Nixon and Congress
. . . save in times like the extraordinary Hundred Days of 1933 -- times virtually ruled out by definition at mid-century -- a President will often be unable to obtain Congressional action on his terms or even to halt action he opposes. The reverse is equally accepted: Congress is often frustrated by the President. -- Richard E. Neustadt, in Presidential Power
I have watched the Congress from either the inside or the outside, man and boy, for more than 40 years, and I've never seen a Congress that didn't eventually take the measure of the President it was dealing with.
-- Lyndon B. Johnson, in impromptu remarks to departmental lobbyists, January 1965
When Bryce Harlow walked into his room at the Pierre Hotel after the 1968 election, the telephone was ringing. With one hand he tipped the bellboy, with the other he picked up the phone. His briefcase and suitcase sat on the floor. They were to stay there for the next several hours as Harlow -- a trim little man with upright military bearing and huge, luminous eyes -- was chained to the telephone, making one call after another, talking slowly in his soft Oklahoma drawl. With no secretary, he filled a menu lying on his bedside table with scrawled notes from his hours on the telephone.
That introduction to the just-forming Nixon administration told Harlow two very important things: first, except for himself and, of