The Early Surfacing
Thus the dilemma of a doctor who treats a national leader. To tell or not to tell is not the question. He cannot tell.
— DR. ARNOLD HUTSCHNECKER 1
WHEN NIXON TOLD MURRAY CHOTINER on Election Day 1954 that he was through with politics, it was no spontaneous statement born of campaign fatigue. He had told many friends earlier that this was the worst year of his life and that he would leave politics in 1956. As proof of his seriousness he would take out of his wallet a small piece of paper with a promise to that effect addressed to his wife. 2 This was the year he had betrayed McCarthy, whose message he had shared and promulgated, and he had watched the slow process of chastisement of the Wisconsin senator by the Senate, climaxing in December. This was the year that the Duke University faculty, sixty-one to forty-two, voted against giving him an honorary degree. 3 Offended and bitter, Nixon cancelled plans to speak at the commencement exercises. He had spoken at Whittier College, which did give him an LL. D. On the platform, before an audience that included his parents and 125 relatives, he said, "To ask a college to choose which of its graduates to honor is like asking a mother to select a favorite among her children." 4 But what had been intended as a joyous and solacing event soured at the reception after the speech, when two lines formed, one made up of students and citizens who refused to shake Nixon's hand. 5
Although he had been widely praised for his Asian trip the previous year, and lauded as "the busiest vice-president in history," even though Time, the Saturday Evening Post, the Republican