On page 221 of President Nixon: Alone in the White House, Richard Reeves talks about a time that H.R. Haldeman was waiting for President Richard Nixon. Nixon had just met with anti-war students at the Lincoln Memorial in the wee hours of the morning, then Nixon went to the Capitol building and talked with some cleaning women. Haldeman was wondering where Nixon was. Eventually, Haldeman and some staff were waiting for Nixon outside of the Capitol building, but Nixon was not through with his little adventure. Nixon wanted to get some breakfast at a place on Connecticut Avenue. When Nixon found that it was closed, he ate at the Rib Room in the Mayflower Hotel, talking with the waitresses, whom Reeves says were “flabbergasted”.
Apparently, according to Reeves, this was not the first time that Haldeman had this sort of experience with Nixon. Reeves states:
“[Haldeman] had spent many long nights during campaigns walking strange streets looking for candidate Nixon in strange cities. The candidate would disappear for hours after midnight and Haldeman usually found him huddled in the corner booth of a caf[e], drinking coffee alone.”
I loved this passage. I think that Nixon should have been a little more considerate towards Haldeman, but I can identify with wanting to get out of one’s routine to have a little adventure, to be spontaneous, or maybe even to be alone.