Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nixon's New Jersey escapade ...

Richard Nixon "had a nose for political manipulation," whether he was doling it out or the victim of it, said his longtime associate Leonard Garment in an interview on CSPAN's Booknotes television show. Garment, author of Crazy Rhythm: From Brooklyn And Jazz To Nixon's White House, Watergate, And Beyond, told of the night that he and Nixon were to spend as guests of a mover-and-shaker in New Jersey in 1965. Nixon had a speaking engagement the next day, and the plan was for the two men to spend the night at a housing development. But "(Nixon) ... realized that the next day, he was going to walk out of this house ... and on the porch would be photographers from the (housing facility) and that he was going to become a prop in a merchandising promotion," Garment said. So the two men drove some 40 miles back to their host's house, arriving to find the gates locked and no other way through the surrounding wall. "Come on, Garment. Over the wall we go," Nixon cajoled. The two men climbed up and over, spending the night in a guest house by a swimming pool.

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