I am not sure why the political climate these days has me going straight to the early 1970’s and the Nixon presidency. I grew up in a “state of the art” (for that time period) apartment complex in Newport, RI.. In 1968 it was mind blowing that we had a system where a visitor could ring your doorbell from the lobby and we could turn on channel 5 on our TV and see the person attempting to come to visit. This was, as my children like to say, truly the olden times. This system was so advanced for the time that the Secret Service rented 2 apartments on my 3rd floor wing for David Eisenhower, Dwight’s grandson, and his wife to stay in while David attended the Naval War College in Newport. Pretty big stuff considering the wife was Julie Nixon Eisenhower, daughter of the sitting President of the United States. Of course, the most thrilling thing that I remember was to be able to get in the elevator with her and her agents, so I could check out what she was wearing and how she had styled her hair that day. These things were of the utmost importance to the 11 year old “woman-child” that I was. This precocious behavior is often found in last birth order members of a family, born into teenage siblings. I was always what ever age I was, going on thirty for most of my youth. But, I digress – back to the Nixon White House.
Several years after David and Julie had moved on, her Dad was in the hot seat for many of his odd behaviors. For one thing, he had taken to tape recording all telephone conversations in the Oval Office. He had also suggested to the FBI and the CIA that they greatly increase there investigation and intelligence gathering on the domestic populous. Then, in June 1972, the year of Nixon’s campaign for his second term of office, in an obscure building that housed the office of the Democratic National Committee, a “burglary” was detected. This was not your normal, run of the mill break in’s, where things are removed by the perpetrators. No, this involved planting listening devices for the purpose of spying on, and hopefully sabotaging, the inhabitants of this space. This space was, as we all know, The Watergate Hotel. This time there was no Russian President behind any of the nefarious acts, but you have to admit – this sounds very familiar.
What followed after Nixon won the re-election, were Congressional confiscations of all the taped conversations that Nixon had, to ensure that this “break in” did not involve our Commander in Chief. The mysterious 18 and a half minute gap in one of the conversations between Nixon and several members of his administration, who happened to be very high in the food chain, started the ball rolling that would finally crush the president and force him to resign in shame and disgrace. I would love to report that the many hours I spent watching the Watergate courtroom drama everyday after school were what led me to a career in the Navy and a Political Science degree. In all honesty, I and many of my friends were watching intently to see and attempt to pull off the daily views of the hairdos of John Deans wife.
So, to recap, political shenanigans, hacking into emails vs. planted listening devices is all sounding quite familiar to people of my age. I just want to go on record that I have at least risen above making style fashions and hair dos the basic goal of following present day Washington news as Trump takes over the country. I think we can all agree that THAT hairdo is nothing I want to take on as my own.