Six Months After His Resignation, a Rare Richard Nixon Comment on Watergate: He Took One for the Team

February 3, 1975

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Six Months After His Resignation, a Rare Richard Nixon Comment on Watergate: He Took One for the Team
Typed Letter Signed
1 page | SMC 1463

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      Background

      To hear tell of it here, Nixon fell on his sword over Watergate, taking one, he writes to a loyalist, for the team. It is a rare mention from the disgraced president of the saga of political sabotage and high-level corruption which, in the face of impeachment and criminal prosecution, forced his resignation of the presidency in August 1974. Writing just six months later, he explains how his resignation was, essentially, a selfless act:

      I had thought that my resignation might have the effect of at least getting some of our friends off the hook in the upcoming November elections, but the issue was just too hot for our opponents to leave alone, and as a result, some very good men took it on the chin in the election when they did not deserve to do so.


      Nixon is pleased, however, that Curtis escaped the post-Watergate bloodbath:

      I was particularly happy that your support of me had not hurt you. As you can imagine, in the time since I Ieft Washington, my heart has gone out to those who stood by me at great political cost to themselves.

      He hopes, too, that Curtis’ selection as Chairman of the Republican Conference will allow for the development of policies “that are right for the country” and will “in addition, have some chance of being supported by what appears to be now a very irresponsible Congress.”

      Nixon brooded in exile at San Clemente for many years, but managed, with  extraordinary and marveled resilience, to return to public life, one more time, as respected elder statesman, a decade or so later. He rarely, if ever, mentioned Watergate.


      Typed Letter Signed (“R.N.”), 1 page, quarto, Casa Pacifica, San Clemente, California, February 3, 1975. To Senator Carl T. Curtis.
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      RICHARD NIXON
      LA CASA PACIFICA
      SAN CLEMENTE, CALIFORNIA

      February 3, 1975

      Dear Carl:

      As you can imagine, I was enormously pleased by your election as Chairman of the Republican Conference.  Your strong responsible voice will play, I am sure, a very decisive role in helping the Administration to develop policies that are right for the country and ones which will, in addition, have some chance of being supported by what appears to be now a very irresponsible Congress.

      I was particularly happy that your support of me had not hurt you.  As you can imagine, in the time since I left Washington, my heart has gone out to those who stood by me at great political cost to themselves.  I had thought that my resignation might have the effect of at least getting some of our friends off the hook in the upcoming November elections, but the issue was just too hot for our opponents to leave alone, and as a result, some very good men took it on the chin in the election when they did not deserve to do so.

      Pat joins me in sending our very best to Mildred and you.

      Sincerely,

      R.N.


      The Honorable Carl T. Curtis
      United States Senate
      Washington, D. C. 20515