The White House: Low-Tech Nixon

Low-Tech Nixon

The tapes that prompted Richard Nixon's Watergate resignation in 1974 might never have existed had he not been such a klutz with gadgets. Nixon was reluctant to have his conversations recorded, writes former Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman in Prologue, a National Archives publication. But if there had to be a taping system, the President said, he wanted something simple -- like Lyndon Johnson's manually operated setup.

Haldeman was worried that his chief would forget to turn the gizmo on when he wanted it, or -- worse -- to turn it off when he didn't. Haldeman also fretted "that this President...

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