Saturday, January 11, 2014

Kennedy & Nixon 6

On pages 206-207 of Kennedy & Nixon, Chris Matthews tells an anecdote about President John F. Kennedy’s reaction to Richard Nixon’s book, Six Crises:

“Yet [Nixon's] bitterness was thinly disguised. ‘My little daughter, Tricia, says she doesn’t blame the people who voted for Kennedy,’ he said.  ‘She blames the ones who counted the votes in Chicago.’  When his memoirs, which he entitled Six Crises, were published in the spring of 1962, he quoted his younger daughter Julie on the 1960 election count.  ‘Can’t we still win?  Why can’t we have a recount in Chicago?’ he recalls her asking him every day from the election until Kennedy’s inauguration.  Kennedy got the message.  When Ben Bradlee asked Kennedy if he had read the book, he got a testy answer.  ‘Just the 1960 campaign stuff, and that’s all I’m going to read.  I can’t stand the way he puts everything in Tricia’s mouth.  It makes me sick…’”

Lol.  I probably shouldn’t laugh at that, but I do find it funny.  Nixon was trying to appear above the fray: as one who wouldn’t demand a recount but would put his own misgivings aside for the good of the country.  Yet, Nixon was rather bitter, thinking that Kennedy unfairly stole the 1960 election.  Kennedy thought that Nixon put his own resentment into Tricia’s mouth in Six Crises.  I doubt that Nixon did that, for Tricia may have very well had those sentiments.  But I do think that Nixon mentioning these sentiments was transparent and passive-aggressive, on his part.

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