Friday, November 30, 2012

November 29, 1972

The president and Haldeman are still at Camp David; they have another Watergate conversation, mostly about how Haldeman now thinks that Congress is going to drop the whole thing because they don't have anything.


One key bit shows that Nixon is still obsessed by the idea that John Dean should write an official report "establishing" everyone's innocence -- a report, remember, which Nixon had long since told the press about as if it was already written:

--

Haldeman: Again, it it doesn't go anywhere, they're [Congress is] not [going to do anything] -- of course, the other thing is that it may be to our interest to have it investigated and not go anywhere.

President Nixon: No, the best thing to our interest is to have Dean write out that nice little statement so I can mail it to all my friends.

Haldeman: Yes, yes.

President Nixon: Believe me, I know Ehrlichman hasn't understood this. Nobody's understood it. You do, Bob, I've got to have a little statement, and I can say, "All right, that is the statement, that covers it." You see the point?

Haldeman: Yes.

--

In other news, the hush money operation has started back up again, with Mitchell and Haldeman both authorizing additional payments out of the funds which Haldeman controlled. So, for now, Hunt is pacified.

Watergate doesn't dominate December in the White House, however; Vietnam does. Indeed, Vietnam has been part of the background context of Watergate from the start. Over the last few months, Kissinger has been negotiating for peace, and it rivals Watergate and the election (and, after the election, re-organization) for top billing in Haldeman's published version of his diaries. With the Watergate trial scheduled for January, however, it's never all that far from the thoughts of Nixon and his men.

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