“Her name was Tanya” (August 23, 1972)
Richard Nixon campaigned for president in 1972 by
practically not campaigning at all. As surrogate speak-
ers and TV commercials sponsored by “Democrats for
Nixon” made the argument that the Democrats had
veered dangerously from the American mainstream,
Nixon emphasized his role as commander in chief, the
peacemaker who had reached out to China, and in May
inked a disarmament deal in Moscow. At the Republi-
can convention in Miami Beach, a BBC reporter discov-
ered a literal script specifying the exact timing for
“spontaneous” applause and “impromptu” remarks.
Richard Nixon frequently ended his speeches with sen-
timental stories about children; in his 1972 acceptance,
his voice broke as he told the story of Tanya, a little
Russian girl who was the only person in her family to
survive World War II. Peace for all the world's children
was the meaning, he said, of his presidency. He won
reelection with 49 of 50 states in his column, the Wa-
tergate story barely surfacing in polls as a concern of
the public at all.
My fellow Americans, we stand today on the threshold of one of the most exciting and chal
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Publication information: Book title: Richard Nixon: Speeches, Writings, Documents. Contributors: Rick Perlstein - Editor, Richard Nixon - Author. Publisher: Princeton University Press. Place of publication: Princeton, NJ. Publication year: 2008. Page number: 238.
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