Meet Richard Nixon in love

posted at 1:20 pm on March 12, 2012 by Tina Korbe

This is too sweet a story to not share.

It’s easy to dehumanize politicians — including President Barack Obama — but those with massive power over our lives are still at the mercy of their own human insecurities and desires. Like anyone, they want to love and be loved.

The humanity of Richard Nixon, whose imperturbable façade most people associate with the scandal that brought him down, is on full display in the dozens of love letters he wrote to his bride. Six of those letters will be unveiled Friday at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum as part of an exhibit to celebrate the 100th birthday of Patricia Ryan Nixon.

In Nixon’s letters, he recalls their first meeting in flowery prose, daydreams about their future together and waxes poetic about the first time his “dearest heart” agreed to take a drive with him.

“Every day and every night I want to see you and be with you. Yet I have no feeling of selfish ownership or jealousy,” he writes in one undated letter. “Let’s go for a long ride Sunday; let’s go to the mountains weekends; let’s read books in front of fires; most of all, let’s really grow together and find the happiness we know is ours.”

Eighteen years after his death, the correspondence offers a tiny window into a fiercely private side of Nixon that almost no one ever saw and represents a love letter of sorts to fans of the 37th president, who were infuriated when the National Archives took over the museum and overhauled it to include a detailed chronicle of Watergate.

“These letters are fabulous. It’s a totally different person from the Watergate tapes that people know. President Nixon started out as an idealistic young man ready to conquer the world, and with Pat Ryan he knew he could do it. There’s a lot of hope, there’s a lot of tenderness, and it’s very poetic,” said Olivia Anastasiadis, supervisory museum curator.

The old-fashioned part of me also can’t help but lament the increasingly lost art of letter-writing. Handwritten, tangible and typically more thoughtful if for no other reason than that they take longer to compose than an e-mail, letters seem to contain a piece of the person who wrote them more than any electronic form of communication. In an exhibit to honor a future first lady, will a museum display “love tweets”? Perhaps — but, unless a future president is particularly witty, who will care to read them?


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Can we read the ones Newt wrote to all his wives?

hanzblinx on March 12, 2012 at 1:23 PM

We are watching the “John Adams” HBO miniseries again. Much of it was taken from the love letters b/w John and Abigail Adams. Tina is right, it is a lost art that we could learn a lot from.

ted c on March 12, 2012 at 1:23 PM

This is sweet, but can we get a post on Obama screwing over Texas?

http://www.therightscoop.com/obama-admin-blocks-texas-voter-id-law/

BakerAllie on March 12, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Can we read the ones Newt wrote to all his wives?

hanzblinx on March 12, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Oh, I don’t think he met his later wives by writing them letters.

MadisonConservative on March 12, 2012 at 1:26 PM

I write the smoking hot redhead letters while I’m over here.
Gets me mad props and I’ll be getting the goooooood loving when I return.
.
That’s a tip for you youngsters.

LincolntheHun on March 12, 2012 at 1:26 PM

The Stephen Ambrose 3 Vol. biography of Nixon is absolutely fantastic. Nixon was a fascinating individual.

Basically, he leads the exemplary life of the type of person you’d want to be a President….up until he enters politics.

aquaviva on March 12, 2012 at 1:26 PM

He’s not a crook, but he’ll steal your heart, ladies.

lorien1973 on March 12, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Can we read the ones Newt wrote to all his wives?

hanzblinx on March 12, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Heh!

Every once in a while, you say something funny, hanzy.

My proscription is more cowbell!

But I do miss Tricky Dick.

Now more than ever.

Lanceman on March 12, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Seriously? Texas just the hose again and we get love letters?

JPeterman on March 12, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Nixon had more brain power than any President we’ve had since but he was infected with liberalism.

Speakup on March 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Letters? When Slick Willie gives his last one-gun salute, I wanna see The First Cigar. Now, that was real romance.

Archivarix on March 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM

One might purchase an old fountain pen. Writing by hand on paper with a instrument remarkably capable of physically reflecting the nuances of personality is at least a start.

Seth Halpern on March 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM

The Nixon you meet in Whittaker Chamber’s “Witness” is also unrecognizable from the Watergate caricature.

ConservativeTalkRadio on March 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM

He is proof that musicians make great mathematicians.

Schadenfreude on March 12, 2012 at 1:33 PM

let us now praise the sweet heart of a paranoid maniac.

sesquipedalian on March 12, 2012 at 1:34 PM

“I am not a crook…!”

(shake jawls side to side)

“… but have you seen my tally whacker?”

Seven Percent Solution on March 12, 2012 at 1:35 PM

My mother kept every letter my dad wrote to her from the Pacific during World War II. I loved it when he called her “baby”. The handwriting is beautiful, and it is a lost art.

lea on March 12, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Romance was still part of the popular culture back then. If you went to the movies regularly, and most people did, it wouldn’t have been hard to find good material for a love letter.

RBMN on March 12, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Nixon didn’t order the break-in. His only crime was, he covered it up afterward.

However, Nixon was an ESTABLISHMENT Republican – and it was the Establishment Republicans in Congress who turned against him.

Now the Establishment Republicans in the House are faced with a President who routinely violates the Constitution on a daily basis – and, typical of the establishment – they now prove (yet again) that they are better at eating their own than in being a valid check on the excesses of the OTHER party.

HondaV65 on March 12, 2012 at 1:39 PM

let us now praise the sweet heart of a paranoid maniac.

sesquipedalian on March 12, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Hey, you seem to forget that Nixon and O’bama have something in common. Namely a List of Enemies.

So what pissed you off the most about Nixon? Was it his creating the EPA, or ending the Vietnam War?

Del Dolemonte on March 12, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Seriously? Texas just the hose again and we get love letters?

JPeterman on March 12, 2012 at 1:31 PM

No one is gonna ‘hose’ Texas. Rejmember-Perry’s our governor.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 12, 2012 at 1:40 PM

let us now praise the sweet heart of a paranoid maniac.

sesquipedalian on March 12, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Yeah, Barack takes Michelle out on one hell of a date.

MadisonConservative on March 12, 2012 at 1:40 PM

SCOAMF doesn’t want to be loved, he wants to be worshiped.

southsideironworks on March 12, 2012 at 1:44 PM

I voted for Richard Nixon twice for president

gerrym51 on March 12, 2012 at 1:44 PM

gerrym51 on March 12, 2012 at 1:44 PM

I was born during Richard Nixon’s first term.
*runs*

annoyinglittletwerp on March 12, 2012 at 1:47 PM

This is sweet, but can we get a post on Obama screwing over Texas?

http://www.therightscoop.com/obama-admin-blocks-texas-voter-id-law/

BakerAllie on March 12, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I am so sick of this. Obama and Holder have got to go. The feds are doing whatever they can to mess with Texas, and I want them out of our business. Now.

juliesa on March 12, 2012 at 1:47 PM

I am so sick of this. Obama and Holder have got to go. The feds are doing whatever they can to mess with Texas, and I want them out of our business. Now.

juliesa on March 12, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Ditto!

But how about those love letters?///

JPeterman on March 12, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Trisha was a cutie! She was my first crush.

Ted Torgerson on March 12, 2012 at 1:55 PM

I read a great story about Nixon in the comment section of a blog once. I wish I could find it again – maybe it was even here. I hope I get the details right.

The commenter had worked for the Kennedy campaign in 1960 and was (then) an idealistic young Democrat. He and a fellow campaign worker were in the Capitol building one evening after the election. As they were going up the stairs, they met Nixon coming down. As VP, it was Nixon’s job to certify the vote and sign off on it. In this case, of course, he was certifying his own defeat (as a result of IL and TX voter fraud shenanigans, to boot).

So you can imagine that was probably not a pleasant task for him.

Nevertheless, he stopped on the stairs to say hello and shake their hands and congratulate them on the victory. He asked them what they planned to do with their lives. After listening, he said that he hoped they would consider public service, that it was very rewarding work. He wished them well and went on his way.

I find this story rather touching. It doesn’t read to me like the eeeevil caricature of Nixon I had always read about.

Missy on March 12, 2012 at 1:55 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on March 12, 2012 at 1:47 PM

you are annoying STILL

LOL

gerry-mittbot-showing his age

gerrym51 on March 12, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Speaking of Impeachment……

Is the current President doing anything different than the 37th?

This Texas thing is just another example of how he is helping to dismantle this country and it’s institutions.

Only in OUR UPSIDE DOWN AMERICA would having to prove you’re an American be considered……….un-American.

Impeach Obama………just so we can relive 1974 all over again.

Think of it as OUR love letter to Obama.

PappyD61 on March 12, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Yeah, Barack takes Michelle out on one hell of a date.

MadisonConservative on March 12, 2012 at 1:40 PM

no, imbecile, i meant the actual anti-semite.

sesquipedalian on March 12, 2012 at 1:56 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on March 12, 2012 at 1:47 PM

He was prez when I was born too.

I had a cat named Nixon once.

bazil9 on March 12, 2012 at 1:57 PM

I was born during Richard Nixon’s first term.
*runs*

annoyinglittletwerp on March 12, 2012 at 1:47 PM

I have no memory of Reagan and just a little of Bush Sr. Nixon might as well be a Pharaoh of Egypt he is so ancient.

hanzblinx on March 12, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Pat Nixon was a doll!
Power ruined Nixon, if it wasn’t for Pat he would have been in a staight jacket, trying to get his thumb in his mouth.

KOOLAID2 on March 12, 2012 at 2:01 PM

no, imbecile

sesquipedalian on March 12, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Yes, liberal. Want to know the difference between Nixon and Obama? The Nixons didn’t soak the taxpayers for extravagant date nights and vacations during a recession. Your man is an elitist, living high on the hog off his peasants. And you, you dumb motherf**ker, can’t wait to vote him in for a second term of slapping American citizens in the face with his narcissism.

MadisonConservative on March 12, 2012 at 2:02 PM

If memory serves, after he left office, G.H.W. Bush taught a class on the art of letter writing. That would have been a great class to take.

dczombie on March 12, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Want to know the difference between Nixon and Obama? The Nixons didn’t soak the taxpayers for extravagant date nights and vacations during a recession.

omg that’s awful. much worse than burglary, bribery, extortion, wiretapping, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, tax fraud and the illegal use of the cia and fbi.

Your man is an elitist, living high on the hog off his peasants. And you, you dumb motherf**ker, can’t wait to vote him in for a second term of slapping American citizens in the face with his narcissism.

MadisonConservative on March 12, 2012 at 2:02 PM

i’m dedicating my vote to you.

sesquipedalian on March 12, 2012 at 2:13 PM

I have no memory of Reagan and just a little of Bush Sr. Nixon might as well be a Pharaoh of Egypt he is so ancient.

Now THAT makes me feel OLD

gerrym51 on March 12, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Now THAT makes me feel OLD

gerrym51 on March 12, 2012 at 2:16 PM

My earliest political memory is of my parents going to vote for Reagan in 84.

dczombie on March 12, 2012 at 2:19 PM

It is sweet.

Alas, my love letter writing days are over.

Random on March 12, 2012 at 2:20 PM

sesquipedalian on March 12, 2012 at 2:13 PM

How exactly are any of those things worse than selling firearms to Mexican drug cartels so they can kill our law enforcement officers, smart guy?

MadisonConservative on March 12, 2012 at 2:22 PM

bazil9 on March 12, 2012 at 1:57 PM

One of my earliest memories are the flickers over the TV when Nixon resigned.
My mother’s first vote was for Nixon in ’68 and my parents voted for Nixon both times.
MY first vote was for GHWB in ’88.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 12, 2012 at 2:27 PM

How exactly are any of those things worse than selling firearms to Mexican drug cartels so they can kill our law enforcement officers, smart guy?

MadisonConservative on March 12, 2012 at 2:22 PM

guns to drug cartels – bad.
missiles to genocidal iranian mullahs – super.

try again, bobblehead.

sesquipedalian on March 12, 2012 at 2:28 PM

My earliest political memory is of my parents going to vote for Reagan in 84.

dczombie on March 12, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Mine is those damned unnecessary Watergate hearings pre-empting Split Second, my favorite game show at the time.

Lanceman on March 12, 2012 at 2:33 PM

sesquipedalian on March 12, 2012 at 2:28 PM

You know what’s so funny? You sit here and talk about past events that cannot be changed, and ignore the events currently occurring under the president you supported and continue to support because you can’t face them. You’re quite the coward.

MadisonConservative on March 12, 2012 at 2:39 PM

You know what’s so funny? You sit here and talk about past events that cannot be changed, and ignore the events currently occurring under the president you supported and continue to support because you can’t face them. You’re quite the coward.

MadisonConservative on March 12, 2012 at 2:39 PM

jesus h. breitbart, you’re such a bore.

sesquipedalian on March 12, 2012 at 2:52 PM

guns to drug cartels – bad.
missiles to genocidal iranian mullahs – super.

try again, bobblehead.

sesquipedalian on March 12, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Yes, I must say that giving the mullahs weapons wasn’t so great, but I don’t recall that Nixon had anything to do with that. But, giving guns to drug cartels to murder American citizens doing their jobs protecting the border is criminal.

HSmith on March 12, 2012 at 2:55 PM

sesquipedalian on March 12, 2012 at 2:52 PM

It must be boring hearing about how corrupt the president you supported is. He came in on the slogan of hope and change, but delivered neither. He’s responsible for starting more wars than any president in history, he’s responsible for arming some of the most dangerous criminals in the world, he’s responsible for driving us into the highest levels of debt in history with the highest deficits in history…all so boring.

Know what isn’t boring about him, though? He’s woken the American people, in places like my home state of Wisconsin. They finally have a clear vision of what you socialist f**kwits have in store for our nation, and they’ve decided that they don’t want to be the next Greece. Too bad for you.

MadisonConservative on March 12, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Nixon received my first vote for President in ’72, and through the entire Watergate mess I did not regret it. As I have grown and come to understand Conservatism better, I wish I could have voted for a more Conservative candidate. But if you take out Watergate, Nixon was a very effective President.

NOMOBO on March 12, 2012 at 3:05 PM

All I wanted to do was watch “Gilligan’s Island” but because of the Congressional hearings on TV regarding Watergate I couldn’t. My opinion of Congress has declined steadily since.

Nixon new the art of playing one’s foes against each other and when to really let loose American military power. Israel may not have survived without Nixon. I seriously doubt Obamao would have sent Israel one bullet, much less tanks and aircraft (from our own stocks and with American markings still on them in some cases) in ’73. He’d kick the king of Saudi Arabia in the balls before bowing to him. Cannot say that about the half-white half-wit in the Oval Office today.

I vividly remember the day Nixon resigned; my parents would not let us near the television. For you young ones in those days you had to physically get up off the sofa and walk to the TV and turn a knob if you wished the channel changed. There were about 6 channels to choose from in our area.

Bubba Redneck on March 12, 2012 at 3:08 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on March 12, 2012 at 2:27 PM

I was a baby in his second term..so don’t remember.

My parents voted for him as well. Then came Carter..do remember that. The long gas lines..sitting with mom in our VW Bug.

bazil9 on March 12, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Letters? When Slick Willie gives his last one-gun salute, I wanna see The First Cigar. Now, that was real romance.

Archivarix on March 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM

but then Monica will have to donate the l’il dress to the Clinton Presidential Library (or whatever they call it)too, to make the ‘romance’ picture complete :-)

jimver on March 12, 2012 at 3:28 PM

gerrym51 on March 12, 2012 at 1:44 PM

I was born during Richard Nixon’s first term.
*runs*

annoyinglittletwerp on March 12, 2012 at 1:47 PM

I was a child during Nixon’s run against McGovern in 1972. I learned a new word that year: landslide.

tom on March 12, 2012 at 3:49 PM

The Stephen Ambrose 3 Vol. biography of Nixon is absolutely fantastic. Nixon was a fascinating individual.

Basically, he leads the exemplary life of the type of person you’d want to be a President….up until he enters politics.

aquaviva on March 12, 2012 at 1:26 PM

It has been said that after the Kennedy Crime Family stole the election of 1960, Nixon realized that a Republican had to run just as dirty a campaign as the democratics did if there was to be any chance of a win.

slickwillie2001 on March 12, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Thanks for posting this Tina…

Buy Danish on March 12, 2012 at 4:24 PM

“Every day and every night I want to see you and be with you. Yet I have no feeling of selfish ownership or jealousy,” he writes in one undated letter. “Let’s go for a long ride Sunday; let’s go to the mountains weekends; let’s read books in front of fires; most of all, let’s really grow together and find the happiness we know is ours.”

Touches my heart

When I was a lot younger, I had a wish list. I wanted to have lunch with Nixon, who was out of office, isolated and mysterious. There was a part of Nixon I liked very much. wish I could have had that meeting, to see just who this man was. I admired his wife very much It was obvious her passing was a great great loss. She was the lady in the middle and she took it like a lady. I am sure Nixon understood that well.

Itis nice to get away from the shallow callow midgets like Fluke, who will debase themselves for a nickles worth of strategy, the end game being the debasement of all young women

entagor on March 12, 2012 at 9:14 PM

When my mother-in-law came out to visit we took her to the Nixon Library, since she’d been head of a woman’s Republican club in NJ during the reelection campaign. We wore some of the old campaign buttons she still had from those days. There was a great display of campaign buttons there, but strangely enough we didn’t see any of the kind we were sporting. They turned out a be rare type that the Library didn’t have an example of — so on the spot we donated one. It really touched and thrilled her know there’s a tiny bit of the Presidential Collection that’s her doing.

sistrum on March 12, 2012 at 10:12 PM