He cynically fanned racism, manipulated white voters and prepared the ground for the conservative assault on civil rights, affirmative action and social programs that, in the years after his plunge to disgrace, the GOP has honed to a fine art.
The recent death of Leonard Garment, the Wall Street lawyer who was an aide to President Nixon during the height of the Watergate scandal and went on to become, in the words of the New York Times, one of Washington's "most powerful and garrulous lawyers," sparked a poignant memory for me.
Did you know that Nixon knew four months after Watergate that Associate FBI Director Mark Felt was leaking information to a Washington Post reporter? Or, that Felt was named as Deep Throat in the press two months before Nixon resigned?
Forty years ago I had the good fortune of renting an apartment in the beautiful Watergate complex. I had been covering the White House and Washington since l968, but how nice of Nixon to advance my business.