P RESIDENT N IXON :... we learned a lot from Mr. [Ronald] Reagan. H ENRY K ISSINGER : Oh, yeah, yeah. Well, he started bleeding. He said that you have a real problem with the conservatives. P RESIDENT N IXON : Oh, I know. K ISSINGER : Which is no news to you. He says youre going to wind up without any friends, because you cant win the liberals anyway. P RESIDENT N IXON : Jesus. K ISSINGER : And the conservatives are just saying P RESIDENT N IXON : Henry, let me tell you part of his problem, of course, is that hes in a very, very poor position in California, you know. [Break.] K ISSINGER : Well, I think hes aactually I think hes a pretty decent guy. P RESIDENT N IXON : Oh, decent, no question, but his brains? K ISSINGER : Well, his brains, are negligible. I P RESIDENT N IXON : Hes really pretty shallow, Henry. K ISSINGER : Hes shallow. Hes got no... Hes an actor. When he gets a line he does it very well. He said, Hell, people are remembered not for what they do, but for what they say. Cant you find a few good lines? [Chuckles.] Thats really an actors approach to foreign policyto substantive
P RESIDENT N IXON : Ive said a lot of good things, too, you know damn well. K ISSINGER : Well, that too. [Break.] P RESIDENT N IXON : Can you think though, Henry, can you think, though, that Reagan with certain forces running in the direction could be sitting right here? K ISSINGER : Inconceivable. P RESIDENT N IXON : No, but it could have happened. K ISSINGER : It could have happened. P RESIDENT N IXON : It could have happened in 68. What would have happened K ISSINGER : If Rockefeller had stayed inI mean if Rockefeller had gone in competently P RESIDENT N IXON : Thats right. K ISSINGER : I dont think he [Rockefeller] had a chance, but he might just have been able to [unclear]. P RESIDENT N IXON : [Unclear.] That right. Can you imagine? The fellow really is a decent guy, a decent guy. But there isnttheres no, in other words, everything is... [Break.] P RESIDENT N IXON : Back to Reagan though. It shows you how a man of limited mental capacity simply doesnt know what the Christ is going on in the foreign area.
President Nixon: Nothing else of interest in the world today? Alexander Haig: Yes, sir, very significant, this goddamn New York Times exposé of the most highly classified documents of the [Vietnam] war. President Nixon: Oh, that. I see. Haig: That, that President Nixon: I didnt read the story, but you mean that was leaked out of the Pentagon? Haig: Sir, the whole study that was done for [former Defense Secretary Robert] McNamara and then carried on after McNamara left by [former Defense Secretary Clark] Clifford and the peaceniks over there. This is a devastating security breach of the greatest magnitude of anything Ive ever seen. President Nixon: Well, whats being done about it, then? I mean, I didnt Haig: Well, I called President Nixon: Did we know this was coming out? Haig: No, we did not, sir. President Nixon: Yeah. Haig: There are just a few copies of this President Nixon: Well, what about the Haig: 12-volume report.
President Nixon: Well, what about theLet me ask you this, though, what about thewhat about [Defense Secretary Melvin] Laird? Whats he going to do about it? Is Haig: Well, I [unclear] President Nixon: Now, Id just start right at the top and fire some people. I mean, whoeverwhatever department it came out of, Id fire the top guy. Haig: Yes, sir. Well, Im sure it came from Defense, and Im sure it was stolen at the time of the turnover of the administration. President Nixon: Oh, its two years old, then. Haig: Im sure it is, and theyve been holding it for a juicy time, and I think theyve thrown it out to affect Hatfield-McGovern [a Senate amendment to end funding for the Vietnam War]. Thats my own estimate. But its something that is a mixed bag. Its a tough attack on [President John] Kennedy. It shows that the genesis of the war really occurred during the 61 period. President Nixon: [laughing] Yeah. Yeah. Thats Clifford. I see. Haig: And its brutal on President [Lyndon] Johnson. Theyre going to end up in a massive gut fight in the Democratic Party on this thing. President Nixon: Are they? Haig: Its atheres some very President Nixon: But also, massive against the war. Haig: Against the war. President Nixon: But its a Pentagon study, huh?
P RESIDENT N IXON : Well, Ive basicallyweve got to say that its only the extent that it is required by law P AT B UCHANAN : Right. P RESIDENT N IXON : By a court order, do I think busing should be used. B UCHANAN : Mm-hmm. P RESIDENT N IXON : Dont you think thats really what you get down to? B UCHANAN : Right. Right. P RESIDENT N IXON : Because the line, actually, between my line and Muskies, is not as clear asI mean, its just the way he said it. He starts at the other end. He says, Well, I think busing is a legitimate tool B UCHANAN : Yeah. P RESIDENT N IXON : And then, but Im against it. I start at the other end. I say, Im against busing, but, if the law requires it, to the minimum extent necessary, I, of course, will not resist it. B UCHANAN : Mm-hmm. P RESIDENT N IXON : Right? B UCHANAN : Right. P RESIDENT N IXON : Its purely a question of tone. B UCHANAN : Well, weve got to push Muskies emphasis up in the headlines; thats the problem.
P RESIDENT N IXON : Thats right. Thats right. Yeah. Its got to bewell, I think it probably is going to get some play in the South now B UCHANAN : I think, well, thats something you could really move by various statements exaggerating his position, and then Muskie would come back sort of drawing it back and it raises identifies him with it. P RESIDENT N IXON : Yeah, the thing to do really is to praise himhave some civil rights people praise him for his defense of busing. B UCHANAN : Mm-hmm. P RESIDENT N IXON : Thats the way to really get that, you know. Its much the better way than to have people attack him for it B UCHANAN : Mm-hmm. P RESIDENT N IXON : is to praise him for his defense of busing, see? B UCHANAN : Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. P RESIDENT N IXON : And I dont know if youve got any people that can do that or not. But I would think that would be very clever. B UCHANAN : Mm-hmm. OK.
B OB H ALDEMAN : Thats a regular show. Its on every week. And usually its just set in the guys home. Its usually just that guy, whos a hardhat. P RESIDENT N IXON : Thats right; hes the hardhat. H ALDEMAN : And he always just looks like a slob. P RESIDENT N IXON : He looks like [the comedian] Jackie Gleason... Arch is the guys name. But the point is, you cant imaginefor example, Arch is sitting here in his sloppy clothes, and heres his hippie son-in-law, whos married to a screwball- looking daughter, and you know... Arch is sitting, and they said, well, Freddie or somebody is coming home or John is coming home. Oh, you cant let him, Arch said. I mean, you cant let him come in herehes queer. [unclear] Hes a flower. And the hippie son-in-law says, Nah, he really isnt. I think the son-in-law, who apparently goes both ways, despite the daughter and the rest, so... [Break.]
P RESIDENT N IXON : It [a TV show with such a theme] outrages me because I dont want to see this country go that way. J OHN E HRLICHMAN : Well, you know there are P RESIDENT N IXON : Look at other countries... You ever see what happenedyou know what happened to the Greeks. Homosexuality destroyed em. Sure, Aristotle was a homo, we all know that. So was Socrates. E HRLICHMAN : But he never had the influence that television had... P RESIDENT N IXON : And lets look at the strong societiesthe Russians. Goddamn it, they root em out, they dont let em around at all. You know what I mean? I dont know what they do with them. E HRLICHMAN : Yeah. P RESIDENT N IXON : Dope? Do you think the Russians allow dope? Hell, no! Not if they can catch it. They send em up. You see, homosexuality, dope, immorality in general: these are the enemies of strong societies. Thats why the Communists and the left- wingers are pushing the stuff. E HRLICHMAN : Sure. P RESIDENT N IXON : Theyre trying to destroy us.
[Break; the trio discusses what professions are appropriate for gays.] P RESIDENT N IXON : Decorators. Theyve got to do something, the rest. But goddamn it, we dont have to glorify it. E HRLICHMAN : Thats right. P RESIDENT N IXON : Isnt that what it gets down to? E HRLICHMAN : Yeah. H ALDEMAN : Thatsyeah P RESIDENT N IXON : Fashions! You know one of the reasons that fashions have made women look so terrible is because the goddamned designers hate women. Now thats the truth. You watch. Now, there might be getting around nowyou know, some of those, they have the flat-chested thing, those horrible-looking styles they run. That was really the designers taking it out on the women. Im sure of that! And finally the women wouldnt buy it, and now theyre trying to get in some more sexy things coming on again. E HRLICHMAN : Hot pants. P RESIDENT N IXON : Jesus Christ. [They all laugh.]
B OB H ALDEMAN : And [Labor Secretary-designate Peter] Brennan has gotten the damndest press reaction, Mr. President, the damndest fan mail... P RESIDENT N IXON : Is that right? H ALDEMAN : Oh, its incredible. You mean, lettershe brought in some of em to me. Theres letters from people saying, Well, we werent really surewe voted for Nixon, we werent really sure. But now we are. He does believe in the working man, and hes... You know, I think this has really had a... P RESIDENT N IXON : You mean, the idea, they finally think–the appointment of a working man makes em think were for the working man. H ALDEMAN : Yeah. Thats precisely it. P RESIDENT N IXON : You talk about all the tokenism. We appoint blacks and they dont think youre for blacks. H ALDEMAN : No! Exactly. P RESIDENT N IXON : And [you appoint] Mexicans, they dont think youre for Mexicans. But a working man, by golly, that is really something.
H ALDEMAN : Well, this kind of locks it up, you know. [Break.] So I dont think P RESIDENT N IXON : Great. H ALDEMAN : I really dont care who the hell they P RESIDENT N IXON : Yeah. H ALDEMAN : they put in as the [Democratic] party chairman, the fundamental dichotomy, or the fundamental cleavage, within the Democratic Party is such that, with what youre doing to build the new majority, and what I hope to help you doing, I think were going to keep them split, and... P RESIDENT N IXON : Mm-hmm. H ALDEMAN : Im awful bullish about what we can do in this country in terms of the basic philosophies, or the basic P RESIDENT N IXON : Right. H ALDEMAN : choices of the people. They may not ever become Republicans, but theyre Nixons. P RESIDENT N IXON : Yeah. H ALDEMAN : If theres some way to perpetuate that, I dont know. P RESIDENT N IXON : We could change the name of the party H ALDEMAN : Great stuff. P RESIDENT N IXON : Yeah. H ALDEMAN : Great stuff. P RESIDENT N IXON : Yeah.