Deadline: A Memoir

Reston, James

Random House, 1991

p. 410

President Richard Nixon was “full of self-doubts” and thus “of self-promotion”  He gave his daughters talking points to use in their encounters with the Press.  They should tell reporters that their Dad had “regular encounters with Churchill and de Gaulle, how he played the piano by ear at family gatherings, and how much time the private R.N. spent on the telephone comforting simple people who were in trouble.”  Nixon also advised Henry Kissinger, then his national security advisor, as to how Kissinger should portray Nixon to the Press: “1. Strong convictions.  2. Came up through adversity.  3. At his best in a crisis.  Cool.  Unflappable.  4. A tough, bold, strong leader.  Willing to take chances when necessary . . . 6. A man with a philosophical turn of mind.  A man who works without notes—in meetings with 73 heads of state, R.N. has had hours of conversation without any notes.  7. A man who in terms of his personal style is very strong and very tough when necessary—steely but who is subtle and appears almost gentle.”