Bridging the Divide: My Life

By Edward W. Brooke | Go to book overview

14
The President Nixon I Knew

The year 1968 found the country as deeply divided as it had ever been since the dark days of the Civil War. Lyndon Johnson’s surprise announcement on March 31 that he would not be a candidate for president left the field wide open. What is more, the polarizing issues of Vietnam and civil rights had left the Democratic Party itself deeply divided. The nation was ready for change—any change—and the Republicans had a chance to provide it. Throughout most of 1967, Governor George Romney of Michigan had been the Republican frontrunner. He was an impressive figure. He had been the dynamic head of the American Motors Corporation, then a rival to Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors, and had wrested control of Michigan politics away from the Democratic Party. During our respective campaigns in 1966, Romney and I had “exchanged pulpits.” He came to Massachusetts to campaign for me for the Senate, and I went to Michigan to campaign for him for governor. I enjoyed knowing Romney, but I was nonetheless surprised in the spring of 1967 when red, white, and blue bumper stickers appeared in Massachusetts and Michigan reading, “The New Look—Romney and Brooke ‘68.” It was a flattering notion, but it looked like a long shot to me, which it was.

Richard Nixon, by contrast, had not won an election on his own

-187-

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Bridging the Divide: My Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Inside the Cocoon 4
  • 2 - Captain Carlo 20
  • 3 - Romance in Italy 32
  • 4 - Law and Politics 43
  • 5 - "Where the Huckleberries Grow" 54
  • 6 - The Boston Finance Commission 71
  • 7 - One Vote in Worcester 80
  • 8 - Attorney General 96
  • 9 - The Strange Case of the Boston Strangler 115
  • 10 - Running for the Senate 129
  • 11 - Back to Washington 145
  • 12 - Vietnam 154
  • 13 - Member of the Club 169
  • 14 - The President Nixon I Knew 187
  • 15 - "The Freest Man in the Senate" 212
  • 16 - A Private Matter 235
  • 17 - Stormy Weather 243
  • 18 - Love and Redemption 259
  • 19 - Private Citizen 274
  • 20 - Looking beyond 289
  • Index 309
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