Saturday, September 8, 2012

September 8, 1972

With Watergate fully under control as far as they can see and the election in excellent shape, it's time to think about what comes next. Nixon and Haldeman in the Oval Office:


President Nixon: I want to get a list [...] I want it done. I want a list. We are getting a list of people that --

Haldeman: Colson's office can do that.

President Nixon: Colson's office. Colson's office. Of the Washington Democratic lawyers, and lobbyist types, so that we can cut them out forever. We really sucked the asses out of them last November....We sort of needed some of them. But there are ways that we can do it, and you can -- look -- this fella that owns the Redskins [Democratic lawyer Edward Bennett Williams], he has always wanted to do something, he has always has his Goddamn hands out. You just cut him off at the hip pockets early, never desire to see such a sonofabitch, you see my point? Or his agent, or his partner, or his wife. See what I mean? And let's build up some of our own lawyers, you know, that are -- are our type lawyers from the start. [Democratic lawyer Clark] Clifford, for example, it's ridiculous that he's still (unintelligible).

Haldeman: I've been thinking about his. This is an assignment that's dangerous in a sense, but I think it's worth doing. That after the election, you got to do it in some very careful way, but it would be give Colson the responsibility for building a Nixon-Washington establishment.

President Nixon: Exactly.

Haldeman: And for killing the opposition.

President Nixon: Exactly. Right.

Haldeman: He is the one guy who knows enough and is ruthless enough to do that. It might be -- it might be because [Murray] Chotiner doesn't know --

President Nixon: And (unintelligible) Chotiner, maybe he is not -- Judaism. It's Jew --

Haldeman: Chotiner can't do it because Chotiner doesn't know the track record.

President Nixon: And Chotiner's too -- well, frankly, he's not some....

Haldeman: He can be taken by some of the --

President Nixon: Yep. It's the Jew business.

Haldeman: ...Chuck, he would be -- he would be ideal to take that kind of thing on.

President Nixon: Killer instinct.

Haldeman: To take that kind of think on -- that Chuck could do after the election, that he can't do now. See, after the long haul, and it would be good for him, see because he wants to stay in Washington, and it's the only way he can build himself up for the rest of this life.

President Nixon: We are going to do it?

Haldeman: Yes.

President Nixon: For example, the other thing is --

Haldeman: The thing, you give Chuck access to the IRA stuff. You give Chuck access to the FBI stuff. You let him go ruthless until you kill these people.


  1. The election of 1972 was the first time I ever voted for President. To this day, I remember how stunned I was that Nixon was re-elected. We'd had four years to see what kind of a man he was, what kind of President he was.

    Of course, I felt the same way in 2004.

  2. These things always remind me that the caricature of Nixon isn't really a caricature. You couldn't make up a.Richard M. Nixon and be believed.


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