Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full

Black, Conrad

Public Affairs, 2007

pp. 20 - 21

In the spring of 1929 Ricard Nixon was the faculty-endorsed candidate for the position of student body president at Whittier (CA) Union High School. Nixon was a fine student and had won a Los Angeles Times oratorical contest, both through sheer determination and doggedness—while also getting up at 4 every morning to drive to the Seventh Street market in Los Angeles to buy produce for his family’s grocery store in Whittier. Nixon would select the produce, haggle for the best price, transport it back to Whittier, wash it, and display it, and then go to school all day. The faculty thought he ought to be student body president and he was probably going to be voted in by the student body until “an unofficial candidate” shook up the race. Robert Logue was “a fine athlete and captain of the basketball team.” He was also a “natural and relaxed campaigner” while Nixon was a nervous and awkward one. Logue was also “tall and attractive to women.” He had an easy grace about him and he won the election easily, “having not seemed especially to want it.” For the rest of his life Nixon would be wary of, or resent, people who seemed “naturally graceful and lucky, and he thought the world was frequently unjust, as such felicitous people kept popping up to overturn what he had worked with great discipline to achieve.”