Nixon (1995) Script

I just don't understand it, Bob. I've logged a lot of miles.

I've followed the sales textbook by the letter.

I've applied myself diligently.

I mean, I try and I try, and I just cannot get in the door.

I mean... what am I doin' wrong? Earl, sit down.

Sure, you've got a great product, but you have to remember what you're really selling: yourself.

So it's not necessarily what I say as how I say it?

That's right, Earl. A good salesman can sell anything.

And I remember when you were a good salesman at the beginning.

Something's changed. I don't want to pry, but is everything all right at home, with Margie?

Will there be anything else? Leave it.

Just leave it. Yes, sir.

Thank you. Thanks.

I watched you walking in front of my desk in an agitated manner, smoking without having asked if you could smoke in my presence.

0121, mark.

OK, listen up. Fire team discipline in there at all times.

Keep your radios on at all times during the entire penetration.

Check yourselves. False IDs?

Jim. No wallets, no keys?

We rendezvous where? The Watergate, room 214. When?

At 0300 hours.

Jawohl, mein fartin' f├╝hrer.

I swear, Frank, I'm gonna make you a new asshole.

Let's get the fuck out of here.

Years of decency and clean living are over.

If anything goes wrong, sit tight. You'll hear from me or Howard.

Personally, if anything goes wrong, I'll be calling the President of the United States.

I'm not just gonna be a good salesman.

No, doggone it, I'm gonna be a great salesman.

That's the spirit. Thanks.

And remember, Earl, always look them in the eye.

Nothing sells like sincerity.

Five men wearing white surgical gloves, business suits, carrying camera and electronic surveillance equipment were arrested in the headquarters of the Democratic Committee.

They were unarmed. Nobody knows yet why they were there or what they were looking for.


Good evening, General Haig.

Good evening, sir.

Judge John Sirica today sentenced the Watergate burglars to terms ranging up to 40 years.

The White House continues to deny any involvement.

Presidential counsel, John Dean, testified before the Senate Watergate committee that the scandal reaches to the highest levels.

Presidential aides Haldeman and Ehrlichman were ordered to resign today.

In a stunning announcement, White House aide Alexander Butterfield revealed the existence of a secret taping system.

Vice President Agnew resigned today after pleading no contest to a charge of income tax evasion.

The president has fired the Watergate special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, provoking the greatest constitutional crisis in history.

Eight resolutions calling for the impeachment of the president were referred to the judiciary committee by the House.

It was disclosed to Judge Sirica that there is an 18-and-a-half-minute gap in a June 20th, 1972 taped conversation between the president and Bob Haldeman.

Shock and anger are coming from all sectors of the nation.

Sirica ordered the president to turn over tapes to special prosecutor Leon Jaworski.

The tapes contain conversations between the president and his aides and are believed to include discussions of the scandal.

The White House has not yet responded to Judge Sirica's order and it is not yet known whether the president will comply.

Yeah.

These are the tapes you requested, Mr. President.

OK.

Cocksucker!

Nixon's never been good with these things, Al.

I'll take care of it, sir. Do you mind, sir?

Sorry. OK. Go on.

You know, Al, if Hoover were alive, these tapes would never have gotten out.

I want the little shit back.

Mr. Hoover was a realist, sir. Yeah. Not like the others.

Dean, McCord, the rest.

We never got our side of the story out, Al.

People have forgotten.

Such violence.

The tear gassing, the riots, burning the draft cards, the Black Panthers.

We fixed it, Al, and they hate me for it.

'Cause it's Nixon. They always hated Nixon.

You're all set, sir.

OK. Good night, Mr. President.

Good night, Al.

Hey, Al.

Men in your profession, give 'em a pistol and then leave the room.

I don't have a pistol, Al.

Goddamn it.

Pause.

Start.

- They did what? Install bugs, photo documents.

It was a fishing expedition. It was their fourth attempt at the DNC.

O'Brien doesn't use that office.

Possibly looking for an illegal Hughes donation to the Democrats, so they couldn't make an issue of your Hughes money.

It was a legal contribution.

Not clear the burglars knew what they were looking for.

They were headed for McGovern's office later that same night.

Christ, did Mitchell know? I don't know.

Mitchell's out of his mind. Martha put her head through a window.

Jesus. Through a window? Yeah, they're taking her to Bellevue.

Maybe she'll stay this time. Martha's an idiot.

She'll do anything to get Mitchell's attention.

If Mitchell had been minding the store instead of Martha, we wouldn't have Magruder running some third-rate burglary.

We feel the bigger concern is Gordon Liddy.

Liddy? That fruitcake? What about him? That's just it, sir. He is a nut.

Used to work with the plumbers, turns up running this Watergate caper.

Remember his plan to firebomb Brookings using Cubans as firemen?

What's Liddy got? He was using some campaign cash that was laundered for us through Mexico, the FBI's onto it.

We could have a problem with that. That's a campaign finance violation.

So if... Liddy takes the rap for Watergate, we can take care of him and that lets us off the hook.

I don't have time for this. Just handle it, Bob.

Keep it out of the White House. I gotta see Kissinger.

He's throwing a tantrum, threatening to quit. Again.

What else?

Well, sir, one of the people implicated is still on the White House payroll.

Who? Not another goddamn Cuban.

Uh, no, sir. A guy named Hunt.

Howard Hunt, sir.

Hunt? Howard Hunt?

Left his White House phone number in his hotel room.

He works for Colson. He used him on the Pentagon Papers.

After arrest, he dumps his wiretapping stuff into his White House safe.

We're trying to figure out when he stopped being a White House consultant.

Howard Hunt is working for the White House? Jesus Christ.

This is goddamn Disneyland. Since when?

Since Chappaquiddick. He wanted dirt on Kennedy.

Colson brought him in. You know Hunt, sir?

Yeah, on the list of horribles.

I know what he is and I know what he tracks back to.

He was involved in the plumbers? Definitely.

Colson had him break into Bremer's apartment after Bremer shot Wallace to plant McGovern's campaign literature.

I had nothing to do with that.

He was in this Ellsberg thing? Yes. You approved it.

I did? Right after the Pentagon Papers broke.

They went in to get his psychiatric records. We were working on China.

Fuck.

What the fuck?! You're not supposed to take pictures of me!

Take pictures of the files! Give me the fuckin' film!

Howard Hunt.

Jesus Christ. You open up that scab, you'll uncover a lot of pus.

What do you mean?

Where's Hunt now? He's in hiding.

He sent Liddy in to talk to Dean. And?

He wants money. Pay him.

Pay him? I told him get out of the country. It's crazy to start...

What the hell are you doing, John, screwing with the CIA?

I don't care how much he wants. Pay him.

What are we paying him for, sir? Silence.

But you're covered. It's only this Ellsberg thing, and if that comes out, it's national security.

Cut ourselves loose from these clowns, and that's all there is to it.

No, it's more than that. I want Hunt paid.

We've never done that before, sir. How do we do it?

We should set up a Cuban defense fund on this and take care of all of 'em.

Should we talk to Trini about paying? Keep Trini out.

And for God's sake, keep Colson out.

It's time to baptize our young counsel here, Mr. Dean.

That means John can never talk about it. Attorney-client privilege.

So get to it. John, you stay close to this, OK?

Don't worry, sir. Good.

OK.

Did I approve the Ellsberg thing?

Huh?

I'm glad we tape all these conversations, but I never approved the break-in at the Ellsbergs'.

Maybe I approved it after the fact.

Someday we gotta start transcribing these tapes.

You approved that before the fact because I went over it with you. But...

No one's gonna see these tapes. Right.

It's more of a problem for Ehrlichman. He fixed Hunt up with the phony CIA IDs.

But... what else does Hunt have on us?

We gotta turn off the FBI, Bob.

You go to the CIA and tell Helms that Hunt is blackmailing the president.

Tell him Hunt and his Cuban friends know too damn much, and, uh, if he goes public, if Hunt goes public, it will be a fiasco for the CIA. He'll know what I'm talking about.

All right. Play it tough.

That's the way they play it, that's the way we're gonna play it.

Don't lie to Helms and say there's no involvement.

Just say this is, uh, a sort of comedy of errors, bizarre, without getting into it. And, uh...

Say the president believes it's gonna open up the whole Bay of Pigs thing again.

And tell Helms he should call the FBI, call Pat Gray, and say that we wish, for the sake of the country, don't go any further into this... hanky-panky, period.

Bay of Pigs? That was Kennedy's screw-up.

Why would that threaten us? Just do what I say, Bob.

The only problem with that, sir...

- ...gets us to obstruction of justice. Got nothing to do with justice.

- It's national security. How is this national security?

The president says it is.

Now, this isn't a moral issue, Bob.

My job is to protect this country from its enemies, and its enemies are inside the walls. We gotta keep our enemies at bay, or our whole program goes down the tubes.

Vietnam, China, the Soviet Union.

- Look at the big picture... Damn.

...we end up doing a hell of a lot of good in this world.

Let's not screw it up with a shit-ass, third-rate burglary.

What should I tell Ziegler to tell the press?

Tell 'em what we always tell 'em. Anything but the truth.

- Fuck! Say the president believes it's gonna open up the whole Bay of Pigs thing again.

- Put me in this position. Bay of Pigs?

- Expose me like this. Why would that threaten us?

Why don't they fucking shoot me?

In the election of 1860, Lincoln said the question was whether this nation could exist, half-slave or half-free.

In the election of 1960, with the world around us, the question is whether the world will exist half-slave or half-free.

I think, in the final analysis, it depends upon what we do here in the United States. I think it's time America started moving again.

Mr. Nixon? When it comes to experience, through the years I have sat on the National Security Council, I have been in the cabinet, I have met with the legislative leaders...

Be quiet. Relax, everybody, relax.

...discussions with 35 presidents, nine prime ministers, two emperors and the Shah of Iran. Jesus Christ.

Has he told them how many push-ups he can do yet?

...hydroelectric power. What the hell happened?

He just got out of the hospital.

He hasn't taken one hour off.

When we consider the line-up of the world, we find there are 590 million people on our side, 800 million people on the Communist side...

Shoulda slapped makeup on. It's not a beauty contest.

We'd better hope not. ...600 million people who are neutral.

What are you doing to him, Murray? He's not well.

He doesn't have to debate Kennedy. The odds are 5-3 against us.

When it comes to politics... He can win without this.

Senator, one minute for rebuttal.

Castro is only the beginning of our difficulties throughout Latin America.

Oh, shit, he's gonna do it. Here it comes.

We've seen Cuba go to the Communists.

Eight jet minutes from the coast of Florida.

We must attempt to strengthen the democratic anti-Castro forces in exile.

These fighters have had no support from our government.

Son of a bitch! What?

Kennedy was briefed last week by CIA. He's using it against us.

We can't respond, he welshed on a deal.

It's a disgrace. ...we might never have had Castro.

Why didn't we? Mr. Nixon?

Man, he's treading water. All right, come on.

He violated national security. Attack the bastard.

...Constitution of the United States, so help me God.

Mr. Nixon. Yeah.

I think...

I think that's the sort of, uh, very dangerous and irresponsible suggestion that... It's over. More coffee?

...helping Cuban exiles who oppose Castro would not only be a violation of international law, it would be an open invitation for Mr. Khrushchev...

It's still very close.

Senator Kennedy's lead is about, uh, 700,000.

Think Daley stuffed the ballot boxes himself?

In Texas, they had the goddamn cattle voting.

It was he closest race in history, Dick, and he stole it. Son of a bitch.

He outspent us and he still cheated.

A guy who's got everything.

I can't believe it.

We came to Congress together. We were like brothers, for Christ's sake.

Got all the figures. It's an obvious fraud. We ask for a recount.

Don't be ridiculous. Nobody has contested a presidential election.

Who's gonna do the counting? The Democrats control Texas, Illinois.

We shift 25,000 votes in two states. And how long will that take?

Six months, a year? What happens to the country?

If I'd called his shot on Cuba, I'd have won.

That's what I say. Made me look soft.

"I feel very sorry for Nixon because he does not know who he is." You believe this?

"At each stop he has to decide which Nixon he's going to be at the moment, which must be very exhausting." Jack Kennedy.

It's a disgrace. "Nixon is a shifty-eyed goddamn liar.

If he had to stick to the truth, he'd have very little to say.

If you vote for Nixon, then you oughta go to hell." Harry S. Truman.

That's what killed us, Dick, not Cuba.

It's the personality problem. You gonna let the Democrats get away with this?

Goes to Harvard. His father hands him everything on a silver platter.

All my life, they've been sticking it to me.

Not the right clothes, not the right schools, not the right family.

And then he steals from me.

Heh, he says I have no class, and they love him for it.

Dick, you're only 47.

If you contest this election, you'll be finished.

You gotta swallow this one. They stole it fair and square.

We'll get 'em next time, Dick.

We'll get 'em next time.

What makes you think there's gonna be a next time, Murray?

Because if he's not this Nixon, he's nobody.

Good morning, sir. Hi.

Hi. Hi.

We lost.

I know.

I hate to lose.

It makes us human.

It's not fair, Buddy.

I can take the insults, I can take the name-calling.

But I can't take the losing. I hate it.

We don't have to put ourselves through this again, Dick.

We worked for it. We earned it.

It's ours. It is. We know that.

And it's enough that we know.

Just think of the girls.

They're still young.

We never see them.

I lost my parents when I was young. I don't want them to lose theirs.

Maybe I should get out of the game.

What do you think, Buddy?

And go back to being a lawyer.

End up with something solid, some money at the end of the line.

You know, I, uh...

I keep thinking of my old man tonight.

He was a failure too. You're not a failure, Dick.

You know how much money he had in the bank when he died?

Nothing.

He was so damned honest.

But I miss him.

I miss him a hell of a lot.

Dad! Dad! I got the beets for him.

Dad. Is she in there?

I don't have time for you right now. I got work to do.

How is thy son? Very well, thank you.

What'd he say? He said, in life, there's no free ride. What'd you say?

I told them I didn't need a ride, I need a suit.

Oh, no. Harold, he doesn't respond well to humor.

Maybe Mother can help straighten it out.

I'd rather get a whippin' than listen to another of her talks.

Relax, Dick.

Donald, finish thy sweeping, then pick out the bad apples.

Yes, Mother.

I'm working.

Richard, come with me, would thee?

Why me?

Because Harold hast thy father's will is no reason to admire him.

Let Harold's worldliness be a warning to thee, not an example.

Yes, Mother.

Harold may have lost touch with his Bible, but thee must never lapse.

Now, give it to me.

Do not tell a lie, Richard.

The corn silk cigarette Harold gave thee behind the store this morning.

I don't have them. Mother, I...

I promise I didn't smoke.

I see.

Well, then Richard, we have nothing more to talk about, do we?

Please!

Please.

Mother, I'm sorry. It was...

It was just one time. I'm sorry.

So am I.

Thy father will have to know of thy lying.

No, please, don't... don't... don't tell him.

I'll never do it again, I promise. Please.

Richard, I expected more from thee. Please, Mama.

I shall never let thee down again.

Then this shall be our little secret.

Remember, I see into thy soul.

Thee may fool the world, even thy father, but not me, Richard. Never me.

Mother...

...think of me always as thy faithful dog.

Thank you. We'll say grace in the next room.

Richard. Is it my turn?

Oh, Heavenly Father, we humbly thank you...

I'll do it. There's a couple of things I wanna say.

Could thee at least remove thy apron, Frank?

This blood pays the bills, Hannah. I'm not ashamed of how I earn my money.

Heavenly Father, you told Adam in the garden, after that business with the snake, that man would have to earn his way by the sweat of his face.

Well, as far as I can tell, Father, what was true in Eden is true in Whittier, California.

So we ask you now to remind certain of our young people the only way to get a new suit to go to the promenade with Margaret O'Herlihy, who happens to be a Catholic, by the way, is to work for it. Amen.

Amen. Amen.

Amen. Are we gonna pray now, Daddy?

Don't be silly. You think this is funny?

Maybe a trip to the wood shed'll straighten you out.

Pretty soon you boys are gonna have to get out there and scratch.

'Cause you're not gonna get anywhere on your good looks.

Just ask those fellas.

Charity's only gonna get you so far, even with saints like your mother around.

Struggle's what gives life meaning. Not victory, struggle.

When you quit struggling, they've beaten you.

And then you end up in the street with your hand out.

My mother was a saint, but my old man struggled his whole life.

They could call him a little man, a poor man, but they never beat him.

I always tried to remember that, when things didn't go my way.

Let's really get fired up now!

-Get on your stand, Nixon! Twenty-eight, 44!

What's Nixon doing here? He thinks he can make it.

Four years of being a tackling dummy. Poor guy.

All right! Let's go, defense! Hike!

Worst athlete I've ever seen. But he's got guts.

OK, let's go! Let's do it!

In California's gubernatorial race, Nixon returned to the political arena in a long and acrimonious bid against popular incumbent Edmund G. Brown.

Brown's campaign has benefited greatly from the support of President Kennedy, while Nixon has had trouble convincing voters this is not another run for the presidency.

With only a few precincts left unreported, all indications are of another defeat for Nixon, all indications are of another defeat for Nixon, who lost the presidency just two years ago by a paper-thin margin.

It seems his brief political comeback

- is in ruins. Making a statement?

Thank you, Fidel Castro.

You're not going to blame Castro? I sure am!

Goddamn missile crisis united the country behind Kennedy.

He was supporting Brown. People were scared.

Castro staged this just to beat you.

Before you join the jubilation of my being beaten, remember people vote not out of love but fear.

They don't teach that at Sunday school or the Whittier Community Playhouse.

I should go check in with our people. I'm glad they don't, Dick.

I'm glad they don't because life is tough and it is unfair and sometimes you forget that in your self pity.

You forget sometimes, Dick, that I had a life before you, before California.

Cocksucker!

Don't you want to listen to Governor Brown's victory speech?

Nope. Not going to listen to any more speeches ever again.

Amen to that.

It's over, Dick.

I'll concede in the morning. Not that.

Buddy?

I have always stood by you.

I campaigned for you when I was pregnant.

During Checkers, when Ike wanted you out, I told you to fight.

This is different, Dick.

You've changed.

You've grown more bitter, like you're at war with the world.

You weren't that way before.

I'm 50 years old now, Dick.

How many millions of miles have I traveled?

How many millions of peoples' hands have I shaked I just don't like?

How many thank-you notes have I written?

It's as if I, I don't know, just went to sleep a long time ago and missed the years between.

I've had enough.

What are you saying? What are you talking about?

I want a divorce.

My God. Divorce? What about the girls?

The girls'll grow up. They only know you from television anyway.

It'll ruin us, our family. No, you're ruining us.

If we stay with you, you'll take us down with you.

This isn't political. This is our life.

Everything's political.

I'm political, you're political. No, I'm not. I'm finished.

Well, this is just what they want, Buddy.

Don't you see?

They want to drive us apart, to beat us.

We can't let them do it.

We've been through too much together.

We belong together.

That's what you said the first time we met.

You didn't even know me.

Oh, yes, I did.

I asked you to marry me, didn't I?

On our first date.

I said it because I knew...

I knew you were the one.

So solid.

So strong.

So beautiful. Hi, I'm Pat Ryan.

Richard Nixon. It's a pleasure to meet you.

Pleasure to meet you.

Well, in a way, yes.

Don't tell me you've been cutting my part.

Of course, honey, you know I would never deceive you. Don't you?


You were the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen.

I don't want to lose you.

Ever. Dick, don't.

You really want me to quit?

We can be happy.

We really can.

The girls and I love you, Dick.

And if I stop, there'll be no more talk of divorce?

I'll do it. No more.

Are you serious?

Yeah. I'm out.

Is that the truth?

I'll never run again. I promise.

Yeah.

I love you, Buddy.

I love you.

I love you.

Where are they?

You don't have to make a statement. No!

Gentlemen, I can tell you Mr. Nixon is a man who is graceful in defeat, and if he was here with us...

Can I have some quiet, please?

Give the... Just a second!

Some quiet, please. Quiet!

Thank you!

Mr. Nixon! Uh... Ahem.

I believe Governor Brown has a heart, even though he believes I do not.

I believe he's a good American, even though he feels I am not.

I'm proud of the fact that I defended my opponent's patriotism.

You gentlemen didn't report it, but I'm proud I did that. And...

And I would appreciate, for once, gentlemen, if you would just print what I say.

For 16 years, uh, ever since the Hiss case, you've had a lot of fun. A lot of fun.

But recognize you have a responsibility, if you're against the candidate, to give him the shaft.

But if you do that, at least put one lonely reporter on the campaign who will report what the candidate says now and then.

I think, all in all, I've given as good as I've taken.

But as I leave you, I...

I want you to know, just think what you're gonna be missing.

You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore.

Kick around anymore.

Uh...

Because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.

Thank you and good day. Is this the end of politics for you?

Will you run again?

In California, we can officially write the political obituary of Richard Milhous Nixon. A small town lawyer like Lincoln, Nixon became a representative at 33 and a senator at 35, as part of the postwar Republican sweep of the congressional elections that attacked FDR's big-government New Deal.

Running as a South Pacific veteran, victories over Congressman Jerry Voorhis and Senator Helen Gahagan Douglas made it clear that, to Nixon, politics was war. He didn't have opponents, he had enemies.

Why, she's pink, right down to her underwear!

Nixon became one of the leading lights on the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee, questioning labor leaders, Spanish Civil War veterans, Hollywood celebrities.

- They'd all be sent back to Russia. But it was the Alger Hiss case that made Nixon a household name.

One of the architects of the United Nations, intimate of FDR and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Alger Hiss was a State Department diplomat accused by freelance journalist Whittaker Chambers of passing secret documents to the Soviet Union.

- Hiss is lying. Hiss claimed he was being set up by Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover to discredit the New Deal's policies.

I am not, and never have been, a member of the Communist party.

The case came down to an Underwood typewriter and a roll of film hidden in a pumpkin patch.

I asked Hiss if he'd known Chambers. When he said no, I knew he was lying.

I knew I had him.

After two trials, Hiss was convicted not of spying but of perjury.

To some, Nixon was a hero and a patriot.

But to many, he was a self-promoter.

Eleanor Roosevelt angrily condemned him.

Nixon continued to tear into Truman, Acheson and the Democratic party for losing mainland China in 1949, and blamed the Korean War on a weak foreign policy.

I promise to expose and to continue to expose the people that have sold

- this country down the river! His speeches, if more subtle than those of his Republican ally, Joe McCarthy, were just as aggressive.

The direct result of Truman's decision is that China has gone Communist!

Mao is a monster! Why?

Who in the State Department is watching over American interests?

Who has given the Russians the atomic bomb?

The Soviet Union is an example of the slave state in the ultimate development.

Driven by demons that seemed more personal than political, Nixon became Eisenhower's vice presidential candidate in 1952.

But then came the Checkers crisis.

Nixon was accused of hiding a secret slush fund.

About to be kicked off the ticket by Ike, he went live on television...

- ...in an unprecedented appearance. ...give this television audience a complete financial history. Everything I've earned...

The list included their house, their Oldsmobile, Pat's Republican cloth coat. And lastly, in what was to become history, a sentimental gift from a Texas businessman.

You know what it was? It was a little cocker spaniel dog in a crate that he'd sent all the way from Texas, black and white, spotted. And our little girl Tricia, the six-year-old, named it Checkers.

- Fifty-eight million people saw it. Like all kids, they love the dog.

It was shameless. It was manipulative.

Regardless of what they say about him, we're gonna keep him.

It was a huge success.

He stayed on the national scene, serving two terms as vice president under Eisenhower, against Khrushchev at the Kitchen Debate in Moscow and stoned by Latin mobs in Venezuela. Nixon once again became a national hero.

But it all came to a crashing end against Kennedy in 1960 and Pat Brown in California in '62.

And thus ends a great American political story.

The truth is we never knew who Richard Nixon really was, and now that he is gone, we never will.

Poor little Tricia.

I told her her daddy couldn't get a job in this city when he got out of Duke.

Every white-shoe lawyer firm turned me down. Didn't have the right look.

I couldn't even get into the FBI. Hi! How are ya?

Did you catch that picture of you in the news last week, Dick?

You were standin' on Fifth Avenue. Oh, yeah.

You were lookin' straight ahead and everyone else was lookin' the other way, like you just farted or somethin'.

It said, "Who remembers Dick Nixon?"

Unbelievable. I was screamin'.

Yeah, that was hilarious, Martha.

They were looking the other direction, waiting for the light to change.

Typical of the press, they wouldn't correct it.

I think we oughta catch Rocky before he leaves.

I'm sure it's just a little run of bad luck, Mr. Nixon.

He can walk this direction, can't he? Oh, I don't know.

I've read some nice things about you. Maybe where you come from.

But where I come from, Dick Nixon is as misunderstood as a fox in a henhouse.

And do you know why? Because, my darlin', they all think that your smile and your face are never in the same place at the same time.

You and me, we're gonna have to work on that, sweetie.

Someone freshen Martha's drink. She's down a quart.

Well, zip-a-dee-doo-dah!

I think he is frightened by my charm. I know I am.

Pat can't stand her. It's the thing she does.

She talks at night. Talks all day too.

How the hell can you put up with her, John?

Well, I'm in love with her. And she's great in bed.

If a Rockefeller can't become president of the United States, then what is the point of democracy?

The point of democracy is that even the son of a grocer can become president.

And you came damn close, Dick. How are you?

Hi, John. New York treating you all right?

I'm sorry I haven't been able to see you.

You're looking happy, Rocky. Happy. Happy, Dick Nixon.

You remember him. Nice to see you again.

You're obviously making him happy. Oh! Repartee, Dick! That's marvelous!

What you predicting? Your boy Goldwater gonna split the party?

Some say you are, Rocky. Let me tell you something.

Every time the Republican party is a home to extremism, we lose the election.

You oughta know better than anybody. Yeah.

This guy Goldwater is as stupid as McCarthy.

And McCarthy never did you any good in the long run, now, did he?

That's right.

I hate these cocktail parties. John, I'm in hell.

I'll be mentally dead in two years and physically dead in four.

Make some money, Dick. Prove yourself to the Wall Street crowd.

Let Goldwater and Rockefeller take the fall against Kennedy.

I don't know. I miss making love to the people.

I miss entering a room.

I miss the pure acting of it, John.

I gotta get back in the arena.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's showtime!

Come on up. Right this way, ladies and gentlemen.

It's for you, it's for me. It's Studebaker for 1963.

Amen. Bless you for being here. There's a man that loves Studebakers.

Can I get your autograph? Mr. Nixon, please run again.

The ex-vice president of the United States, Richard M. Nixon!

You throw a hell of a party, Jack. The party ain't even started yet.

I've asked these gals out to the ranch for a little private thing.

We're gonna have some fun, I guarantee ya.

And there's some fellas I'd really like you to meet.

Trini and I got an early plane. We're hoping to be back in New York for...

It'll be OK. These guys are interesting. And quiet. The girls are too.

It's not often us Texans get an opportunity to entertain the future president. Here.

Like you said, Jack, I'm just a New York lawyer.

We'll see about that. Mr. Nixon, are you gonna run again?

I don't know. He will! I guarantee it!

Name it, baby. That little convertible?

I'll buy you a diamond ring. I'll buy you one.

Thank you. Hello, baby.

Hey, wait, wait, wait.

This is Julie there. And that's Tricia.

Oh, yeah. She reminds me a bit of you, Sandy.

She really is wholesome. But, um, what about you?

What do you like? Well, I like music.

I like jazz. Jazz, yeah. Guy Lombardo.

How about rock and roll?

Elvis Presley? Yeah, he's good. Yeah.

Decent guy. Well, I guess, for me, it also depends on what I'm doin' to the music, Dick.

Yeah. So, what's it like bein' so famous?

A vice president!

Well, it's, uh, not like that, Sandy.

You see, the reason I got into politics in the first place was, well, to do something for the people.

So, how are you two doing?

You know, Dick, there's more privacy in the back of the...

No, Trini, we're fine here. OK.

Hell, Kennedy just pissed Cuba away to the Russians. Just pissed it away.

And he doesn't know what the hell he's doin' in Vietnam.

These are dangerous times, especially for business.

Agreed. We know what you tried to do for Cuba.

If you had been elected in '60, Castro would be dead now.

Gentlemen, I tried. I told Kennedy to go into Cuba.

He heard me and he made his decision. I appreciate your sentiments.

I've heard them from many fine Cuban patriots.

But it's nothing I can do anything about.

It's a long drive to Dallas. Trini and I have a plane to catch tomorrow. So...

Dick, these boys want you to run. Absolutely.

That's right. Now, they're serious.

They can deliver the South and put Texas in your column.

They would have done it in '60.

Only if Kennedy dumps Johnson. That'll never happen.

I don't think you know how much people hate Kennedy down here.

He's comin' to town tomorrow, and they will run his ass outta town on a rail!

Damn right. That we will.

We are willing to give you a shit pot full of money to get rid of him.

More than you ever dreamed of.

Nobody's gonna beat Kennedy in '64 with all the money in the world.

Suppose Kennedy don't run in '64.

Not a chance.

Yeah.

Well, gentlemen, I promised my wife I... I'm out of politics.

You just came down here for the weather, is that right, Mr. Nixon?

I came down here to close a deal for Studebaker.

What about '68, Dick? Five years, Trini.

In politics, that's an eternity.

Dick... your country needs you.

Unfortunately, the country's not available right now.


President Kennedy's due in from Fort Worth in about an hour.

Kennedy is due in from Fort Worth. Yeah, I know.

OK. Let's go through here.

Excuse us. Excuse me. Coming through.

Excuse us. Thank you.

Step away from the gate there. Thank you.

Go find the pilot. Let's get out of here.


Look, Edgar, these, uh... these guys were really strange.

- You know, extremists. What do you mean by "strange"?

- Right-wing stuff. Birchers?

- Birchers, yeah. This thing's pretty straight.

- In Dallas, Lee Harvey Oswald... Oswald's got a Cuba connection?

- To Castro? ...maximum security facility.

- Mrs. Kennedy... He's a real Communist.

Well, that makes sense.

OK, well, thank you, Edgar.

Senator Ted Kennedy, arriving early this morning with his mother and sister.

Hoover says this Oswald checks out as a beatnik, a real bum. Dick, you should call Bobby.

He doesn't want me at the funeral.

You don't have to go. De Gaulle's gonna be there.

- McMillan. Adenauer. We go now to the rotunda...

Nixon can't not be there.

Then call him. I'm sure it was an oversight.

- Yeah. ...to pay their respects...

- Jesus. ...to their fallen leader.

It's awful.

It's an awful thing for this country. Dick?

No, it's his way.

He hates me.

He and Teddy.

They always hated me.

They've lost their brother. You know what that means, Dick.

These are perhaps the last images of him alive with his family.

Please, make it stop!

Hold him tighter. Hold him tighter.

Hold him tighter. Hold him tighter.

Daddy, please make it stop!

Hold him tighter.

The infection's spread to his spine.

Come on!

Stop it!

Get off!

You're it!

No. No, don't!

If I'd been president, they never would've killed me.

Vice President Johnson, shown here being sworn in...

Dick, are you gonna call? Bobby. Hmm?

I'll go through Johnson. We'll be invited.

This is a sad time for all people.

I ask for your help.

...and are going to see Vietnam through to an honorable peace...

...to defend an honored cause, whatever the price, whatever the burden...

...whatever the sacrifice that duty may require.

Accordingly... I shall not seek...

...and I will not accept...

...the nomination of my party for another term as your president.

Good night, and God bless all of you.

Johnson's withdrawal resurrects Richard Nixon as a strong Republican candidate with a secret plan to end the war.

His mother, Hannah Nixon, just before her death last year, commented on her son's chances.

Mrs. Nixon, do you think your son will ever return to politics?

I don't think he has a choice.

He has always been a leader.

Do you think he'd make a great president, Mrs. Nixon?

If he's on God's side, yes.

You must be very proud of your son.

I have always been proud of all of my children.

Of course, no one can see into the future.

We didn't know this day would come.

Where'd he go? In the side door.

Is that Mitchell? Shit! Missed him.

I thought that guy was gonna kiss your hand on the side of it.

Congratulations, sir. Yeah, thanks.

Jesus, Dick! I've never seen anything like it.

Even the goddamn Times is saying you've got it.

Vietnam's gonna put you in there. We got the press this time.

We got the big mo. We're back. So you've decided.

Were you planning to tell me?

We haven't announced anything yet, but...

Jesus. Uh... Pat?

Uh, wait in the living room, will you, fellas? What is it, John?

You need her, Dick. In '60, she was worth five, six million votes.

Yeah. Don't worry. I'll use the old Nixon charm.

In there. OK.

Who could resist that?

Buddy?

You should be going.

Primaries are soon, aren't they? New Hampshire.

I love you, Buddy. I need you.

I don't want them to love me.

But I need you out there.

It won't be like the last time. The war's crippled the Democrats.

I can win. We deserve it.

It's ours, Buddy, at last.

Nobody knows that better than you.

Frank Nixon's boy.

Do you remember what Mom said? We're not like other people. We...

We don't choose our way.

We can really change things, Buddy.

We got a chance to get it right. We can change America.

It was our dream, Buddy, together, always.

Do you really want this, Dick? Yeah. This, above all.

And then you'll be happy? Yeah, you know I will. Yes! I will.

Then I'll be there for you.

And we are gonna win this time. I can feel it.

Yeah!

You're the strongest woman I ever met, Buddy.

Can I just ask for one thing? Anything.

Would you kiss me? Yeah!

We're gonna win the race.

My thanks. It's on to Chicago and let's win there. Thank you.

I would never question Senator Kennedy's patriotism.

But going around the country, promising peace at any price is, uh, exactly what the North Vietnamese want to hear.

Cue the crowd.

Go to this bald guy. Yeah, he's great, isn't he?

I, unlike Senator Kennedy, have a plan to end the war immediately.

But not for peace at any price, but peace with honor.

What do you think this plan is, Edgar? A nuclear attack?

He's lying, Clyde. Always has.

That's why Nixon's always been useful.

Hold still.

OK, who's next? The Negro.

No, we gotta have a Negro. This guy right here.

Negro, front row.

Mr. Nixon, sir. Yeah.

We all know you have built your career on smearing people as Communists.

And now you are building your campaign on the divisions in this country, stirring up hatred and turning people against each other.

What the fuck's he doing? A speech! Cut him off.

I can't. This isn't Russia. Sounds like a Negro.

Saying Negro things. What's he doing? Sounded white when we screened.

Doesn't sound white now, sounds like Angela Davis.

When are you gonna tell us what you really stand for?

Go to commercial! There are no commercials.

You bought the whole half hour. Shit!

When are you going to take off that mask and show us who you really are?

Shut up and sit down!

OK. OK. It's a high hard one, chief.

Park it. There are divisions in this country.

That's because you created them. I did not. The Democrats did.

If it's dialogue you want, you're more likely to get it from me than from people burning down cities. Just think about it.

Dr. King said the same thing. Oh, please.

You know, young man, who a great hero is? Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln. Is he beautiful?

He believed in common ground. He brought this country together.

I love that man. I love him.

I want the son of a bitch who got that agitator in here fired!

I have another question. There's a little girl sitting here.

A little girl sitting with a sign. Bag the spook. Go to the girl.

Can you see the girl? There are three simple words:

"Bring us together." That is what I want, and that is what the great silent majority of Americans want.

And that is why I want to be president. To bring us together.

- Give me a break, Mary. Now, you all know me. I'm one of you.

I grew up here, a stone's throw from here, - on a lemon ranch in Yorba Linda. Poorest lemon ranch in California.

Poorest lemon ranch in California, I can assure you of that.

- My dad sold it before they found oil. My dad sold it before they found oil.

- But it was all we had. But it was all we had.

- My dad built the house with his hands. You're new here. What's your name?

Joaquin, Mr. Hoover.

Oh.

My father sacrificed everything he had so that his sons could go to college.

- A gentle Quaker mother quietly wept Oh, Christ.

- when he went to war. Turn this crap off, Clyde.

- It's giving me a headache. A great teacher.

You may go, Joaquin.

I want to see him, Clyde. Edgar, he works in the kitchen.

Not the boy, you idiot. Nixon.

Hear what he said in Oregon about me having too much power?

It's between Nixon and a Kennedy again.

Who do you want? Kennedy?

Never.

He'll fry in hell for what he did to me.

But Nixon don't know that.

Which is why I'm gonna have to remind him that he needs us a hell of a lot more than we need him.


Your boy's on the way up.

You know, I met this guy years ago in Havana. You know that.

Come on!

He's folding, Johnny.

No, no, no. You just wait a second.

Olly's Boy on the inside!

Come on! Come on!

And a tragedy! Olly's Boy has fallen on the sixteenth pole.

Sunday's Chance goes on to win it in 25,000...

A bit extreme, isn't it?

It's the drama. Look, the crowd loves this shit.

May I have your autograph?

Hey, there's Randolph Scott over there. Look at that.

Cash these for me, would you, Johnny?

Easy! Easy, easy! It's a two-dollar bet, Edgar.

You got thousands coming on this. I mean, what the fuck?

I told you, just cash it, Johnny. And don't swear around me. Come on.

Uh-huh.

Hello.

Edgar. Wonderful to see you.

Clyde. Mr. Nixon.

Hi. Thank you for coming, Richard.

OK. Winning?

Actually, I've just had a bit of luck. Are you gonna win?

You should ask Bobby.

Little Bobby. Yeah, Bobby Kennedy.

Yeah.

Would you, uh, walk with me down to the paddock?

I'd like to look at the horses. Can we talk here?

I got the police chiefs in San Diego.

Actually, I'm trying to spare you an embarrassment.

That was Johnny Roselli you just passed. He's on his way back.

Roselli? Johnny Roselli?

Yes. You know him, Richard? No? From Cuba?

Hey, Johnny Roselli. How're you doin'? Dick Nixon.

How are you?

I never met the man. Uh...

Well, I know you've...

...been very careful not to. That's why I'm so concerned.

OK.

- They're off and running!

You'll win the nomination.

It could be 1960 all over again. Love you, Dick!

And Bobby's got the magic like a goddamn rock star.

They climb all over each other just to touch his clothes.

He'll ride his brother's corpse right into the White House.

If things remain as they are. He's got the anti-war vote.

Or he'll steal it, like his brother.

Bobby's a mean little son of a bitch.

He had the IRS audit my mother when she was dying in the nursing home.

I know. We should shoot the son of a bitch.

I wanna fight just as dirty, Edgar. His women. Use his women.

Any information you have.

The son of a bitch is not gonna steal from me again.

Can you back me up on this? Can I count on your support?

I look at it from the point of view that the system can only take so much abuse.

It adjusts itself eventually. Yeah.

But there are times... There are savage outbursts.

The late Dr. King, for example. Amoral hypocrite.

Screwing women like a degenerate tomcat, stirring up the blacks, preaching against our system.

Sometimes the system comes very close to cracking.

We've already had one radical in the White House.

I don't believe we could survive another.

Well, like I said, Edgar... You ask...

...if you can count on my support.

As long as I can count on yours.

Yeah.

Yeah, the old queen did it on purpose.

No, he wasn't protecting me.

He was just putting me on notice. That he knew Roselli?

No. Hoover knew a lot of gangsters.

Johnny Roselli wasn't just any gangster.

Johnny Roselli was one of the gangsters who set up Track Two in Cuba.

Oh, well, I know all about that.

I don't understand it. Track Two is Chile.

Yeah, Chile, Congo, Guadalajara, Iran, Cuba.

Wherever there was need for, uh, an executive action capability, there's Track Two.

In Cuba, Track One was, uh, the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Track Two was our idea.

We thought that the invasion wouldn't work unless we got rid of Castro.

So we asked ourselves, uh, "Who else wants Castro dead?"

The Mafia or money people?

So we put together Track Two.

First assassination attempt was in '60.

Just before the election. Before? Eisenhower approved that?

Yeah. Well, he didn't veto it.

I ran the White House side, and the Mob contact was Johnny Roselli.

One of the CIA guys was this jackass, Howard Hunt.

Jesus. Yeah.

Not just Howard Hunt, but Frank Sturgis and all those other Cubans.

All of them in the Watergate.

They're all involved in Cuba.

Yeah, Hunt reported to my military aide.

I don't know how much Hunt knows or the Cubans, but...

...you never know.

So you wanted Castro dead. Everybody wanted Castro dead.

You know, if Hunt and the others are CIA...

...why don't we just dump this back in the CIA's lap, let Dick Helms take the fall? Because...

Because Helms knows too much.

If there's anyone in this country who knows more than me, it's Hoover and Helms, and you don't fuck with Dick Helms, period.

All right. But why, if Kennedy was so clean in all this, didn't he cancel Track Two? 'Cause he didn't even know about it.

The CIA, uh, never told him. They just kept it going.

It had a life of its own like it was some...

...kind of a thing, you know?

It doesn't even know it exists.

It just eats people when it doesn't need 'em anymore.

Two days after the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy called me and he reamed me out.

He just found out about Track Two. You never told him?

I didn't want him to get the credit.

He said I'd stabbed him in the back and called me a two-bit grocery clerk from Whittier.

That's the last time I ever saw him.

See, when I saw Bobby lying there on the floor, arms stretched out like that, his eyes staring...

...I knew then I'd be president.

His death paved the way, didn't it?

Yeah. Vietnam, the Kennedys cleared a path through the wilderness just for me.

Over the bodies.

Four bodies.

You mean two.

Two bodies.

Four.

How many did you have?

Hundreds of thousands?

Where would we be without death, huh?

Abe?

Who's helping us?

Is it God, or is it...

...death?


Harold.

Harold, why don't you sit down, huh?

Here.

That was a whopper.

You'll be able to do it now.

What? Go to law school.

Mom and Dad'll be able to afford it. Harold.

Mama expects great things from you.

Can I... Can I get you anything?

Relax, Dick.

It's just me, all right?

The desert's so beautiful, isn't it?

I want to go home, Dick.

Time to go home.

You... You're not gonna quit on me now, are you, Harold?


Richard.

I can't. You must.

This law school, it's a gift from thy brother.

He had to die for me to get it?

Something has to come of this.

It's meant to make us stronger.

Thee art stronger than Harold, stronger than Arthur.

God has chosen thee to survive. What about happiness, Mother?

Thee will find thy peace at the center, Richard.

Strength in this life, happiness in the next.


Now tell me you didn't want this, Buddy.

Hey!

When the strongest nation in the world can be tied down for four years in a war in Vietnam with no end in sight, when the richest nation in the world can't manage its own economy, when the nation with the greatest tradition of the rule of law is plagued by unprecedented lawlessness, when a nation that has been known for a century for equality of opportunity is torn by unprecedented racial violence, when the president of the United States cannot travel abroad or to any major city at home without fear of a hostile demonstration, then it is time for new leadership for the United States of America.

As we look at America, we see cities enveloped in smoke and flame, millions of Americans crying out in anguish, "Did we come all the way for this? Did American boys die in Normandy and Valley Forge for this?"

I pledge to you that the current wave of violence will not be the wave of the future.

Now let us begin by committing ourselves to the truth, to find the truth, to speak the truth and to live the truth.

A new voice is being heard across America today.

It is not the voice of the protesters or the shouters.

It is the quiet voice of the majority of Americans who've been forgotten, the non-shouters, the, uh, non-demonstrators.

They're the good people. They work hard and they save and they pay their taxes.

Now, who are they? Let me tell you who they are.

They're in this audience by the thousands.

They're the white Americans and black Americans, Mexican Americans and Italian Americans.

They're the great silent majority, and they have become angry, finally. Angry, not with hate, but angry, my friends, because they love America and they don't like what's happened to America these last four years.

Let us understand North Vietnam cannot defeat or humiliate the United States.

Only Americans can do that!

I say to you tonight...

I say to you tonight we must have a new feeling of responsibility, of self-discipline. We must look to renew state and local government.

We must have a complete reform of a big, bloated federal government.

Those of us in public service know we can have full prosperity in peacetime.

Yes, we can cut the defense budget.

We can reduce, uh, conventional forces in Europe.

We can restore the natural environment.

We can improve health care, make it more available to all people.

And yes, we can have a complete reform of this government.

We can have a new American revolution!

The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching!

It'd be a disaster.

There's a lot of sympathy out there for Cambodia.

Tiny, little, neutral Buddhist country.

They'll be rioting in the streets, on your front lawn!

Building the Cambodian army up? That would be harder than a Vietnamese Army.

They have no tradition. Mr. President, the government there will collapse.

So you're saying do nothing. No, sir, continue the bombing.

The same old horseshit. Well, that's not good enough.

I'm sick of being pushed around by the Vietnamese like we're some, uh, you know, pitiful giant.

They're using our POWs to humiliate us.

What we need now is a bold move into Cambodia and go right after their VC base camps and, uh... make 'em scream, hit 'em in the ass.

What do you think, Henry? Well, as you know, most of my staff have weighed in against this incursion.

They believe it will fail to achieve anything fundamental militarily and will result in crushing criticism domestically.

I didn't ask what your staff thinks. What do you think, Henry?

What I think is they're cowards.

Their opposition represents the cowardice of the eastern establishment. They don't realize, as you do, sir, that the Communists only respect strength and they will only negotiate in good faith if they fear the mad man, Richard Nixon.

Exactly! Unpredictability is our best asset.

We gotta take the war to 'em, hit 'em where it hurts, right in the nuts.

More assassinations. Right, Al? That's what they're doing.

See, your people in the State Department, Bill, they don't understand.

Mr. President... Electrify people with bold moves.

Bold moves make history. Like, uh... Teddy Roosevelt, TR, rushing up San Juan Hill. Small event, but dramatic.

People took notice. They'll take notice, all right.

If we sneak out of this war, another will start a mile down the road.

We bite the bullet here in Cambodia. There.

We bomb the hell out of these people.

Tonight, American and South Vietnamese units will attack the headquarters for the entire Communist military operation in South Vietnam.

This is not an invasion of Cambodia.

We take this action not for the purpose of expanding the war into Cambodia, but for the purpose of ending the war in Vietnam.

All across the nation, major student protests against the U.S. invasion of Cambodia rocked college campuses.

At Jackson State, two Negro students were killed and ten were wounded.

- ...unanimously and united behind... In the streets of New York, protesters were attacked by construction workers supporting President Nixon's policies.

In Washington, protesters have barricaded the White House and are camping out at the Lincoln Memorial.

See, when I think of those kids out there in Vietnam doing their duty, uh, I bet they were scared. I was when I was there.

But when it comes down to it, you really have to look up to these men because they're the greatest.

I mean, you see these bums, you know, blowing up the campuses, burning books and so forth.

And they call themselves "flower children."

I call them spoiled rotten. And I tell you what would cure them.

A good, old-fashioned trip to my Ohio father's woodshed. Right, Julie?

Right, Dad. That's what these bums need.

Well, thanks and congratulations. Thank you, sir.

Yeah. OK. Thanks, everybody. Bye.

The whole world is watching.

Less than 24 hours after President Nixon called them bums, Less than 24 hours after President Nixon called them bums, four students were shot dead at Kent State University in Ohio.

Enraged student groups are calling for a general strike tomorrow to shut down...

I tell you, the soldiers were provoked. Now, stop this pussyfooting around.

Jesus Christ, dead kids.

How the hell did we give the Democrats a weapon like this?

Well, one way or the other, Kent State is not good.

We have to get out in front of this. Follow the money.

Sir? These kids are manipulated by the Communists, like Chambers and Hiss.

What's the matter with you?

This isn't '48. They'll never buy it. How do you know that, John?

What's Hoover found, for God's sake?

He called the other day, sir. He asked for President Harding.

We can have a national prayer day. Never complain, never explain.

Come on, these are not fraternity pranks, John.

No, this is anarchy. It's a revolution.

I wouldn't go that far, sir. Why not?

Well, is it worth it, sir? I mean, is the war worth a one-term presidency?

Right now I think that's what we're looking at.

I will not go down as the first American president to lose a war.

Going to Cambodia, bombing Hanoi, bombing Laos buys us time so we can get out and give the South Vietnamese a chance.

Exactly, sir. If we keep our heads, we'll win this.

What, win Vietnam, sir? No, no.

No, but we can drive a stake through the heart of the Communist alliance.

Henry's getting strong signals from the Chinese.

They fear the Vietnamese more than the Russians and they're worried about a united Vietnam.

Now, if we stick it out, we'll end up negotiating separately with both the Chinese and the Soviets.

And we'll get better deals than we ever dreamed of from both.

That is triangular diplomacy. Exactly, Mr. President.

That's what geopolitics is about.

The linking of the whole world for self-interest.

You tell me, Ron, how the hell I can explain that on TV to a bunch of simpleminded reporters and, uh, weeping mothers.

But what am I telling the press about Kent State? Tell 'em what the hell you like.

They don't understand anyway. Excuse me, sir.

Are you saying you're gonna recognize Red China?

That would cost us our strongest support.

No, I can do this because I spent my whole career building anti-Communist credentials. If Kennedy or Johnson tried it, they'd have crucified them, and rightfully so.

Damned risky, Mr. President. Why don't we wait until the second term?

This will get us a second term. This will get me a second term.

Damn it, without risk, there's no heroism, there's no history.

Nixon was born to do this. Give history a nudge.

Come on! Hear, hear.

If Cambodia doesn't work, we'll bomb Hanoi if we have to.

That's right. And if necessary, I'll drop the big one.

We have to entertain the possibility.

Goddamn it! Who cooked this damn steak?

Manolo, there's blood all over my plate. Take it away.

I'm sorry, sir.

You all right?

Yeah.

My brother, Harold, was the same age as those kids, John.

Tuberculosis got him. It wasn't your fault.

The soldiers were kids too. They just panicked.

Yeah.

They were throwing rocks, John, just rocks.

They don't think I feel, but I feel too much sometimes.

I just can't let a whole policy be dominated by our sentimentality.

You're doing the right thing. Don't let 'em shake you.

You know, it broke my heart when Harold died.

That was a long time ago.

Yeah.

I think that's when it starts, when you're a kid.

The laughs and snubs and slights you get because you're poor or Irish or Jewish or just ugly.

Get off that. That leads nowhere.

But you should offer condolences to the families of those kids.

Sure.

I'd like to. I'd like to offer my condolences.

But Nixon can't.

Enraged student groups across the country are calling for a general strike tomorrow to shut down the entire university system until the Vietnam War is ended.

Oh, this is nothing compared to Venezuela.

When I was vice president, Ike sent me down there like a blocking tackle.

They threw rocks, broke out windows.

Almost overturned the car. Read Six Crises, Bob.

I did, sir. Pat was brave.

Jesus, they're serious. Why are we stopping? Come on, move it!

Jesus! Get that little punk!

Tackle! Go on, get him!

Yeah!

Yeah. Reminds me of my days at Whittier.

These kids are useless. Probably flunking.

Nothing to do except come here and chase girls.

Their parents' fault. They're poisoning the upper class, Bob.

Too soft, too many cars, color TVs. Don't forget the South, the West.

Good football colleges. More with than against you.

Let's not forget they're just kids. They don't vote.

This is the fall of the Roman Empire. Are you blind?

We're putting the fig leaves on the statues.

Mr. President.

Bob. I don't know what to say, sir.

Soon as we learned from the Secret Service that you were en route, the director was notified. He should be here.

So where the hell is he? Rushing back from his tennis game.

So let's go. Told me to take you to his conference room. No, his office.

I want a private conversation with him. I don't wanna be bugged.

Then his office will be fine. OK.

All right.

How's the job going, Bob? Frankly, it stinks, sir.

I have no access.

We'll see to that. He's nervous, sir.

He's heard you're looking for a new director.

Certainly isn't acting like it. That's Helms.

He's the epitome of sang-froid. A world-class poker player.

Yeah? Well, I own the fucking casino.

I'm honored, Dick, that you've come all the way out here to Virginia to visit us at last.

My friends call me Mr. President. Then so shall I.

Mr. Helms. Arrange for some coffee, will you, General Cushman?

Gentleman, please.

Bob Cushman is a lieutenant general in the Marine Corps, deputy director of the CIA.

This is what you use him for? I didn't choose him as my deputy.

You did. You live pretty well out here.

I understand why you keep your budgets classified.

I suppose you're unhappy...

...because I haven't implemented your domestic intelligence plan.

Yeah, you're correct.

I'm concerned these students are being funded by foreign interests whether they know it or not. The FBI's useless in this area.

I want your full attention on this matter.

We've tried, but so far we've come up with nothing.

Then find something! I want these leaks stopped.

Jack Anderson, The New York Times, the State Department.

I wanna know who's talking. I'm sure you realize that this is a tricky area, given our charter and the Congressional oversight committee.

Screw congressional oversight. I know damn well, going back to the '50s this agency reports what it wants and buries what it wants.

Pay close attention to this. Is something else bothering you?

Yes.

It involves some old and forgotten papers...

...things I signed as vice president.

I want the original in my office and I don't want copies anywhere else.

You're referring, I believe, to chairing the special operations group as vice president. Yeah.

As you know, that was unique.

Not an operation so much as an organic phenomenon.

It grew, it changed shape, it developed appetites.

It's not unusual in such cases that things aren't committed to paper.

That could be very embarrassing.

I, for one, saw to it that my name was never connected with these operations.

Diem.

Trujillo.

Lumumba.

Guatemala.

Iran.

Cuba.

It's a shame you didn't take similar precautions, Dick.

I'm interested in those documents that put your people together with the gangster elements.

All the documents. President Kennedy threatened to smash the CIA into 1,000 pieces.

You could do the same.

I'm not Jack Kennedy. Uh...

Your agency is secure. Not if I give you all the cards.

I promised the American people peace with honor in Southeast Asia.

That may take time. Two, maybe three years.

But, in the meantime, your agency will continue at current levels of funding.

Current levels may not be sufficient.

Well, the president will support a reasonable request for an increase.

And me?

Of course, you will continue as DCI, Dick.

You're doing a magnificent job.

Of course, I accept. I'm flattered.

And I want you to know that I serve only one president at a time.

Yes. And you'll give General Cushman full access.

It could take a little time.

But I'll order a search for your papers.

Good. It does raise...

...a troubling issue. What?

Castro.

Yes? We have recent intelligence that a Soviet nuclear submarine has docked at Cienfuegos. We'll launch a formal protest.

I don't think we can treat this as a formality.

Mr. Kennedy gave the Russians a verbal promise that he would not invade Cuba.

But you authorized Dr. Kissinger to put this in writing?

Are you tapping Kissinger? My job, unpleasant at times, is to know what others don't want me to know.

Not if you have spies in the White House.

It is not my practice to spy on the president.

Dr. Kissinger manages to convey his innermost secrets to the world without my help.

Dick...

We've lived with communism in Cuba for ten years.

But it's never been the policy of this government to accept that.

And it's certainly not CIA policy. CIA policy?

The CIA has no policy except what I dictate to you.

I tried to, uh, adjust to the world as it is today, not as you or I wanted it to be ten years ago.

Is that why you and Kissinger are negotiating with the Chinese?

This is a very dangerous direction, Mr. President.

Terrible consequences can result from such enormous errors of judgment.

If we were able to separate China from Russia once and for all, we can, we could create a balance of power that would secure peace into the next century.

And offer Cuba to the Russians as a consolation prize?

Cuba would be a small price to pay. So President Kennedy thought.

I never thought Kennedy was ready for the presidency.

Well, now...

...I would never, uh...

...never consider...

His death was awful.

It was an awful thing for this country.

Yeah.

Do you ever think of death, Dick?

Flowers are a continual reminder of our mortality.

Do you appreciate flowers? No.

No, they make me sick and they smell like death.

I had two brothers die young.

Let me tell you, there are worse things than death.

Yes.

There's such a thing as evil.

You must be familiar with my favorite poem by Yeats, The Second Coming.

Black Irish, very moving.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer Things fall apart The center cannot hold Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world And everywhere, the ceremony of innocence is lost The best lack all conviction And the worst are full of passionate intensity

But it ends so beautifully ominous.

What rough beast Its hour come round at last Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?

Yes.

This country stands at such a juncture.

Manolo?

Mano?

Mr. President. Yeah.

I'm sorry. I was asleep.

What can I get you?

Well, you know. Of course.

Do you miss Cuba, Manolo?

Yes, Mr. President.

We let you down, didn't we? Your people.

That was Mr. Kennedy, sir.

You don't think he was a hero, do you?

He was a politician.

Did you cry when he died?

Yes, sir.

Why?

I don't know.

He made me...

...see the stars.

How did he do that?

Those kids.

Why do they hate me so much?


Hi, I'm Dick Nixon.

Hi, there.

Where you from? Syracuse.

Oh, yeah, the, uh, Orangemen.

Now, there's a football program.

Jim Brown and that other tailback, the one with the blood disease. Ernie Davis.

Yeah, right, right, right.

I used to play a little ball myself at Whittier.

Of course, they used to use me as a tackling dummy.

We didn't come here to talk about football.

Yeah, I understand that.

How old are you, young lady? Nineteen.

Yeah.

Well, probably most of you think I'm a real SOB. I know that.

I understand how you feel. But, you know, I want peace too. But peace with honor.

What does that mean? Bullshit.

Well, you can't have peace without a price.

Sometimes you have to be willing to fight for peace, and sometimes to die.

Yeah? Tell that to the GIs who are gonna die tomorrow in Vietnam.

What lets you kill women and children? What you have to understand is we're willing to die for what we believe in.

That's the truth. Yeah.

Yeah.

Look, that man up there, he lived in similar times.

Oh, he had chaos, civil war, hatred between the races.

This is all bullshit. Sometimes I go to the Lincoln Room at the White House and just pray. But, you know, liberals act like idealism belongs to them.

That's not true.

My family went Republican because Lincoln freed the slaves.

My grandmother was an abolitionist.

It was Quakers who founded Whittier, my hometown...

Address the issues. ...to abolish slavery.

They were, you know, conservative Bible folk, but they had a powerful sense of right and wrong.

Forty years ago, I was like you.

Looking for answers. See? Come on.

Tricky Dick himself.

My mother used to feed hobos stopping over at our house.

We got him.

Don't push, pig. Move away.

It's OK, Bob, we're just rapping, my friends and I.

In fact, we agree on a lot of things, don't we?

No, we don't. You say you want to end the war, so why don't you? Change always comes slowly.

I pulled out more than half the troops.

I'm trying to cut the military budget for the first time in 30 years.

I want a volunteer army.

But it's also a question of American credibility.

Our position in the world. Come on, Mr. Nixon.

It's a civil war between Vietnamese. You don't want the war.

We don't want the war. The Vietnamese don't want the war.

So why does it go on?

You should be going, Mr. President. OK.

Please.

You can't stop it, can you?

Even if you wanted to.

'Cause it's not you, it's the system.

The system won't let you stop it.

There's... There's more at stake here than what you want or what I want.

Then what's the point?

What's the point of being president? You're powerless!

No! No, I'm not powerless.

Because I understand the system, I believe I can...

I can control it, maybe not control it totally, but tame it enough to make it do some good.

Sounds like you're talking about a wild animal.

Yeah, maybe I am.

We really must go, Mr. President. Please.

Hey, what about the war, man? When you gonna get us out?

The old man's moving. Move it. Get away.

She got it, Bob. Nineteen-year-old college kid.

What? Who? She understood something that's taken me 25 years in politics to understand.

The CIA, the Mafia, those Wall Street bastards.

Sir? The beast.

Nineteen-year-old kid. She called it a wild animal.

Yes, sir.


In Washington, the size of the crowds have swelled to over a quarter of a million demonstrators protesting the ongoing war in Vietnam.

There must be a quarter million out there.

They've been at it for a whole year. Young kids just like Tricia.

You think they got a point, Edgar?

This whole damn system of government. Remember what Lenin said in 1917.

The power was lying in the street.

Just waiting for someone to pick it up.

Communists have never been closer than now.

Now is the time to get back to the old themes.

The ones that made you president.

Let the communists know you're on to them.

Little bastards think they can ruin Tricia's wedding by dancing naked in the reflection pool.

Don't listen to 'em. And don't quit.

Remember, Kennedy and King were against the war.

Where are they now?

How the hell The Times got a hold of this Ellsberg stuff is a disgrace.

Yeah. We can't keep a damn secret in this government.

They're stealing papers right out of this office.

Johnson had the same damn problem until he bugged his own office. We took that system out.

That was a mistake.

The White House was full of Kennedy people then.

It still is. Who's behind this?

Well, you have CIA people all over this place.

Helms has seen to that. Then there's Kissinger's staff.

Kissinger himself, I believe, may be the leaker.

Kissinger? Hmm.

He's obsessed with his own image.

He wants his Nobel Peace Prize a little too much.

And as the late Dr. King proved, even an ape can win a prize with good press.

Jesus, I'd like to book him into a psychiatrist's office.

He comes in here ranting and raving, dumping his crap all over the place.

Could you prove it, Edgar? Mr. President, I always get my man.

Yeah, you do.

This damn tie. Could you help me?

Yeah.

See, I'd be bugging myself. Look.

Who'd get the tapes? No one. Your property.

And it would prove your case.

Why do you think Kissinger is taping all your calls?

For history.

His word against yours.

And right now, he's got the records.

I'll get Manolo to do this.

Thanks.

You know, Churchill once said to me, "If you want your own history written properly, you better write it yourself."

The only thing is, Edgar, I don't want this to come back and haunt me.

It won't, as long as I'm here.

Good.

This way.

What's wrong?

We're just not going to buckle to these people.

No more war!

It's beautiful. OK.

Yes, thank you.

Princess, may I?

Thank you.

I'm very proud of you today, Princess. Very.

Thank you, Daddy.

Yeah?

Some very secret essays on Vietnam have been leaked to The New York Times.

I know, I know. Not now, Chuck.

- The New York Times. Get Ron over here.

It's the happiest day of my life.

The New York Times began publishing the first in a series of 47 volumes of top-secret Pentagon tapes relating to the war in Vietnam.

The papers, leaked by defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg, reveal a pattern of government lies and American involvement in the war.

Mr. President, we are in a revolutionary situation.

We are under siege. The Black Panthers, the Weathermen.

The State Department under Rogers is leaking like a sieve.

And now this little, insignificant little shit, Ellsberg, publishing all the diplomatic secrets of this country is destroying our ability to conduct foreign policy.

I wonder if people here wouldn't think ten years in prison was cheap if they could contribute to ending this war.

The man has become a drug fiend. He shot people from helicopters in Vietnam.

He's had sexual relations with his wife in front of their children.

He sees a shrink in LA. The man's all fucked up.

And now he's trying to look good for the liberals.

And if he gets away with it, everybody will follow his lead.

This man must be stopped at all costs. I'm as frustrated as you are, Henry, but don't you think this is a Democrat problem? They started the war.

It makes them look bad. But, Mr. President, the Russians, the Vietnamese... it makes you look like a weakling!

Goddamn it. How long have we had this jackass dog? Two years?

Still doesn't come. We need a dog that looks happy when the press is here.

He's photogenic. Try new biscuits. Ah, fuck it.

He doesn't like me, John. It's your fault, Henry.

I beg your pardon? It's your people talking to the press.

This Ellsberg, wasn't he a student of yours at Harvard?

I mean, he's your idea, Henry. So why are you running for cover?

Yes, we taught a class together at Harvard, but you know these back-stabbing Ivy League intellectuals.

- No, I don't, Henry. Prosecute The New York Times.

Go for injunction. Yeah, but it's not, bottom line, gonna change a goddamn thing, John.

The... question is how do we screw Ellsberg so bad, it puts the fear of God into all leakers?

The other issue is how the hell we stop these leaks once and for all?

Now, someone is talking to the press. We gotta stop these leaks at any cost.

You hear me? Then we can go for the big pick:

China, Russia. Sir, if I might?

Go, Chuck. We can do this ourselves.

The CIA and the FBI aren't doing the job.

Now, we can create our own intelligence unit right here inside the White House.

Well, why not? Our own intelligence plugs the leaks?

Yeah. Like plumbers. Plumbers.

I like it. I like the idea.

Yeah, but is it legal? Has it ever been done before?

Oh, sure.

Lyndon, JFK, FDR.

I mean, Truman cut the shit out of my investigation of the Hiss case in '48.

What he did was illegal. With this kind of thing, you got to be brutal. A leak happens, the whole damn place should be fired.

Really, I mean, you do it like the Germans in World War II.

They went through these towns, and a sniper hit one of 'em, they'd line the whole goddamn town up and say, "Until you talk, you're all getting shot."

Really, I think that's what has to be done.

I don't think you can be Mr. Nice Guy anymore.

You just whisper the word to me, and I'll shoot Ellsberg myself.

We're not Germans. Yeah. Ellsberg's not the issue.

The Pentagon Papers aren't the issue.

It's the lie.

- Mr. Hiss is lying. Yeah.

Remember, John, back in '48?

Nobody believed Alger Hiss was a communist except me.

They loved Hiss like they love this Ellsberg character.

He was their kind: Ivy League establishment.

- l am not, and never have been... Mr. Hiss is lying.

- Mr. Hiss? I was dirt to them, nothing.

And Dick kicked the shit out of 'em. I wouldn't have if Hiss hadn't lied about knowing Chambers. The documents were old and out of date, just like these Pentagon Papers.

The key thing we proved was that Hiss was a liar.

Then people bought that he was a spy.

It's the lie that gets you.

All right, Henry, we're gonna go your way.

Crush this Ellsberg same way we did Hiss.

There is no other choice, Mr. President.

We'll hit him so hard, he'll look like everything that's sick and evil about the eastern establishment. You and your plumbers, you get all the dirt on this guy.

See him going to the bathroom in front of the public.

And when we finish with him, they'll crucify him.

Then we'll get our second term.

The claws are out, Frank.

You seen the guys? They're around.

Why? You got a customer?

The White House. You're fuckin' me.

We're gonna be plumbers, Frank. We're gonna plug leaks.

Who are we workin' for? A guy named Gordon Liddy.

He thinks he's Martin Bormann. He wants to meet you.

Gordon Liddy, Frank Sturgis. Hey, Frank.

Did you see the look on Hoover's face? He's redder than a beet.

That little closet fairy's got no choice.

He hates McGovern and Kennedy so much, he's gotta love me.

And Lyndon? He looked old, didn't he?

- Have you talked to Lyndon? I asked, "Lyndon, what would you do on a scale of one to ten?" He said, "Bomb the shit out of Hanoi, boy.

Bomb them where they live."

Yeah. Bob, tell Trini I'll be in Key Biscayne at 4:00.

- With Pat? No, alone.

Pat's staying here with Mrs. Eisenhower.

- Yes, sir. Good.

Hi, Buddy. What are you doing here?

I missed you.

Why don't we go down to Key Biscayne together?

Because I have to relax.

You know, I was just thinking tonight.

Remember when you used to drive me on dates with other boys?

Yeah. Didn't let me out of your sight.

Yeah. Sure.

It was a long time ago.

Yes, it's been a long time.

Now, look, Buddy.

I don't need that.

I'm not Jack Kennedy.

No, you're not.

So stop comparing yourself to him. You have no reason to.

You have everything you ever wanted. You earned it.

Why can't you just enjoy it? I do.

I do in my own way. Then what are you scared of, honey?

I'm not scared, Buddy. You don't understand.

They're playing for keeps, Buddy.

You know, the press, the kids, the liberals out there.

They're out there trying to figure out how to tear me down.

They're all your enemies? Yes.

You, personally? Yes!

Listen, this is about me. Why can't you understand that?

I mean, you of all people.

It's not the war. It's Nixon!

It's not Vietnam, it's Nixon. They want to destroy Nixon.

If I expose myself just the slightest bit, they'll tear my insides out.

You want that? You know? You want to see that, Buddy?

It's not pretty!

Sometimes I think that's what you want, Dick.

What the hell are you saying?

Are you drunk?

Jesus, you sound just like them now.

I gotta keep fighting, Buddy, for the country.

These people running things, the elite!

They're just soft, chicken-shit faggots.

They don't have the long-term vision anymore.

They just want to cover their ass and meet girls and tear each other down.

Oh, God, this country's in deep, deep, deep trouble, Buddy.

I have to see this through, you know.

Mother would have expected no less of me.

I'm sorry, Buddy.

I just wish you knew how much I love you, that's all.

It took me a long time to fall in love with you, Dick, but I did.

And it doesn't make you happy.

You want them to love you. No, I don't.

I'm not Jack Kennedy. They never will, Dick.

No matter how many elections you win, they never will.


Gentlemen, the president.

Gentlemen, this is our last damn leak.

It's no way to run a goddamn government.

We're gonna prosecute Ellsberg and anyone else who wants to leak and that means anyone here who crosses the line, I'm going after.

OK? The permissiveness of this year is over.

The belts are coming off and people are gonna go to the woodshed.

'Cause the government cannot survive with a counter-government inside it.

I know how traitors operate. I've dealt with them all my life.

I've worked with these cases.

It's never little people. The little people do not leak.

It's always some smooth son of a bitch like Ellsberg.

The Harvard Hebrew boys who leak.

I hear people say, "But Ellsberg did it for the good of the country.

People's right to know."

Well, that's in every case. Alger Hiss said the same thing.

So did the Rosenbergs. Look what happened to them.

Old Sparky got 'em.

They always underestimated old Nixon, see.

We're gonna fight just as dirty. This is sudden death, gentlemen.

We're gonna get 'em on the ground, stick in our spikes and twist and show them no mercy.

So, uh, starting today, no one in this room talks to the press without checking with Mr. Haldeman here.

That means we're on complete freeze on The New York Times, CBS, PBS, Jack Anderson and The Washington Post.

Mr. Haldeman is the chief high executioner from now on.

Don't come whining to me when he tells you to do something. That's me talking.

If you do come to me, I'm tougher than he is.

Anyone who screws with us, his fucking head comes off.

You got that?

Well, thank you very much, gentlemen.

Good day to you.

History will never be the same.

We've taken a step into the future.

We have changed the world.

Five, ten. What else you got?


I must say, you look very good, Mr. Chairman.

Looks can be deceiving.

We know what risks you've taken in inviting us here.

I took no risk.

I am too old to be afraid of what anyone thinks.

Don't ever trust them. They never tell the truth or honor their commitments.

Vietnamese are like Russians.

Both are dogs.

Mr. Chairman, there's an old saying in my country:

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

That has the added virtue of being true.

Your writings have changed the world, Mr. Chairman.

Bullshit. My writings mean absolutely nothing.

I want to know your secret. My secret, Mr. Chairman?

How a fat man gets so many girls.

Power, Mr. Chairman, is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

You know, I voted for you in your last election.

I was the, uh, lesser of two evils.

You are too modest, Mr. Nixon.

You are as evil as I am.

We are the new emperors.

We are both from poor families and others pay to feed the hunger in us.

In my case, millions of reactionaries.

In your case, millions of Vietnamese.

Civil war is always the cruelest kind of war, but our two nations were forged by revolution.

The United States, China.

Peace? Is peace all you're interested in?

The real war is in us.

History is a symptom of our disease.

In a surprise Christmas bombing of Hanoi, President Nixon delivered more tonnage than was used at Dresden in World War II.

It is without doubt the most brutal bombing in American history.

Newspapers are calling it a Stone Age tactic and Nixon a maddened tyrant. Nixon's response:

"When the Vietnamese take the Paris peace talks seriously, I'll stop."

A penny for your thoughts.

Just think of the...

Think of the life Mao's led.

In '52, I... I called him a monster.

Now he could be our most important ally.

Only Nixon could've done that.

You're a long way from Whittier.

Yep. Yes, I am.

Congratulations, Dick.

Mr. Ziegler. Mr. President, the press guys asked if you could come back.

The hell with them. I'll go back, Mr. President.

No, they want you, Mr. President. I, uh...

I think it would be a good move.

Who's back there? Everybody.

OK.

Gentlemen, I go now to discover the exact length, width and depth of the shaft.

Ladies and gentlemen, the president.

Hi. Hi.

Mr. President... Congratulations, sir.

Well done! Thank you, sir!


Well, it looks to me like we're gonna lose a war for the first goddamn time.

Yep. You're goin' right along with it, buyin' into this Kissinger bullshit, this... detente with Communists.

Detente. Sounds like a couple of fags dancin'.

Jack, we're not living in the same country you and I knew in '46.

Our people are just not gonna sacrifice in major numbers for war.

Can't even get 'em to accept cuts in their gas tax.

Now, the Arabs and the Japanese are draining the gold reserves...

Whose fault is that?

If we'd won in Vietnam, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Nobody's fault, Jack. It's, uh, change. It's a fact of history.

Even that old cocksucker J. Edgar Hoover's dead.

Now who'd have thought that possible?

How's the food over there in China, Mr. Nixon?

It's delicious, if you're president.

So, what are you gonna do about that Allende fella nationalizing our businesses in Chile? You gonna send Kissinger down there?

We're gonna get rid of him, Allende, I mean, just as fast as we can.

He's at the top of the list. How about Kissinger along with him?

Now, Kissinger's misunderstood.

He acts like a liberal for his establishment friends, but he's even tougher than I am. So Kissinger stays.

Just like Castro, Mr. Nixon.

Yeah. He stays.

And you are comfortable with that decision?

Desi's got a point.

What the hell are we gonna do about the Communists in our own backyard?

What do you really mean, Jack?

I mean, I got federal price controls on my oil.

And the rag heads are beatin' the shit out of me, Dick.

And your EPA environmental agency has got its thumb so far up my ass, it's scratchin' my ear! I think it's time for us to be...

Let him finish, Bob. I got a federal judge orderin' me to bus my grandkids halfway across this town to go to school with nigger kids.

Now, Dick, Mr. President, aren't you forgetting who put you where you are?

The American people put me where I am, Jack.

Really?

Well, that can be changed. In a heartbeat.

Jack, I've learned politics is the art of compromise.

I learned it the hard way. I don't know if you have.

Well, let me tell you this, Jack.

If you don't like it, there's an election in November and you can take your money out in the open and give it to Wallace.

How about it, Jack? Willing to do that?

Hand this country over to some pansy poet socialist like George McGovern?

'Cause if you're not happy with the EPA up your ass, try the IRS.

Goddamn, Dick.

You're not threatening me, are ya? Presidents don't threaten, Jack.

They don't have to.

Good day to you, gentlemen. Thank you.


With third party candidate George Wallace out of the race, paralyzed by an assassin's bullet, Richard Nixon has crushed George McGovern in the 1972 presidential election.

It is the second-biggest landslide in American history.

As the new term begins, it does not seem the Watergate investigations have damaged Nixon politically in any significant way.

Probably our biggest achievement as an administration, when it's all said and done, isn't China or Russia.

It's pulling out of Vietnam without a right-wing revolt.

I believe you're right. The presidency isn't enough anymore.

Sir? The presidency by itself won't protect us, Bob. We're beyond politics now.

Mr. Ehrlichman. Yeah.

Sir, just in from Paris. The Vietnamese have accepted Henry's peace proposal.

Good. The bombing worked. They're caving.

Congratulations!

That mad bomber theory wasn't so crazy after all.

Henry is coming back to join us.

He wants to be included in the photographs, of course.

There's a surprise. This could be it.

This could be it. Four long years. Jeez.

Incidentally, I don't know if this is the right time, but you should know.

Bill Sullivan at the FBI got back to us with his report on Kissinger.

I didn't wanna bring it up because... Go on.

Well, Sullivan, uh, thinks he's the one. Henry's the leaker.

Yeah, I knew it.

I knew it from '69 on and I said it all along.

I remember. I didn't, Bob.

Looks like he talked to Joe Kraft and The Times.

Claims that he was dead set against the bombing, that you were unstable and that, uh, he has to handle you with kid gloves.

That explains his press notices.

Working both sides of the fence. Jew-boy Henry.

My God.

He talked to The New York Times? Yes, he did.

We ought a fire his whining ass right now, when he's on top.

You know what? It'd set the right example for the this administration.

I would personally volunteer for that assignment right now.

No. No.

He's our only star right now. He'd go crying to the press.

He'd crucify us.

Son of a bitch.

Get someone on our staff on his ass.

Tap his phones. I wanna know everyone he talks to.

Let's see how long the Kissinger mystique lasts.

So, John, what about these Watergate clowns?

This, uh, Sirica's crazy. Thirty-five year sentence.

No weapons, right? No injuries.

There's no success. It's just ridiculous.

Sirica's just trying to force someone to testify, but they're solid.

What about this Washington Post crap? Woodwind and Fernstein.

Bernstein, sir. Who the fuck are they, anyway?

Bob, you working on revoking their television license?

Yes, sir, I am. Good.

Well, they're trying to connect Bob and John with the secret fund.

But they don't have much. They don't have anything.

The F.B.I.'s feeding me their reports.

I didn't think you should lose any more sleep over it, sir.

Good man, John, good man.

I can therefore announce that our long and tragic involvement in Vietnam...

...is at an end. Our mission is accomplished.

We have a cease-fire...

...and our prisoners of war are coming back home.

South Vietnam has the right to determine its own future.

So, we have peace with honor.

The president will take some of your questions now.

Mr. President! Dan.

Isn't it true little has been achieved that the Communists have not been offering since 1969, that in fact your administration has needlessly prolonged the war and escalated it to new levels of violence?

I will, uh... try to answer that question in some detail.

Mr. President!

What is your reaction to James McCord's statement that high-level White House officials were involved in the Watergate break-in?

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

The Washington Post is reporting that Mr. Haldeman and Ehrlichman secretly dispersed up to $900,000 in campaign funds.

Is there any truth to that?

Now, let me make this perfectly clear.

I will not respond to the charges of The Washington Post.

Nor will I comment on a matter that is currently before the courts.

Mr. President! Sir!

Sir, do you intend to cooperate with Senator Ervin's committee?

Will you agree to the appointment of a special prosecutor?

Mr. President, sir! Mr. President!

Thank you. Mr. President!

Mr. President, sir...

Ron, get in there and do something!

I end the longest war in American history and they keep harping on this chicken-shit! God!

God!

You know who's behind this, don't you? Teddy Kennedy.

Yeah, he drowns a broad in his car, and he can't run for president.

He did get pretty burned at Chappaquiddick.

My point exactly! Somebody had to die before he got his shit in the papers!

Fucking Kennedys get away with everything! Goddamn them!

You see me screwin' everything that moves?

For Christ's sake, I did what The New York Times editorial page said for me to do! I ended the war!

I got S.A.L.T. One with the Russians, I opened China.

So why are these assholes turning on me?

'Cause they don't like the way I look, where I went to school!

Because they're not Americans. They don't trust America.

Why would they?

They just come here to stick their snouts in the trough.

Who are these people? Sulzberger.

Their parents are gold traders from eastern Europe, with due respect. They buy things.

They come to "Jew" York city and buy up things. And one of the things they buy, Mr. President, is The New York Times. You know what? You should be proud, because they'll never trust you, sir.

Because we speak for the average American.

You know why they're turning on me?

It's because they're not serious about power, that's why.

They're playing with power.

They're forgetting the national interest.

In the old days people knew how to hold power, how to set limits.

They wouldn't have torn this country apart over a third-rate burglary.

For Christ's sake, now all they care about are their egos, looking good at cocktail parties.

Beating out other papers and chasing girls.

Wondering whether someone said something nice about them.

Short-term, frivolous bullshit.

Ben Bradlee worrying about Teddy Kennedy liking him.

Get Mr. Dean in here, Will you? Mr. President, I fear we are drifting toward oblivion. We are playing a totally reactive game.

We have to get ahead of the ball. Now, we all know that you are clean.

Right?

Then let's take off the gloves. Let's do a housecleaning.

Housecleaning?

No, it could be ugly, Henry, really ugly.

It must be done, sir. Your government is paralyzed.

All kinds of shit could come out. The Ellsberg thing.

You knew about that, didn't you, Henry?

Well, I heard something. It sounded idiotic.

Idiotic. Yeah, I suppose it was.

I thought it was your idea to expose Ellsberg as a sex fiend.

I guess somebody just took you too literally.

I never suggested a bunch of imbeciles break into a psychiatrist's office.

It doesn't matter. The point is you might lose your media darling halo if the media start sniffing around our dirty laundry.

Sir, I never had anything to do with that and I resent the implication...

Resent it all you want, Henry, but you're in with the rest of us.

Cambodia. Ellsberg. The wiretaps you put in.

The president wants you to know you can't just click your heels and head back to Harvard Yard. It's your ass too, Henry, and it's in the wind twisting with everyone else's.

Sir. Yeah?

There are times when even the president can go too far.

You played it perfectly, sir. That cocksucker'll think twice before he leaks again. Yeah.

He'll be looking in his toilet bowl every time he pulls the chain.

Hunt wants more money.

Another 122,000. Fuck.

If he doesn't get it right away, he's going to blow us out of the water.

He means it. Since his wife died in the plane crash, he's over the edge.

Pay him. Pay him what he wants.

We gotta turn the faucet off on Hunt and these Cubans. They're out of control.

John, you might want to...

It's gotta be Helms. He's behind this.

I think we can leverage Helms. How?

When I met with him, he kind of tipped his hand.

This affair, the president wants you to know, is related to the Bay of Pigs. And if it comes out...

This has nothing to do with the Bay of Pigs!

I have no concern about the Bay of Pigs!

I couldn't believe it.

This is what the president told me to relay to you, Dick.

I had to remind him who he was talking to.

So I was wondering? What's such dynamite in this Bay of Pigs thing?

Sir.

Though it was clearly effective, because all of a sudden it was no problem for Helms to go to the FBI and try to put a lid on Watergate.

What about the documents promised? He'll give us the documents.

But I think if we offer him an ambassadorship, the ambassadorship to Iran, we can get rid of him. He'll go...

No, I promised Iran to Townsend. Townsend in Belgium. It's available.

He gave us 300 grand. Belgium's not worth more than 100, 150.

What about England?

Forget it. Annenberg's paid three times that much.

Helms wants Iran, or there might be a problem.

All his old buddies are over there making a fortune...

When does this end, Bob?

Executive clemency. What?

Hunt and the Cubans have nothing to lose now. Pardon them all.

Nobody investigates a crime for which criminals have been pardoned.

Yeah, I like that. But it'll never do.

Pardoning them means we're guilty. Press, the people'll go nuts.

Am I supposed to sit here and watch them coming closer, eating their way to the center?

Lyndon bugged, so did Kennedy.

F.D.R. cut a deal with Lucky Luciano. Christ, even Eisenhower had a mistress.

What's so special about me? Huh?

What about Lyndon? He could make a couple calls to the... Hell, and...

...shut this whole damn thing down.

Anyone talk to him? I have.

What'd he say? No dice, he hit the roof.

Why?

He said if you go out with a story about how he bugged your plane, he's gonna reveal...

He's gonna reveal...

...Vietnamese peace talks... All right.

All right! Stop!

What's the matter with you?

I know. I just know we've made too many enemies.

There's another thing. Bob and I have to testify before the urban committee.

No, you're not. You're gonna claim executive privilege.

You're gonna stonewall it all the way.

Plead the 5th Amendment. I don't give a shit.

They can't force the president's people to testify.

Executive privilege looks like we're covering.

We are covering up for God's sake.

Some petty, stupid shit.

There are things I can say what other people said, and they'd be lies.

When I say them, nobody believes me anyway.

Then, we're going to have to give them Mitchell.

Mitchell's family.

Either it goes to Mitchell, or it comes here.

John's right, boss.

It's not personal. It's just the way the game is played.

Sometimes you gotta punt.

Jesus.

I'm so goddamn worn-out with this.

Who's gonna tell Mitchell?

You do it. Why me?

'Cause he hates you. It's worse when you get it from someone you trust.

Hey. He's wrong, you know.

About Kennedy and L.B.J. and Truman.

How so?

Well, I mean, sure, they did stuff, Bob, but nothing like this.

I mean, forget about the break-in, the, the enemies list, the... You know?

You got the attempted firebombing of the Brookings Institution.

Planting McGovern stuff on the guy that shot Wallace?

Trying to slip L.S.D. to Jack Anderson?

Old man plays politics harder than anybody else.

You think this is about politics?

Do you think L.B.J. would have ever asked Hunt to forge a cable implicating Kennedy in the assassination of the president of Vietnam?

How long have you known Bob, 20 years?

This is the Roosevelt Room, named after our 26th president

20 years, you ever shake hands with him?

Ever have a real conversation with him?

No, this... This is about Richard Nixon.

You got people dying because he didn't make varsity football.

You got the Constitution hanging by a thread because he went to Whittier, not to Yale.

And what is this Bay of Pigs thing?

Goes white every time you mention it.

It's a code or something. Well, shit, even I figured that out.

I think he means...

The Kennedy assassination... Yeah?

They went after Castro and in some crazy way it got turned back on Kennedy.

I don't think the old man knows what happened. But he's afraid to find out.

He's shitting peach pits every time he thinks about it.

Created a Frankenstein with those damn Cubans.

Eight words back in '72:

"I covered up." "I was wrong." "I'm sorry."

And the American public would've forgiven him.

But we never opened our mouths, John.

We failed him.

Dick Nixon saying "I'm sorry"? That'll be the day.

His whole suit of armor would fall off.

So, you tell Mitchell. Yeah.

And John, you do know that we're next, don't you?

You're early, John.

If you'd been that stealthy at the Watergate, we wouldn't be in this mess.

I was sorry to hear about your wife. Yes.

Take out the money.

The president would like to know if that was the last payment.

I'll bet he would. Is it?

In Richard Nixon's long history of underhanded dealings he's never had better value for his money. If I were to open my mouth, all the dominoes would fall.

Can I ask you a question?

How the hell do you have the temerity to blackmail the president of the United States?

That's not the question, John. The question is, why is he paying?

To protect his people. I'm one of his people.

The Cubans are his people. And we're going to jail for him.

Howard, you will serve no more than two years, then he'll pardon you.

Maybe. Maybe not.

But you don't leave your men on the beach, John.

You don't make them beg for their money like thieves.

You don't dump men with families who've served their country.

He didn't know. This thing has gotten out of hand.

You think a man as controlled as Richard Nixon would've allowed a break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters without knowing it?

You think Mitchell or Haldeman wouldn't have run it by him at least once?

The president's men did nothing, nothing without Richard Nixon's permission.

John, sooner or later...

Sooner, I think, you're going to learn the lesson that's been learned by everyone who's ever gotten close to Richard Nixon.

That he's the darkness reaching out for the darkness.

And eventually it's either you or him.

Your grave's already been dug, John.

F.B.I. director-designate L. Patrick Gray shocked the Senate by revealing that John Dean has been secretly receiving F.B.I. reports on Watergate.

Crown, this is Echo Six. How are you, sir?

Gray also said that Dean lied when he claimed Howard Hunt did not have an office in the White House.

How is he? He's in a bad mood.

He's running late. Have a seat.

This is the sort of thing Mafia people can do.

Washing money, things like that. We don't know about these things because we're not criminals. How much you need?

I would say these people will cost a million dollars over the next two years.

We could get that.

Get a million dollars in cash. I know where it could be gotten.

I'm still not confident we can ride through this.

Some people are gonna have to go to jail. Hunt's not the only problem.

Haldeman let me use the $350,000 cash fund in his safe to make the payments.

Ehrlichman had a role, a big role, in the Ellsberg break-in.

Oh, I don't know about that.

And... And I'm...

I think it's time we begin to think in terms of cutting our losses.

Are you... You're saying cut our losses, John, and all the rest.

And, you know, suppose the thing blows and they indict Bob and the others?

Jesus, you'd never recover from that, John. I mean...

No, it's better to fight it out instead and not let people testify.

Sir, I, I still don't think we can contain this anymore.

There's a cancer on the presidency, and it's growing with every day...

Jesus, you know, every...

Everything's a crisis among the upper intellectual types, the softheads.

The average people don't think it's much of a crisis.

For Christ's sake, this is not Vietnam. No one's dying here.

I mean, isn't it ridiculous?

I agree. It's ridiculous but... It's goddamn crazy!

Goldwater was right when he said

"For Christ's sakes, everybody bugs everybody else." We know that.

It's the cover-up, John, not the deed, that's really bad here.

If only Mitchell could step up and take the brunt of it, you know.

Give 'em the hors d'oeuvre. Maybe they won't come back for the main course.

You know, that's the tragedy in all this. Uh...

Mitchell's gonna get it anyway, so it's time he assumed responsibility.

You're not paying attention.

He won't. He's told Ehrlichman he won't.

You tell my good friend Dick I got suckered into this thing by not paying attention to what these bastards were doing.

I don't have a guilty conscience, and he shouldn't either.

Yeah.

Well, he's right.

Maybe it is time to, uh, go the hang-out route, John.

A full and thorough investigation.

We've cooperated with the F.B.I. We'll cooperate with the Senate.

What have we got to hide? No, we've nothing to hide.

No. Nothing to hide.

You know, the only...

The only fault in the plan is they're not gonna believe the truth.

That's the incredible thing. I agree. It's... it's tricky.

Everything seems to lead back here.

People would never understand. No.

John, I want you to get away from this madhouse.

I want these reporters.

I want you to go up to Camp David for the weekend and write up a report.

Put everything you know about Watergate in there and say, "Mr. President, here it all is." OK?

You want me to put it all in writing over my signature?

Well, uh... nobody knows more about this thing than you do, John.

You know, the details. That stuff I don't know. But.

Sir, I'm not going to be the scapegoat for this.

Haldeman and Ehrlichman are in it just as deep as I am.

No, now, John, you don't wanna start down that road. I remember, uh...

...Whittaker Chambers telling me back in '48.

He was a man who suffered greatly.

And he said, "On the road of the informer, it is always night."

Now, it's beyond you, or even me, John. It's the country. It's the presidency.

I understand that, sir. You know how I feel about loyalty.

I'm not gonna let any of my people go to jail, that I promise you.

The important thing is to keep this away from Haldeman and Ehrlichman.

I'm trusting you to do this, John, and I have complete confidence in you. OK?

I'll work on it. OK.

Say hi to that wife of yours, will you? Good.

Shit. It happens.

The place is a shambles.

Hey!

I was determined that we should get to the bottom of Watergate and the truth should be fully brought out, no matter who was involved.

Today, in one of the most difficult decisions of my presidency I accepted the resignations of two of my closest associates in the White House, Bob Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, two of the finest public servants it has been my privilege to know.

More light, Chief?

No, Bob.

Six bodies.

The counsel to the president, John Dean, has also resigned.

I will not place the blame on subordinates, on people whose zeal exceeded their judgment, and who may have done wrong in a cause they deeply believed to be right.

In any organization, the man at the top must bear the responsibility.

That responsibility, therefore, belongs here in this office and I accept that.

There can be no whitewash at the White House.

Two wrongs do not make a right.

Now, l love America.

God bless America, and God bless each and every one of you.

And we're clear.

Out.

Thank you.

Are you going to Key Biscayne?

Yeah. Excuse me, sir.

When?

Tomorrow.

Ron told me that, um... Bob Haldeman has been calling, but you won't talk to him.

If he's convicted, will you pardon him?

No.

Why are you cutting yourself off from the rest of us?

Can't we discuss this?

What exactly do you want to discuss? You. What you're doing.

What am I doing? I wish I knew. You're hiding.

Hiding what? Whatever it is you've been hiding.

You're letting it destroy you, Dick.

You won't even ask for help...

Manolo, uh...

Mrs. Nixon's finished.

I am the only one left, Dick.

If you don't even talk to me...

Brezhnev's coming in three days.

I don't wanna deal with them and him and you.

How much more? How much more is it going to cost?

When do the rest of us stop paying off your debts?

I'd like to finish my dinner in peace if it's not too much to ask.

No, it isn't.

I won't interfere with you anymore. I'm finished trying.

Thank you.

"Thank you"?

Dick, sometimes I understand why they hate you.

The committee will come to order. Counsel will call the first witness.

Mr. John W. Dean, III.

After I departed the president's office I went to a meeting with Haldeman and Ehrlichman to discuss the matter.

The sum and substance of that discussion was, the way to handle this now was for Mitchell to step forward.

It was a disappointment to me because it was quite clear that the cover-up, as far as the White House was... was concerned, was going to continue.

Why is he doing this? He's our goddamn lawyer.

If he had a problem, why didn't he come talk with us?

Remember, the weasel's got no proof.

It's still an informer's word against the president's.

...were all indictable for obstruction of justice.

That was the reason I was disagreeing with all that was being discussed.

Give 'em hell, general.

Mao taught me in 1963...

...if I have nuclear weapons...

...let 400 million Chinese die...

...300 million will be left.

Mao! Yeah.

I can tell you what happened. You want names? I can give you names.

Haldeman. I'm talking about the president.

Mao! We all know in our country...

I can give you the president.

This man in his dog heart.

You want him to be your ally?

Well, he was your ally for 20 years, Leonid.

Yes, yes, Dick.

Mr. Nixon...

Life is the best teacher, and therefore it must not interfere with the building of the S.A.L.T. Two treaty between our great countries.

Peace in our era is possible.

Excuse me, uh, Leonid. It's OK, Dick. It's OK.

He's spilling his guts to the Ervin committee. Unfortunately...

Did you?

Daddy? What?

Did you cover it up?

You think I'd do something like that, honey?

Well, then you can't give up. You just can't.

You're one of the best presidents this country has ever had.

You've done what Lincoln did, brought this country back from civil war.

You can't let your enemies tear you down.

You've gotta stay and fight.

I'll go out there and make speeches. Nobody knows the real you, how sweet you are, how nice you are to people.

I'll tell them.

You're the most decent person I know.

I just hope I haven't let you down, Kitten.

They just don't know the real you.

They just don't know.

Tricky Dick always knew what was goin' on.

Every last goddamn detail.

And my husband is not going to take the rap this time.

They know they can't shut me up. Probably end up killin' me.

She doesn't know what she's talking about. Stop bothering her!

Hell, she's nuts. You bastards have seen to that.

Will you get together again?

Our marriage is finished, thank you. Stick that up your keister!

Now, were the visitors that went into the White House warned that their conversations with the president would be taped?

Again, I am not aware of the technical details.

On Friday, we have the high school students from Ohio.

Saturday is the National Women's Republican Club.

...Watergate wide open, former White House aide Alexander Butterfield testified before the Senate Select committee.

He revealed a taping system that may have recorded conversations in the White House, the executive office building and even members of his own family.

All calls to the White House of whatever nature and character, would be taped?

- The tape would not discriminate. None of them had knowledge that their conversations were being taped?

This is a stunning revelation.

If such tapes exist, they could tell us, once and for all what did the president know, and when did he know it.

I want Hunt paid.

I want Hunt paid.

It's time to go the hang-out route.

- If they fear the madman... It's a legal contribution.

Who the hell authorized this?

- I still don't... ...the CIA...

There's a cancer on the presidency, and it's growing with every day...

...too damn much...

If Hunt goes public, it'll be a fiasco for the C.I.A.

They're like love letters.

You should burn 'em.

Why didn't you?

They're evidence. You can't legally destroy evidence.

You don't expect me to believe that for one minute, do ya?

Does it matter what's on 'em? Really? Murder, Dick?

Sex? Your secrets, your fantasies?

Or is just me and you and... Don't be ridiculous.

I remember Alger Hiss.

I know how ugly you can be.

You're capable of anything.

See, it doesn't really matter at the end of the day what's on them because you have absolutely no remorse. No concept of remorse.

You want the tapes to get out. You want them to see you at your worst.

You're drunk. Oh, yeah!

No one'll ever see those tapes, including you.

And what would I find out that I haven't known for years?

What makes it so damn sad is that you couldn't confide in any of us.

You had to make a record for the whole world.

They were for me. They're mine. They're not "yours". They are you.

You should burn them.

What has changed in you, Richard? Go away!

These guys went after Castro seven times, ten times.

What, do you think people like that, just gave up? They just don't walk away.

- What, do you think? I never said this.

- Seven times, ten times. Ten times.

- You think people like that gave up? Never.

Castro. These guys went after Castro.

If this got out, they'd blame me for everything.

Forget Kennedy or Johnson. It's Nixon!

Whoever killed Kennedy came from this thing we created, this beast.

In the latest bombshell, the president's lawyers revealed that there is an 18-and-a-half-minute gap in a critical Watergate tape.

Reactions of disbelief and anger are being heard across the country.

My God.

Pat!

Pat!

Has he had chest pains? He woke up coughing blood!

I'm in charge here!

Has he been short of breath?

No, and he's sure that he has T.B.! Why T.B.?

Because his family had it. His brother had it.

- I think it's flooded. Richard.

Get those I.V.s started.

Please lie down, Dick.

They need you to lie down! Sedate him!

Dick. Dick.

Richard?

- Mother. Pretty soon, you boys'll have to...

Maybe a trip to the woodshed'll...

Daddy?


Vice President Agnew has resigned today pleading no contest to charges of income tax evasion.

This follows Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox's continuing investigation into President Nixon's finances.

The president paid no income tax

- in 1971 and '72 They need you to lie down, Dick.

...and may have used funds to improve his residence in San Clemente...

Where's the blood coming from? What's wrong with him?

He's got an acute viral pneumonia and a very serious phlebitis.

If a clot were to break loose, it could go into his lungs.

Oh, no.

The president has returned to the White House.

But Archibald Cox has declared war by issuing a subpoena But Archibald Cox has declared war by issuing a subpoena

- for nine of the president's tapes. Never! Over my dead body.

It's the president's personal property.

I'll never give up my tapes to a bunch of Kennedy-loving, Democrat cocksuckers.

This could trigger the impeachment. They'll go to the Supreme Court.

I appointed three of those bastards. I'll never give them my tapes.

Can the president afford to ignore a subpoena?

Who the hell does Cox think he is? I've never made a dime from public office.

I'm honest. My dad died broke. Jesus.

That son of a bitch Cox, he went to the same law school as Jack Kennedy.

The last gasp of the establishment.

Yeah, they got the hell kicked out of 'em in the election so now they gotta squeal about Watergate

'cause we were the first real threat to them in years.

My God, we would've changed it so they couldn't have changed it back in years.

Yeah.

If only the, uh... Mr. President.

Sir, Congress is... No, over here, sir.

Sir, Congress is considering four articles of impeachment.

Yeah. For what? They're very serious charges, sir.

First, abuse of power. Yep.

Second, obstruction of justice. What else?

Third, the failure to cooperate with Congress.

And last, bombing Cambodia, sir. Can't impeach me for Cambodia.

The president can bomb anybody he likes.

That's true. We'll win that, but the other three...

Fred, they sell tickets. It's Ron, sir.

They sell tickets to an impeachment like a damn circus.

OK, so they impeach me. Well, fuck 'em!

Yeah, well, it's just a matter of mathematics.

How many votes we have in the Senate?

About a dozen. A dozen?

Jeez, I got half of 'em elected.

OK, so I got the South and Goldwater and his boys.

I'll take my chances in the Senate.

Yes, we should. This damn leg.

Well, then, sir, we'll, uh...

...have to deal with the possibility of removal from office, loss of pension and possibly... possibly even prison.

Yeah, well, plenty of people did their best writing in prison.

Gandhi, Lenin. That's right.

What I know about this country, I could rip it apart.

If they want a public humiliation, that's what they'll get.

Yes, they will. I'll never resign this office. Never.

Where the fuck am I? What's in there? The P.O.W.s and their families.

I'm supposed to be... Compassionate, grateful...

Proud. Sir?

Proud. Of them. Oh, yes, of course.

Fire him. Who?

Cox. Archibald Cox. Fire him! He works for the attorney general.

Only Richardson can fire him. May I echo my concern, sir?

Then tell Richardson to fire him! Well, Richardson won't do that, sir.

He'll resign. The hell he will. Then fire him too.

If you have to go down to the janitor at the justice department fire that son of a bitch.

Mr. President, may I just say something, sir?

I think that you should welcome this subpoena.

Why? Well, sir, the tapes can only prove that Dean was a liar. Right?

That's right, sir.

Well, there's more.

There's more than just me.

You can't break, my boy.

Even though it's ended.

You can't admit, even to yourself, when it's gone.

Do you think those P.O.W.s in there did?

Now, there's some people, and we both know them, Al think you can go stand in the middle of a bull ring and cry "mea culpa, mea culpa," while the crowd is hissing and booing and spitting on you.

Well, a man doesn't cry. I don't cry.

You don't cry. You fight.

OK.

Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States!

Good evening. We interrupt this program for a special report from NBC news.

The country is in the midst of what may be the most serious constitutional crisis in its history.

President Nixon has fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

Attorney General Elliot Richardson has quit and his deputy William Ruckelshaus was fired when he refused to fire Cox.

Attorney General Robert Bork executed Nixon's orders, - fired the prosecutor. ...to head off impeachment proceedings the president has agreed to release transcripts of 46 taped conversations.

In a simple ceremony, Gerald Ford was sworn in as vice president.

Citing wrongdoing, a judge has dismissed all charges against Daniel Ellsberg.

A grand jury has indicted former Nixon aides Haldeman, Ehrlichman...

You're a lawyer, for God's sake. How can you let this shit go through?

Look. This. Nixon can't say that. Well, you did say it, sir.

Never! I never said that about Jews.

Makes me sound like an anti-Semite. We can check the tapes again.

No need. I know what I said. Have you lost your mind? Look, Al!

Nixon can't say this! "Niggers. Niggers." It can't say that!

We could delete it. We're doing the best we can.

It's not good enough! Would you have us black it out, sir?

We could write "expletive deleted." Cut all these "goddamns" and "Jesus Christs" out. Jesus.

Mr. President. Don't you see that all these deletion marks in the transcripts make it look as though you... you do nothing but swear?

It soils my mother's memory.

You think I want the whole goddamn world to see my mother like this?

Raising a dirty-mouth?

We could start again, sir, but we don't really have the staff to do that.

Then start over! Just start over!

The world will see only what I show 'em!

From page one, Al. Page one, Ron!

Ron, get in there and do something.

All this stuff.

Five seconds, Mr. President.

And four, three, two...

Good evening, my fellow Americans.

Tonight I'm taking an action unprecedented in the history of this office.

I had no knowledge of the cover-up till John Dean told me about it

- on March 21st, a year ago. I think I'm going to throw up.

...no payment to Hunt or anyone else be made.

- He's lost touch with reality. I've made my mistakes, but in all my years of public life, I have never profited.

Can you imagine what this man would have been

- had he ever been loved? I've earned every penny.

In all of my years of public life I have never obstructed justice.

It's a tragedy because he had greatness in his grasp.

- I welcome this examination. But had the defects of his qualities.

- I made $250,000... They'll crucify him.

Does anybody really care anymore?

...which many of you were good enough to purchase.

And what happens after?

...every year.

When l, in 1968 decided to become a candidate for the president, I decided to clean the decks and to put everything in real estate.

So, that's where the money came from. That's all I own.

That's what we have, and that's what we owe.

Because people have got to know whether or not their president...

...their president is a crook.

Well, l am not a crook. I've earned everything I have

...doesn't have a mink coat.

She does have a respectable Republican cloth coat.

And I always tell her she'd look good in anything.

There has never been any feathering of nests. Not in this administration.

Now, let me just say this.

And I want to say this to the television audience...

Supreme Court ruled today eight to nothing that Nixon's claims of executive privilege cannot be used in criminal cases

- and must turn over subpoenaed tapes. The House Judiciary Committee has voted 27 to 11 to recommend impeachment to the House.

The deliberations now go to the House floor.

In its report, the committee offers evidence Nixon obstructed justice on at least 36 occasions, that he encouraged his aides to commit perjury and that Nixon abused the powers of his office.

In a separate report, the Senate Select committee details the misuse of the l.R.S., the F.B.l., the C.l.A. and the justice department.

It denounces the plumbers and it raises the question of whether the United States had a valid election in 1972.

Come in.

Victory at Sea, Al. Henry. The Pacific Theatre.

Christ, you can almost hear the waves breaking over the decks.

I'm afraid we have another problem, Mr. President.

Excuse me, gentlemen.

June 23rd, '72, sir.

Your instructions to Haldeman regarding the C.I.A. and the F.B.I.

So?

Your lawyers feel that it's the smoking gun.

Totally out of context. I was protecting the national security.

Sir, the deadline is today.

Can we get around this, Al?

It's the Supreme Court, sir. You don't get around it.

If, uh...

If you resign, you can keep your tapes as a private citizen.

You could fight them for years.

What if I stay?

You have the army.

The army?

Lincoln used it.

That was civil war.

How do you see this?

Oh, God.

We can't survive this, sir.

They also have you instructing Dean to make the pay off to Hunt.

There's nothing in that statement the president can't explain.

Sir, you talked about opening up the whole Bay of Pigs thing again.

That's right. Three days before, the June 20th tape.

The one with the 18-minute gap. I don't know anything about that.

You mentioned the Bay of Pigs several times.

Sooner or later, they're going to want to know what that means.

They're going to want to know what's on that gap.

It's gone. No one will ever find out what's on it.

They might if there was another recording.

We both know it's possible.

I know for a fact that it's possible.

I've spoken to Ford.

There's a very strong chance that he'll pardon you.

I don't need a goddamned deal, for God's sake. I...

This is something that you will have to do, Mr. President.

I thought you'd rather do it now.

I'll wait outside.

Sir.

May I say, sir, that if you stay now, it will paralyze the nation and its foreign policy.

You always had a great sense of timing, Henry.

When to give and when to take.

How do you think Mao and Brezhnev will react?

Do you think they'll remember us, Henry, after all the great things you and I did together, as some kind of... of crooks?

They will understand. To be undone by a third-rate burglary is a fate of biblical proportions.

History will treat you far more kindly than your contemporaries.

Yeah.

Depends who writes the history books.

I'm not a quitter, never have been.

But I'm not stupid either.

A trial would kill me. That's what they want.

They won't get it. Fuck 'em.


If they harass you, I too will resign, and I will tell the world why.

Don't be stupid. The world needs you, Henry.

You always saw the big picture.

You were my equal in many ways.

You're the only friend I got, Henry.

Do you ever pray?

You know, believe in a supreme being?

Not really. You mean on my knees?

My mother used to pray a lot.

It's been a long time since I really prayed.

Let's pray, Henry.

Let's pray a little. Just you and me.

I hope this doesn't embarrass you, Henry.

No. Not at all, no.

This is not going to leak, is it?

Don't be too proud, Henry.

Never be too proud to go on your knees before God.

God.

How can a...

How can a country come apart like this?

What have I done wrong?

I opened China. I made peace with Russia.

I ended the war.

I did what I thought was right.

God, why do they hate me so?

It's unbelievable. It... It's insane.

Oh, Mom, I'm sorry. God, please forgive me, God. I didn't mean it.

I never wanted to do... I don't want this to... Is it me?

Is this happening? I can't believe...

Al.

They smelled the blood on me this time, Al. I got soft, you know?

A rusty, metallic smell.

I know it well, sir. It came over from Vietnam, you know?

Sir? That smell.

I mean, everyone suffered so much.

Their boys killed.

They need to sacrifice something.

You know, appease the gods of war.

Mars, Jupiter.

I am that blood, General.

I am that sacrifice.

In the highest place of all.

Yeah. All leaders must finally be sacrificed.

Things won't be the same after this.

No, I played by the rules. Rules changed right in the middle of the game.

There's no respect for American institutions anymore.

No, people are cynical.

The press, ah, the press is out of control.

People spit on soldiers.

Government secrets mean nothing.

I pity the next guy who sits here.

Good night, gentlemen.

Mr. President.


When they look at you, they see what they want to be.

When they look at me, they see what they are.

Dick, please don't.

I can't.

I don't have the strength anymore.

It'll be over soon.

No, it's going to start now.

Oh, Buddy. If I could just sleep.

If I could just sleep. There'll be time for that.

Yeah.

You know, once when I was sick as a boy, my mother gave me this stuff and she made me swallow it.

It made me throw up all over her.

I wish I could do that now.

I'm so afraid.

There's darkness out there.

I could always see where I was going. But it's dark out there.

God, I've always been afraid of the dark.

Buddy.


There are many fine careers. This country needs good farmers, There are many fine careers. This country needs good farmers, good businessmen, good plumbers good carpenters.

I remember my old man.

I think that they would have called him sort of a, sort of a little man, a common man.

Well, he didn't consider himself that way.

You know what he was? He was a streetcar motorman first.

Then he was a farmer.

Then he had a lemon ranch.

It was the poorest lemon ranch in California, I can assure you.

He sold it before they found oil on it.

Then he was a grocer.

But he was a great man because he did his job.

And every job counts up to the hilt regardless of what happens.

Nobody will ever write a book, probably, about my mother.

Well, I guess all of you would say this about your mother.

My mother was a saint.

And I think of her two boys dying of tuberculosis and seeing each of them die. And when they died...

Yes, she will have no books written about her.

But she was a saint.

Now, however, we look to the future.

I remember something, uh, Theodore Roosevelt wrote when his first wife died in his twenties.

He thought the light had gone from his life forever.

But he went on, and he not only became president but as an ex-president, he served his country always in the arena, tempestuous, strong, sometimes right, sometimes wrong.

But he was a man.

And as I leave that's an example I think all of us should remember.

See, we think sometimes when, things happen that don't go the right way; we think that when someone dear to us dies, when we lose an election, or when we suffer defeat that all is ended.

Not true. It's only a beginning, always, because the greatness comes, not when things go always good for you, but the greatness comes when you're really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments when sadness comes.

Because only if you've been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.

So, I say to you on this occasion, we leave, proud of the people who have stood by us and worked for us and served this government and this country.

They want you to continue to serve in government if that is what you wish.

Remember, always give your best.

Never get discouraged. Never be petty.

Always remember, others may hate you.

But those who hate you don't win unless you hate them.

And then, you destroy yourself.

And so we leave with high hopes and good spirits and with deep humility.

And I say to each and every one of you, not only will we always remember you but always, you will be in our hearts.

And you'll be in our prayers.

And only then will you find what we Quakers call "peace at the center".

He gave of himself with intelligence and energy and devotion to duty.

Richard Nixon was buried and honored by five presidents on April 26, 1994.

Less than a year after his beloved wife, Pat, had died.

Nixon always maintained that if he had not been driven from office the North Vietnamese would not have overwhelmed the South in 1975.

In a sideshow, Cambodian society was destroyed and mass genocide resulted.

The second half of the 20th century will be known as the age of Nixon. ln his absence, Russia and the United States returned to a decade of high-budget military expansion and near war.

Nixon, who was pardoned by President Ford, lived to write six books and travel the world as an elder statesman.

For the remainder of his life, he fought successfully to protect his tapes.

The National Archives spent 14 years indexing and cataloging them.

Out of 4,000 hours, 60 hours have been made public.


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