Too many people are saying, "I don't like Nixon, but I don't know why."
— ARCH MONSON, REPUBLICAN FUNDRAISER, 1962 1
RICHARD NIXON RESPONDED TO DEFEAT by going into isolation, retreating not only from politics but also from his family. After a vacation with Pat and Bebe Rebozo in the Bahamas, he flew alone to California, where he joined the law firm of Adams, Duque, and Hazeltine. Earl Adams, who had been one of the donors of the "Checkers fund," had given him the job. He lived alone for six months in a small bachelor apartment on Wilshire Boulevard.
I preferred to be alone.... the last thing I wanted to do was to talk to people about the election ... virtually everything I did seemed unexciting and unimportant.... It was not an easy time. 2
Chronically uninterested in food, he was content to heat up TV dinners and eat them alone while reading. "As time went on," he confessed in his memoirs, "I began to adjust to my new life and even to enjoy it." Although he said one of his reasons for moving to California was "to have more time with Pat and the girls," 3 his family stayed on in Washington, the reason given that they did not want to interrupt their daughters' schooling, and it is evident that he sought solace in solitude rather than in the intimacy of his family. Although Pat made several trips to Los Angeles to find housing, 4 Nixon made no mention of this in his memoirs, and emphasized only his malaise and solitary life.
Like others who have tried to salve the wounds of failure he took refuge in the writing of a book. Nearly every man who reaches eminence in politics has some concern for the judgment