“I am not a jerk”

Recently, the Nixon library released online versions of documents that shed new light onto Richard Nixon’s White House. Perhaps the most fascinating is this 11-page memo.

In it, Nixon regrets the “impression among average voters . . . that we are an efficient, crafty, cold machine” (Page 1). Of course, most “average voters” find it hard to warm up to anyone who refers to himself in the third person (Nixon consistently calls himself “RN” in this memo).

He seems particularly proud “on the warmth deal” (page 6) that “after the game at Ohio State, I called the Coach at Purdue – a team that has lost 8 games this year and where the Coach is probably on the way out, and told him how I thought he had done an awfully good job under terribly difficult circumstances. This I did not put out and did not try to broker.”

However, Nixon does vote against involving Donald Rumsfeld in the warmth initiative (page 7). He deemed Rummy “too practical” for such an endeavor.

Well worth a read.