Special Section: Antics of the Advance Men

Nixon's 1969 European journey was my first introduction to the antics of the advance men: they were clean-cut, efficient, and disciplined individuals whom H.R. Haldeman had proudly picked from advertising agencies and junior executive positions. Their sole responsibility was to make certain that everything ran smoothly for Nixon, who must never face the unexpected contingencies he hated so much. The advance team held itself responsible for ensuring that Nixon was seen by others only in the most favorable light.

This sometimes led to absurdities. On a state visit to Ottawa in 1972, an advance man decided that the tan furniture in Pierre...

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