Ever since George Bush stopped being a wimp, those of us in the press have been hard up for a new whipping boy. Imagine, then, our joy at discovering that Richard Nixon’s secret files have been published. When it comes to whipping boys, R. N. proves that the original is still the greatest.
It’s all too wonderful! Richard Nixon to kick around once more. Richard Nixon displaying the preposterous way he addressed his family in formal memos from “R.N.” Richard Nixon showing how years of public life had rendered Caesar incapable of casual communication. Richard Nixon unself-consciously revealing his paranoid whims and petty little scams.
But it’s also charming to see R.N.'s intimate and human side. After all, are we not all given to writing little notes? Therefore, as a service to historians who ultimately will determine my place in history, I have decided to publish my secret files.
Jan. 19, 1969
To: My Husband
It would be a good idea to acknowledge what a groovy job A.K. has done in fixing up our new pad. Suggest that when friends come over you say, “Wow! Look at this far-out furniture the wife made from Indian bedspreads.”
July 4, 1969
To: Luis, the cook at Tommy’s Take-Out
Noted my guests commenting that tonight’s dinner tasted like poison. I have made a list of foods I consider suspicious and plan to investigate. I am placing your enchilada grande at the top of the enemies list.
March 12, 1970
Things to be done today: shorten skirt, have platforms put on shoes, iron hair, burn bra, turn on Lava Lite, stalk wild asparagus, launder money.
Oct. 5, 1971
To: Ray the Plumber
I have been concerned for some time over what I perceive to be leaks coming from the oval bathroom. It sounds like the drip, drip, drip of a faucet. I hear it night and day. If we cannot plug these leaks, I think the consequences for A.K. will be severe.
Nov. 21, 1972
To: My Husband
When you are out, could you pick up a half-pound each of Cheddar and Monterey jack? Also please get a dozen tortillas, a pound of ground beef, chili powder, tomato paste, cumin seed, cottage cheese and a ripe avocado. Inflation was up only 3.2% this quarter. So if there’s anything left over, buy a jug of red to pass around at the Leon Russell concert. Check to see if ’72 was a good year.
Jan. 19, 1973
To: Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda
While going to see The Band, I ran into you two guys on your way to get married. I would like a photo of you at the wedding. I suggest you autograph it: To A.K., You’re Outta Sight--Peace, love, good vibes, Tom and Jane.
April 9, 1973
To: Dr. Kissinger
I have been having a slight pain in my lower back. It seems to be worse in the morning and eases up as the day progresses. I notice it in particular when I bend over to pick up the newspaper. Heat helps a little, and so does aspirin. Can you prescribe something stronger?
Sept. 29, 1973
To: The President
Has anyone pointed out that ground beef is up to 69 cents a pound?! I am sure you can appreciate what this is doing to A.K.'s budget. My wages are frozen, but prices are thawing. Why are you doing this to me? Get back to me on this.
Aug. 8, 1974
To: My Husband
I resign. Make your own big enchilada. I can’t believe you ate the whole thing. A.K. will no longer assume responsibility for those who eat meat. History will ultimately show what I am. I am not a cook.