WORTH, Texas — For years they sat in the Richard Nixon
Library, waiting to be read, but the former
president’s papers from his years after his time in
the White House required permission for public
two daughters had to agree to release their father’s
papers from his days after D.C. They were not
presidential records, and as such not open to the
Worth native and resident Kasey Pipes is your lotto
winner to gain access to Nixon’s post presidential
papers, although it’s insulting to think this was
pitch was, ‘This has never been done before,’”
Pipes said in a recent interview near his home in Fort
Worth. “There are countless books on Watergate. His
presidency. The rise of Nixon has been well documented.
There have only been pieces of his post-presidency
years. No one has told the whole story from 1974 to
1994. I thought it was a story that needed to be
result is “After the Fall: The Remarkable Comeback of
Richard Nixon.” The 266-page book starts from
Nixon’s final day in the White House, to his death and
memorial service in 1994.
Pipes’ second book; he previously authored “Ike’s
Final Battle,” a book about President Dwight
Eisenhower’s account of dealing with race and equality
in his presidency.
into Nixon’s post presidential existence took Pipes
about 10 years, off and on, and multiple trips to the
Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, Calif. Pipes, who holds a
degree from Harvard, is a former speech writer for
George W. Bush. Pipes currently runs a consulting firm
in Fort Worth.
discovered in his research is that the disgraced
politician would create the template for all future
Presidents, and influence policy, and White Houses, in a
way few people knew.
way more active than people realize, and more successful
in terms of becoming an influencer again, which was his
goal,” Pipes said. “He wanted to overcome the
spectacle of Watergate, and he wanted to matter again.
He helped to shape policy more than we realized.”
in Pipes’ research were countless letters sent, and
returned by, future U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and,
surprisingly, Bill Clinton while the Democrat was in the
book, Nixon influenced multiple White House
administrations, primarily on foreign relations. The man
had an opinion on everything political, and he was a
visionary who saw what China could, and has, become.
prominently, it was Nixon who guided Reagan through his
negotiations with the Soviets during the nuclear arms
Nixon who advised Reagan to have a weekly radio address,
which every president henceforth did, save for Donald
Nixon who advised Reagan to dump future President George
H.W. Bush as his running mate in 1984.
Nixon who wrote the following letter: “I did not see
the program, but Mrs. Nixon told me that you were great
on the The (Phil) Donahue Show. As you can imagine, she
is an expert on politics and predicts that whenever you
decide to run for office you will be the winner.”
was sent to Donald Trump in 1987. It is framed and in
the Oval Office today.
surprised at how active he was during the time,” Pipes
said of Nixon. “The conventional wisdom was he wrote a
few books, made a few speeches, and occasionally talked
to a President. What I found was a systematic approach
to his work, which he viewed as a full-time job.”
paints the picture of a Nixon who did not grasp the
enormity, or at least the perception of, his involvement
in Watergate. That while he calculatedly admitted he
“screwed it up,” he could not own what the breach of
power he committed meant to the public.
after nearly dying when he left the presidency, Nixon
forced himself to live, and be both productive and
useful the only way he knew. His expertise, and
experience, became useful to leaders, and citizens of
vision was to re-enter the professional existence that
he left when he became a pariah; it was an existence
that defined him. Nixon did it through the sheer force
of not charm but his experience and intellect. People
wanted Nixon’s opinions, even if they didn’t like
miscast in politics; he didn’t have the personality
for it,” Pipes said. “It was a different era. I
don’t think you could do that today. He was a
throwback in that sense.”
of what Pipes uncovered, to millions Nixon will forever
remain a political criminal who only because of Gerald
Ford escaped jail time.
book illustrates, this was also a man who many more
years left to live, and to give. He just had to find a
out his final two years after he left D.C., Richard
Nixon at least established a complementary legacy for
himself than that of a man who left the White House in