As friend, foe of Kennedy, Nixon was near - even at end | JFK | Dallas News
The world of presidents is foreign to most people, said Edward C. Nixon, 83, the youngest brother of the late President Richard M. Nixon. In the second of four televised debates, Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon turn their attention to foreign policy. JFK 50 years later: Nixon's brother remembers the two presidents were good friends After that he changed and was for normalizing relations with the USSR.
Both men were Cold Warriors, having shared the common generational experience of service in the Second World War, Johnson as a commissioned officer in the Naval Reserve and Nixon commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy.
Both men lead the country during the years when the Vietnam War tore away at the national fabric. Both men received monumental political affirmation through record electoral landsides.
Both men believed in the art of personal diplomacy often conducted far from the daylight of public scrutiny. And both men left office as widely unpopular figures, looking forward to the more objective verdict of history. On the other hand, they were fiercely partisan and espoused quite different philosophies when it came to domestic policy.
Kennedy and Nixon debate Cold War foreign policy - HISTORY
Johnson was the unrepentant New Dealer. There was enough difference between their words and deeds to demonstrate a clear contrast. But they were much more than mere acquaintances. They were two men propelled into the limelight by patriotism, ambition, and the call of unique and compelling times. More than one-dimensional political strange bedfellows, they managed to maintain a personal connection that transcended the political realities and vicissitudes of the times that tested them.
Vice President Nixon, in his constitutional role as President of the Senate acknowledged the Texan, remarking: Some of this was politics as usual, of course, but the two men destined to share common glory seemed to connect on a personal level.
Kennedy and Nixon debate Cold War foreign policy
And the fact is that, as Senate Majority Leader, Lyndon Johnson cultivated and enjoyed a warm and constructive relationship with the Eisenhower White House, during a fascinating era of actual bi-partisan cooperation. Though they were direct political opponents that year, Johnson and Nixon shared a common rivalry—with Kennedy.
The wound became seriously infected and the Vice President was forced to spend several days at Walter Reed Hospital.
Among his visitors was Lyndon Johnson—a classy thing to do. Candidate Kennedy sent a brief telegram. Both were naval officers during World War II. Both upset incumbents to win U. House seats in Nixon moved up first, winning a hotly contested California Senate race inthen becoming vice president on Dwight Eisenhower's ticket in Kennedy, who had billed himself as a "fighting conservative," won his Senate seat in From the beginning, Nixon and Kennedy seemed to like each other's company.
For Nixon, the feelings were mutual. The media also were infatuated with Kennedy, almost ignoring that he had few legislative achievements. Defenders ofthe JFK-As-Progressive view call this story a "malicious lie", but it is confirmed by three people.
William Arnold, the staffer who took the check from JFK since Nixon was out of his office, recalled the visit.
For a Democrat to come over and offer that kind of encouragement to help a Republican was literally unprecedented. Nixon aide Pat Hillings recalled how Nixon repeatedly said in amazement, "Isn't this something!
A February 3, memo from Rosemary Woods to Nixon made specific reference to the meeting and also recalled Nixon's "flabbergasted reaction" to JFK's bold step.
In order to declare the account of the visit a "lie", the JFK-As-Progressive advocates must not only declare that A both Arnold and Hillings lied but that B Nixon and his friends lied to each other in their private memos which they knew had no chance of seeing the light of day for decades, if at all. Even after Nixon's election to the Senate and Vice-Presidency, and JFK'selection to the Senate inthere was still considerable warmth between the two.
When JFK was laid up in the hospital inNixon sent many get-well wishes. Every few days he'd stop inand ask 'How's Jack getting along?
During JFK's convalescence, Jackie took it upon herself to write to Nixon that "I don't think there is anyone in the world he thinks more highly of than he does you--and this is just another proof of how incredible you are. JFK knew that if he were nominated he would be facing his old friend, but his feelings for Nixon were still stronger than his feelings for the Democratic Party's liberal wing.
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Charles Bartlett, the man who introduced JFK to Jackie recalled that "I always had a feeling that he regarded [the liberals]as something apart from his philosophy. I'm not comfortable with those people. The same distaste JFK had felt for old-guard liberals in his first campaign ofwas still there in So startled was Bartlett by the declaration that he recorded it for posterity the next day.
Dick Nixon is the victim of the worst press that ever hit a politician in this country.