Saturday 26 April 2014

Nixon Says Goodbye to the White House

"Defeat does not finish a man, quit does.  A man is not finished when he's defeated.  He's finished when he quits." (Richard Nixon)

The White House staff stood waiting.  The reporters had their microphones ready.  The cameramen had their cameras focussed.  The helicopter was warming up.  Finally, President Nixon walked the longest walk of his life:  the one from the door of the White House, across the green lawn, to the helicopter which would take him into exile.  For two years, Nixon had been haunted by the nightmare of Watergate.  Two reporters from the Washington Post discovered a story which would be featured on the nightly news for months.  The media wanted to know:  Did he or did he not know about the break-in at the Democratic headquarters in the months leading up to the last election?  Try as he might to deny it, the White House tapes revealed that he did in fact know what went down at Watergate.  And he would pay for it dearly.  While he was the only President to date to visit Communist China, he was also the only President to resign.  But if he was going to leave, he was going to do so on his own terms.  The President and his wife walked to the waiting helicopter, their heads held high.  Just before Nixon boarded, he turned to the waiting crowd and made a gesture that Winston Churchill made famous during World War II -- the V for Victory salute.  The world had not heard the last from Richard Nixon.  

Note:  For more information read All the Presidents' Men by Carl Bernstein & Bob Woodward.

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