Nixon Pans Fred Thompson's Performance From Beyond the Grave
Recently unearthed Nixon White House tapes (always words we are thrilled to read) reveal that Dick could occasionally be sorta lucid and spot-on, while still spouting obscenities and insults in that classic Nixon style. Back in the dark days of Watergate, a young Republican prosecutor named Fred Thompson (whose exciting first debate is being liveblogged below as we speak!) was appointed by the Senate to join Democratic prosecutor Sam Dash in investigating Nixon's various and sundry crimes. Dick was not particularly happy to hear this.
"Baker has appointed Fred Thompson as minority counsel," says then Nixon aide HR Haledman.
"Oh shit, that kid," the dismayed president responds.
Later in the tapes, Nixon fretted that Thompson would be outwitted by his opposition in the Senate investigation, Democratic counsel Sam Dash.
"Dash is too smart for that kid," Nixon can be heard to say.
But the former president's most damning words for Fred Thompson came during a May 1973 conversation with then chief of staff Alexander Haig about concerns that the future senator wouldn't stand up strongly enough to Democrats.
"Oh shit, he's dumb as hell," Nixon says at the mention of Thompson's name. "Who's -- Who is he? He won't say anything."
Thankfully, once Thompson agreed to act as a secret White House mole, subverting the investigation he's taken credit for for 30 years, the White House came around. Nixon then described the young prosecutor as still quite dumb, but "friendly." Perfect presidential material in other words!
Nixon on tape: Fred Thompson is 'dumb as hell' [Raw Story]