Posts Tagged ‘Richard Nixon’

USA | Barack Obamas utrikespolitik har uppfattats av många som både motsägelsefull och otydlig. Någon röd tråd har varit svår att se.

The Atlantic April 2016

Jeffrey Goldberg, nationell korrespondent för The Atlantic, har träffat presidenten vid ett flertal sedan det första intervjutillfället 2006 när han träffade den dåvarande senatorn från Illinois.

Under Goldbergs senaste möte med presidenten i Vita huset redogjorde Obama bl.a. för hur han ser på USA:s roll i världen och vilken utrikes- och säkerhetspolitisk skola han anser sig ligga närmast.

Något förvånande är att Obama är en stor anhängare till den doktrin som i akademiska kretsar brukar kallas den realistiska skolan. Det är en inriktning som präglade president Richard Nixon och Henry Kissinger under deras tid i Vita huset.

I Obamas fall lär det dock mest vara Brent Scowcroft, nationell säkerhetsrådgivare till president George H. W. Bush, som stått för inspirationen.

I den nitton sidor långa essän i The Atlantic skrev Goldberg bl.a. följande:

Obama, unlike liberal interventionists, is an admirer of the foreign-policy realism of President George H. W. Bush and, in particular, of Bush’s national-security adviser, Brent Scowcroft (“I love that guy,” Obama once told me). Bush and Scowcroft removed Saddam Hussein’s army from Kuwait in 1991, and they deftly managed the disintegration of the Soviet Union; Scowcroft also, on Bush’s behalf, toasted the leaders of China shortly after the slaughter in Tiananmen Square. As Obama was writing his campaign manifesto, The Audacity of Hope, in 2006, Susan Rice, then an informal adviser, felt it necessary to remind him to include at least one line of praise for the foreign policy of President Bill Clinton, to partially balance the praise he showered on Bush and Scowcroft.


One day, over lunch in the Oval Office dining room, I asked the president how he thought his foreign policy might be understood by historians. He started by describing for me a four-box grid representing the main schools of American foreign-policy thought. One box he called isolationism, which he dismissed out of hand. “The world is ever-shrinking,” he said. “Withdrawal is untenable.” The other boxes he labeled realism, liberal interventionism, and internationalism. “I suppose you could call me a realist in believing we can’t, at any given moment, relieve all the world’s misery,” he said. “We have to choose where we can make a real impact.” He also noted that he was quite obviously an internationalist, devoted as he is to strengthening multilateral organizations and international norms.

I told him my impression was that the various traumas of the past seven years have, if anything, intensified his commitment to realist-driven restraint. Had nearly two full terms in the White House soured him on interventionism?

“For all of our warts, the United States has clearly been a force for good in the world,” he said. “If you compare us to previous superpowers, we act less on the basis of naked self-interest, and have been interested in establishing norms that benefit everyone. If it is possible to do good at a bearable cost, to save lives, we will do it.”

If a crisis, or a humanitarian catastrophe, does not meet his stringent standard for what constitutes a direct national-security threat, Obama said, he doesn’t believe that he should be forced into silence. He is not so much the realist, he suggested, that he won’t pass judgment on other leaders. Though he has so far ruled out the use of direct American power to depose Assad, he was not wrong, he argued, to call on Assad to go. “Oftentimes when you get critics of our Syria policy, one of the things that they’ll point out is ‘You called for Assad to go, but you didn’t force him to go. You did not invade.’ And the notion is that if you weren’t going to overthrow the regime, you shouldn’t have said anything. That’s a weird argument to me, the notion that if we use our moral authority to say ‘This is a brutal regime, and this is not how a leader should treat his people,’ once you do that, you are obliged to invade the country and install a government you prefer.”

“I am very much the internationalist,” Obama said in a later conversation. “And I am also an idealist insofar as I believe that we should be promoting values, like democracy and human rights and norms and values, because not only do they serve our interests the more people adopt values that we share—in the same way that, economically, if people adopt rule of law and property rights and so forth, that is to our advantage—but because it makes the world a better place. And I’m willing to say that in a very corny way, and in a way that probably Brent Scowcroft would not say.

“Having said that,” he continued, “I also believe that the world is a tough, complicated, messy, mean place, and full of hardship and tragedy. And in order to advance both our security interests and those ideals and values that we care about, we’ve got to be hardheaded at the same time as we’re bighearted, and pick and choose our spots, and recognize that there are going to be times where the best that we can do is to shine a spotlight on something that’s terrible, but not believe that we can automatically solve it. There are going to be times where our security interests conflict with our concerns about human rights. There are going to be times where we can do something about innocent people being killed, but there are going to be times where we can’t.”

Tidskriftsomslag: The Atlantic, april 2016.

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Nixon and his wife are surrounded by a crowd at the Los Angeles airport during the 1952 campaign.

På bilden ser vi Nixon, tillsammans med sin fru Pat, vid ett kampanjevenemang i Los Angeles 1952. Liz Ronk, fotoredaktör för LIFE.com, skriver om Nixon:

Nixon, who was born on Jan. 9, 1913, ran his first political campaign in 1946 with a successful bid for U.S. Congress. He followed that with another successful bid, for Senate in 1950, and two successful campaigns for vice president, with Dwight D. Eisenhower, in 1952 and 1956. Then came the losses: first for president, losing to John F. Kennedy in 1960—thanks in part to his lackluster appearance at the first-ever televised presidential debate—and then for governor of California, two years later.

When Nixon returned from several years of laying low to run for president in 1968, President Johnson called him a ”chronic campaigner.”

Foto: Ed Clark—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images.

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VAL 2016 | Roger Stones mentor var Richard Nixon. ”Attack, attack, attack. Never defend” är hans mantra. Och han har jobbat för Donald Trump.

Stop the Steal

Stone har inte längre någon officiell eller inofficiell roll i Donald Trumps valkampanj. Han valde att lämna (alternativt: avskedades) rollen som politisk rådgivare i augusti.

Han kallar fortfarande Trump en ”vän” och jobbar nu aktivt med att få honom vald till Republikanernas presidentkandidat vid partiets konvent.

Detta gör han bl.a. genom att organisera ”Stop the Steal”, en kampanjen som skall försöka påverka partiet och delegaterna att inte rösta på någon annan än Trump ifall han inte vinner nomineringen vid första röstomgången vid konventet.

Detta stämmer väl överens med hans uttalade strategi om hur man skall gå tillväga i en kampanj. ”Hit it from every angle. Open multiple fronts on your enemy. He must be confused, and feel besieged on every side.”

Dylan Byers på CNN skriver:

When it comes to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential bid, things did not initially go Stone’s way. He had one vision for the campaign; Trump had another. But after leaving in August, Stone is back, in a manner of speaking. With the Republicans potentially facing a contested convention, his brand of political trench warfare is now in greater demand than ever.

Late last month, Trump appointed veteran GOP strategist and lobbyist Paul Manafort — Stone’s longtime friend and business partner, dating back to the Reagan years — to lead his fight for delegates. Sources close to all three men say Stone played a role in that appointment, which gave him a new lifeline into Trump’s campaign.


In a contested convention, his mastery of political dark arts could prove instrumental in securing the delegates that Trump needs. He has been to every Republican convention since 1964, and he’s worked the floor at every convention since 1972. And even he readily admits that he is capable of employing tactics other operatives wouldn’t dream of, let alone try.


At the outset, Stone advocated for traditional methods: polling, analytics, advertising. But Trump had something different in mind: hold rallies, generate controversy, get free media coverage. Stone didn’t care for that approach, nor the man tasked with implementing it: Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, who didn’t much care for Stone, either, sources close to the campaign said.


But he never really was gone. He was not ousted, as was originally reported, nor was he forced into exile, as some journalists would claim. He was always there, on the sidelines, talking to Trump on a regular basis, planting stories in the press, influencing things where he could, several sources said.

Now, eight months later, Trump’s ”say anything” strategy has given way to a new phase. He’s trying to assemble the 1,237 delegates he needs to clinch the nomination, and he’s in desperate need of experienced political infighters who can navigate the contentious fight for delegates. Which means that Stone’s services are back in demand.

Bild: Affisch för kampanjen ”Stop the Steal”.

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The New York Times 7 november 1968

Den republikanska presidentkandidaten och tidigare vicepresidenten Richard Nixon vann valet 1968 mot sin demokratiske motståndare Hubert Humphrey som var Lyndon B. Johnsons vicepresident. The New York Times toppade med rubriken ”Nixon wins by a thin margin” den 7 november 1968.

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Bild: Har inte hittat vem som skapat denna teckning. Men hos Library of Congress finns klassiska skämtteckningar på temat Richard Nixon.

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USA | Oavsett vem som hamnar i Vita Huset efter presidentvalet kommer Roger Ailes och Fox News vinna på det.

The New York Times Magazine - January 25 2015

Ailes, som en gång i tiden var en av Richard Nixons rådgivare, har fortfarande en hel del att lära politikerna i Republican Party.

Jim Rutenberg skriver så här om honom i The New York Times Magazine:

Ailes has long argued that Americans alienated by the sensibilities of the “New York-Hollywood elitists” are a valuable demographic, and the past two decades have proved him right. He started Fox News in 1996, led it to first place in the cable-news ratings in 2002 and has widened his lead ever since. At the point it surpassed CNN, Fox News had an average prime-time audience of 1.2 million, while CNN’s was 900,000 and MSNBC’s was around 400,000. By the end of 2012 — a presidential-election year, with higher-than-typical news viewership — its prime-time audience of more than two million was the third-biggest in all of basic cable and larger than those of MSNBC (905,000) and CNN (677,000) combined. By last year, its share of that news pie had climbed to 61 percent, and it had moved to second place in the prime-time rankings for all of basic cable, behind ESPN.

This has given Ailes consistent bragging rights, no small matter for a man whose braggadocio is television legend. (When Paula Zahn departed Fox News for CNN in 2001, he said he could beat her ratings with “a dead raccoon.”) But it has also given him something more impressive: ever-increasing profits. During a 10-year span, Fox News’s profits grew sixfold to $1.2 billion in 2014, on total operating revenue of $2 billion, according to the financial analysis firm SNL Kagan. By contrast, those of CNN and MSNBC have leveled off over the past few years, with the occasional small dip or spike.


And yet, for a network that wants to grow in both viewers and dollars, Ailes’s favored demographic has begun to pose something of a constraint. In an online survey, the Pew Research Center has found that 84 percent of those whom it identified as “consistently conservative” already watched Fox News. Moreover, though Fox News regularly wins in the demographic that matters most to advertisers — those viewers between the ages of 25 and 54 — it has the oldest audience in cable news, a fact that its detractors are quick to point out. How many more of Ailes’s “average Americans” are there who are not already tuned into Fox News on a regular basis?

The Pew Research Center data, though, also suggests an area where expansion is still possible: 37 percent of the Fox News audience holds views that Pew calls ideologically “mixed.” (This means their survey responses on specific political questions cut across ideological lines: For example, they support same-sex marriage but oppose new restrictions on gun ownership.) Similarly, a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute found that about 38 percent of all Americans identify themselves as “independent,” and 34 percent of those independents identify themselves as conservative. A little more than half of that subgroup cite Fox as their “most trusted” news source. The rest are what Robert P. Jones, the chief executive of the Public Religion Research Institute, identified as “a growth margin” for the network; they could be what the poll identified as “Fox News Independents,” but they don’t know it yet. Unlike the more hard-core “Fox News Republicans,” these independents are less likely to call themselves members of the Tea Party, are more open to allowing the children of illegal immigrants to stay here legally and slightly more approving of the president’s job performance (15 percent for Fox News Independents, as opposed to 5 percent for Fox News Republicans).

How does Ailes maintain the aging conservative base that has allowed him to control the present while at the same time drawing in younger and independent viewers that will allow him to grow and control the future? Fox News, in this way, is confronted by the same problem the Republican Party faces, and Ailes appears to be solving his problem the way anyone hoping to build a winning national coalition must: by emphasizing personality.

When Ted Turner started CNN, he proclaimed that “the news is the star.” Ailes, on the other hand, has always been a vocal believer in the power of personality. He was the one who, as a young producer of “The Mike Douglas Show,” advised Richard Nixon to embrace the power of television, and who, as a professional political adviser, taught George H. W. Bush how to best Dan Rather in an interview. Ailes knows as well as any television professional alive that personality is the essence of the medium — he called his 1987 self-help book “You Are the Message,” a wink at Marshall McLuhan’s insight that the medium is the message, and subtitled it “Getting What You Want by Being Who You Are.” Ailes’s advice was just what you would expect: “If you can get the audience to pull for you, you’ll always win.”


Alone on the wall behind Roger Ailes’s desk in the Fox News headquarters is a rather grim oil painting, framed in gold, of a Revolutionary War-era warship tossed by an angry sea. Ailes bought it at an antique shop 30 years ago and has no idea who painted it. He saw it as “a ship headed into the wind alone, and I thought, That’s my life.” He seems to consider it part of his job to view things that way.

Tidskriftsomslag: The New York Times Magazine den 25 januari 2015.

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Richard Nixon at a 1968 campaign event. Photo-Nixon Foundation

Richard Nixon vid ett kampanjevent 1968.

Foto: Nixon Foundation

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VITA HUSET | Presidentens centrala roll i USA är antagligen en anledningen till den personkult som omger de stora presidenterna.

Populär Historia nr 2 2000

Göran Rystad, professor i historia, skrev 2000 i Populär Historia:

George Washington har inte endast fått ge namn åt unionens huvudstad utan också åt otaliga andra städer och samhällen, åt en delstat och åt 31 counties. Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson och Andrew Jackson har fått ge namn åt delstatshuvudstäder (Nebraska, Missouri och Mississippi) och en mängd counties och samhällen. Washingtons födelsedag är helgdag i 48 delstater och ytterligare fem presidenters födelsedagar är helgdag i en eller flera delstater. Universitet, berg och floder har fått namn efter presidenter.

Tio-i-topp-listor är populära i USA, också när det gäller presidenter. Ända sedan 1920-talet har det förekommit omröstningar i syfte att upprätta rankinglistor från ”bäst” till ”sämst”. I den första, 1921, som genomfördes med en panel bestående av hundra prominenta amerikaner – guvernörer, domare, vetenskapsmän och kyrkoledare – kom Lincoln klar etta med Washington som lika klar tvåa. Topplaceringarna har därefter nästan ständigt innehafts av Washington, Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson och ett varierande fjärde namn, vanligen Franklin Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt eller Harry Truman. I botten har i regel Warren Harding och Andrew Johnson, ibland Ulysses S Grant, legat. På 1980-talet hamnade även Richard Nixon i denna skara.

Tolv presidenter har sina statyer i New Yorks kända Hall of Fame (av kritiker ibland kallat Hollow Fame – hollow betyder ungefär ”ihålig, tom”). Och berömda är de jättelika över tjugo meter höga porträtten av presidenterna Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson och Theodore Roosevelt, som huggits in i granitklippan i Mount Rushmore i Black Hills, South Dakota.

Dessa fyra är alla med i första ledet bland USA:s presidenter. Två tillhörde unionens founding fathers, en var ”martyrpresidenten” som satt i Vita huset under inbördeskriget, det mest traumatiska skedet i landets historia, och den fjärde var en drivande kraft när USA trädde fram som stormaktsaktör på den internationella arenan.

George Washington, den förmögne plantageägaren från Mount Vernon i Virginia, hade gjort en lysande insats som överbefälhavare för den kontinentala amerikanska armén i kampen mot engelsmännen. Hans anseende berodde inte endast på hans duglighet och ledaregenskaper utan också på hans karaktär; han var lugn, omdömesgill, moraliskt högtstående. Washington var ordförande i det konvent som utarbetade konstitutionen och valdes 1789 av en enhällig valförsamling till unionens förste president. Under sina två presidentperioder kom han att i många avseenden sätta sin prägel på ämbetet för framtiden. Hans bestående inflytande kom också att gälla utrikespolitiken. I sitt berömda avskedstal, som ofta skulle komma att åberopas, varnade han för allianser som medförde förpliktelser. Det skulle i själva verket dröja ända till tillkomsten av Nato 1949 innan USA gick in i ett avtal som medförde att landet kunde tvingas att agera på grund av ett alliansåtagande, inte efter ett eget beslut.

Tidskriftsomslag: Populär Historia nr 2, 2000.

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VAL | “Can he win California?” Yes, he could! Ronald Reagan lyckades 1966 besegra guvernören Edmund G. ”Pat” Brown.

Saturday Evening Post 1966-06-04

Därmed lyckades Reagan med vad Richard Nixon inte klarade 1962. Den 2 januari 1967 svor Reagan ämbetseden.

Under valkampanjen lade Reagan tyngdpunkten på två teman som utnyttjade de stämningar i landet som inte uppskattade antikrigsprotesterna på bl.a. universitetet i Berkeley.

Dessa teman – ”to send the welfare bums back to work” och ”to clean up the mess at Berkeley” – blev stående inslag i valrörelsen.

Intressant är att Reagan inte bara införde anställningsstopp i Kaliforniens administration utan också beslutade om höjda skatter för att få budgeten i balans under första mandatperioden.

Bild: Saturday Evening Post den 4 juni 1966.

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FOTO | Fotografen Philippe Halsman fick 1955 Richard Nixon att hoppa framför kameran. Vicepresidenten var bara en bland många som lockats till detta.

Richard Nixon av Philippe Halsman

Till sist publicerades ”hoppbilderna” 1956 i boken Philippe Halsman’s Jump Book.

Mary Panzer, curator vid Smithsonian Institution, skrev så här om bilderna:

The ”jump” pictures had surprising charm, and over the next six years, Halsman asked many clients to jump for him. Van Cliburn, Edward R. Murrow, and Herbert Hoover declined Halsman’s invitation, but most people realized they had nothing to lose. (Some gained considerably, like the suddenly buoyant and likable Vice President Richard Nixon, who jumped for Halsman in the White House.) Halsman claimed the jumps revealed character that was otherwise hidden. ”When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping and the mask falls so that the real person appears.”

Halsman also pursued this project to discover something about himself. ”I assure you that often, before approaching the person, my heart would beat, and I would have to fight down all my inhibitions in order to address this request to my subject. At every time when the subject agreed to jump, it was for me like a kind of victory.” How did Halsman persuade so many to abandon their composure for his camera? Somehow, he managed to convince each one that the risk was all his own.

Läs mer: ”When He Said ‘Jump…’”av Owen Edwards. Se även Halsmans hemsida.

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