, which is absolutely true, that a lot of bad name calling and things were done during the 72 campaign. McGovern hints that Nixon’s policies in Vietnam are not unlike Adolf Hitler and that that compares it to the Holocaust. Is that good politics? Is that a dirty trick? He and other witnesses in the Watergate committee point out that there was connections between the protesters and the McGovern campaign. And every time Nixon went out, you would get you would get these protesters.
And and in answer to your question, Alex, I. I do believe that Nixon perfected the idea of dirty tricks.
But there is one trickster that influenced him and he was a Democrat, and that is Richard Duqu of California, who never quite achieved office, but did run for state senator in California once, but just pulled off the greatest political pranks. And Nixon was one of his targets and Nixon knew it. And years later, Richard Tuck would talk about how he was on the Nixon tapes. And Nixon said that Nixon was a big fan of my work.
What kind of tricks did he pull? Well.
There’s one point where Nixon speaking during his run for governor and a at the same time he’s he’s near a rail yard, a conductor waves for an engineer to have the train pull forward.
And so as Nixon begins to speak, he can’t hear him because this train’s going.
Now, it turns out nobody can find this conductor afterwards. It was just a guy dressed as a conductor of the train wasn’t supposed to go.
There’s another case where Nixon is speaking to a group of Chinese Americans in San Francisco and Richard talking hands out fortune cookies, which in Chinese say ask Nixon about the Huze loan. Nixon’s brother Donald had borrowed money from Howard Hughes. And I was kind of a little bit mini scandal and things. So this is this is all during his run for governor in 60 to. Oh, here’s another good one where after the Kennedy Nixon debates, Nixon’s in California, this woman with a Nixon pin comes running up to the candidate and hugs him. But in view of the TV cameras and the mikes says, I am so sorry that you lost that debate.
This was the work of Richard Talk. And, you know, even in one of his first races in the nineteen fifties, he’s running for Senate, Richard Tug’s volunteers as a Nixon volunteer. And he says, I’ll put together a party for Nixon, but he books a hall. Doesn’t advertise it at all. Twenty eight people come ruins an opportunity that might have been a better opportunity for. So it’s kind of these political pranks. And this is a guy that’s not really that serious. He’s good at it, but he’s not really that serious. Richard Tuck is going he runs for state Senate. He’s going to declare from a graveyard. He’s going to say because the dead have a right to vote to this. This is kind of his thing.
But I think, like Nixon takes these techniques and perfects it.
There’s a couple more things.
Richard talks also disrupts the Goldwater campaign train in nineteen sixty four, has a person on there with a gun, you know, pretending to be a newsletter reporter, and she starts announcing that these like weird conspiracy theories. Don’t worry, there’s no poison fluoride on this train and she’s pulled off the train eventually. You know, in terms of Nixon’s argument about the Democrats doing the same dirty tricks, I don’t think when you look at something like the plumbers unit and what they were doing in nineteen seventy two in Miami Beach, some of the boat operations and which Buchanan talks about in on the Watergate commission, he refers to a memo where actually Buchanan says, don’t get involved and we’ll have a station at Demy Democrat Miami Beach convention in 1972. We’ll answer questions from reporters, but keep it above the top. Don’t engage in any covert operation, sort of because neither Thompson nor the Democratic questioners ask him a direct question. They don’t find out until 1996 when he’s running for president and running against Bob Dole pretty strongly. And they find that there was a fourth page to this memo which basically says we’re going to engage in covert operations. And so that doesn’t come out until nineteen ninety six. So it’s not that we’re going to lose during this committee. It didn’t they didn’t question of enough. I think a crux of Nixon’s argument, if you want like the strongest point, it’s like, look, you know, before Nixon came, Lyndon Johnson and Lyndon Johnson bugged Nixon’s campaign plate. He also had the FBI. He had sources within the Goldwater campaign and sometimes they’d complain at sixty four of the Johnson would respond to a speech before Goldwater even gave the speech. So, you know, that, I think is just some of your stronger arguments there. I do not believe that what Nixon did, whether he knew about what the plumbers are doing or not, but then to cover up behind that is not something that you can easily point to a democratic alternative and say it’s like the same thing.
You know, that’s where I’d leave it. Thanks, Alex, for asking the question. I want to thank you for listening. The website is My History Can Beat Up Your Politics, Dotcom. Remember the Patriots site? So that is Patriot Dotcom, MKB, UAP, and you can get more episodes there and support the program.
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