The video begins with a fairly long excerpt from Nixon's famous
Checkers Speech. You'll see why it's called that at the end. This may
be one of but a handful of speeches in history that produced nearly
immediate and clear results. Truth is, most speeches don't. It was
also a pioneering effort in the use of the new medium of television.
Though this speech was given, of course, before Nixon became
president, it is illustrative of his style. The entire Checkers
episode is well worth researching. Though when the speech was over
Nixon thought he had failed, he had actually trumped Ike.
Next you'll see a portion of a Nixon speech to the Russian people,
delivered in the USSR. Then there's a clip from the first JFK-Nixon
tv debate. Now you can contrast Nixon's performance with JFK's.
Notice how in his grey suit he almost blends into the background?
Then there's a clip of Nixon conceding defeat in 1960. Tom Wicker
maintains in his interesting and surprisingly positive book on Nixon
that Nixon's refusal to push for a recount in 1960 was noble.
Then you'll see Nixon declare his candidacy for governor of
California, a bit of a California stump speech, and the famous "last"
press conference. (The reference to canceling newspaper
subscriptions, by the way, is to Kennedy.)
Then we're into the color TV age with Nixon's 1968 acceptance speech.
Note the references to the turmoil and riots of the 60's and the
failures of the Great Society. Following is the first inaugural, one
that many claim Nixon consciously modeled after Kennedy's. Note the
use of Kennedyesque antithesis. By the way, that's Spiro Agnew on the
right of your screen.
Next is one of Nixon's most successful speeches, the Silent Majority
speech. (There's a glitch in my editing job on this one--it's not
your computer.) Some claim that Nixon's success in the Checkers
Speech, the Silent Majority Speech, and even the Acceptance Speech
made him believe he could always turn things around with a well done
speech. With Watergate that turned out not to be true.
Following is the disastrous Cambodian Invasion speech. I put this
together from two videos of the speech, so even though they may look
different, they're the same speech. Note how Nixon attacks his
attackers. Note too how he lost his place and recovered.
Then there's the famous "I am not a crook" press conference, followed
by the tv resignation speech and the revealing final speech to the
White House staff before he boarded the helicopter and left the White