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Biographer Thomas: Hillary Shows 'Nixonian Tendencies' to Stonewall

Image: Biographer Thomas: Hillary Shows 'Nixonian Tendencies' to Stonewall
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By    |   Wednesday, 10 Jun 2015 04:41 PM

Hillary Clinton and Richard Nixon share some striking similarities beyond their shared wariness of the press and "awkwardness as campaigners," according to Nixon biographer Evan Thomas.

And Clinton is already showing some "Nixonian tendencies to try to stonewall and cover up," Thomas writes in a biting commentary for The Wall Street Journal.

"Her handling of the Clinton Foundation and email controversies is right out of the Nixon playbook: Treat every new revelation as old news, attack the messenger as biased, reveal only what you have to … " he writes.

But Thomas argues the Nixon-Hillary Clinton similarities are not just interesting, they're "instructive."

"She will be easily aggrieved and suspicious about the media," the author of the soon-to-be released book "Being Nixon: A Man Divided," Thomas writes.

"She will be self-righteous about her own essential goodness. She will have a sharp temper, though she will tolerate her husband’s excesses. She will run an aggressive PR operation that will stonewall as long as possible."

Thomas writes voters had "some vivid glimpses" of Nixon's personality long before they elected him president – including his 1952 "Checkers Speech" in which he made his case on the still-new medium of television for remaining on the Republican presidential ticket with Dwight Eisenhower despite a personal financial scandal, and his sullen 1962 declaration after losing the governor's race in California that, "You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around any more."

And voters have been watching Hillary Clinton on the public stage for more than two decades.

"If you think that past is prologue, there is every reason to believe that President Hillary Clinton would spend her presidency lashing out at her enemies as she ducks small scandals and possibly large ones," Thomas writes.

"She would be aggrieved and dodgy. That is not to say that she would wind up like Nixon — threatened with impeachment and driven from office — but it does suggest how she would deal with the inevitable rocky times ahead."

Still, Thomas writes, no Clinton scandal has reached the "full dimensions of Watergate."

"In the throes of Watergate, Nixon protested, 'I am not a crook,'" Thomas notes, adding Nixon, actually, "was not venal."

"After he left the presidency, he refused to take money for speeches," Thomas writes.

"Since January 2014, Bill and Hillary Clinton have made $25 million in speaking fees. It is a good bet that the press, and possibly a Republican Congress, will keep on poking and prodding to find out what, if anything, all those friends of Bill and Hillary got for their money."

Thomas writes Nixon tried to be an "upbeat positive person," but could "not escape his demons, which … made him want to lash out and get even."

"With the hindsight of history, we can see that Nixon’s downfall was predictable," Thomas writes." Actually, his personality flaws were well known before he was elected. So are Hillary's."

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Hillary Clinton and Richard Nixon share some striking similarities beyond their shared wariness of the press and "awkwardness as campaigners," according to Nixon biographer Evan Thomas.
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Wednesday, 10 Jun 2015 04:41 PM
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