I have two items for my blog post today on Stephen Ambrose’s Nixon: Ruin and Recovery, 1973-1990. Both of them revolve around Nixon’s coping through Watergate.
1. On page 252, Ambrose gives his opinion about Nixon’s drinking:
“Was drinking a problem for Nixon? There is much conflicting evidence on both sides of the question, enough to make any final judgment impossible. It is this author’s opinion that his drinking was not a problem for Nixon. That he sometimes drank to excess is clear, but never to the point that he was out of control. Indeed, it is remarkable how little he relied on drugs or booze to get through such great physical and emotional stress, how much he relied on his own strength.”
2. One way that Nixon coped, according to his daughter Julie, was by watching movies with his family. Ambrose on page 265 quotes Julie as saying that “lots of times he’ll choose a horrible lemon, and we’ll be all there making catcalls and saying, ‘oh this is terrible.’ My father will say, ‘Keep quiet. Give this show a chance.’ And he will sit through. Everyone will have snuck out.”