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Watergate & Nixon: A Political Chameleon

1223 words - 5 pages

Nixon: A Political ChameleonThe 1970s was a decade of tumult with the war in Vietnam and the Watergate conspiracy in the White House. Many people probably still wonder how five men could break into the national headquarters of a major political party by order of the president, and what would drive a President to abuse his power and lie to the people that trust him the most. To find reasons why one must analyze the life and political career of Richard M. Nixon, and the mood of the Seventies.Nixon's career in politics began a long time before he even had dreams of the White House. In 1947 he began his career when he was elected to the House of Representatives by the state of California while campaigning as an anticommunist. In 1951 Nixon had moved from the House of Representatives to the Senate, and by 1952 he was embroiled in his first scandal. The charge brought against him was that he was taking money from contributors in exchange for political favors. In Nixon's famous Checkers Speech he denies the charges and gives proof to back up the denials:I'm proud to be able to report to you tonight that this audit and this legal opinion is being forwarded to General Eisenhower. And I'd like to read to you the opinion that was prepared by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and based on all the pertinent laws and statutes, together with the audit report prepared by the certified public accountants.It is our conclusion that Senator Nixon did not obtain any financial gain from the collection and disbursement of the fund by Dana Smith; that Senator Nixon did not violate any Federal or state law by reason of the operation of the fund, and that neither the portion of the fund paid by Dana Smith directly to third persons nor the portion paid to Senator Nixon to reimburse him for designated office expenses constituted income to the Senator which was either reportable or taxable as income under applicable tax laws. (signed) Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher by Alma H. Conway.Nixon overcame his first major political obstacle with clear-cut evidence and no use of under handed deeds. In the eyes of the public Nixon seemed a trustworthy politician. This was one of his first deceptions.After serving eight years as vice president Nixon had decided to run for president in 1960; however, John F. Kennedy narrowly defeated him. After his defeat Nixon decided to run for Governor of California, which he was defeated and said, "You won't have Nixon to kick around any more," . Despite these two political defeats in 1968 Nixon won the Republican Party nomination and subsequently the presidency.As president Nixon began to abuse his power and use government agencies such as the CIA for his own personal gain. In 1971 Nixon bumped heads with Defense Department official Dr. Daniel Ellsberg over the publication of the "Pentagon Papers", which were secret Defense Department documents on American involvement in the Vietnam war. The case was brought to the Supreme Court where Nixon lost the case to...

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