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PJM Exclusive: Nixon Aide Chapin on the Worst Scandal Facing Obama

"These things seem to be compounded by time — that's what happened with Watergate," he said in an interview. "This is the drip, drip, drip, drip."

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

June 22, 2013 - 10:10 pm
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Referring to one part of the film showing the famous White House Easter egg roll, Chapin quipped in comments to the audience that “the head of the IRS was not there at that point” — in reference to former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman telling a congressional committee that the annual event could have been a reason he was at the White House more than 150 times.

The Our Nixon screening Saturday, part of the AFI Docs Film Festival, precedes the film’s public debut on CNN Aug. 1. A DVD release will follow in December.

On a panel discussion moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper after the National Archives premiere, Chapin said the film composed of the White House home movies, newsreel footage, and Nixon’s recordings of phone calls and meetings just represented a “little sliver” of those years.

“Whether that’s ‘our’ Nixon… is open to conjecture,” Chapin said on the panel that included the film’s director, Penny Lane.

“It doesn’t represent for me the whole presidency,” he continued, arguing it dismissed the contributions Nixon made to the country.

Nixon speechwriter Lee Huebner noted that “so often we want to make heroes or villains out of politicians.”

Lane said she was particularly interested in focusing on the Super 8 films of Chapin, Haldeman, and Ehrlichman to capture the “human toll” of Watergate.

The director, who was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” last year, vowed “we had honest to God zero agenda” in making the film, which was intended to be released for this year’s centennial of Nixon’s birth.

Chapin, though, disagreed with the filmmaker’s attempt to show two sides of Nixon through the archival footage.

“I really don’t know of two Nixons,” the former aide said. “…That does not represent to me the man that I knew.”

Chapin stepped down in 1973 after his college friend Donald Segretti was tied to the “dirty tricks” campaign. The following year, Chapin was convicted on charges that he lied to the grand jury and served nine months behind bars.

He described those years in the White House as fun with a presidential team that was constantly laughing about things — a spirit conveyed in their home movies included in Our Nixon.

As far as those secret audio recordings, “other presidents have the benefit of learning from Nixon,” Chapin said after the event. “They’re not gonna do it.”

“I liked it better today than the first time I saw it,” he added of the film. “Especially the music; ['Nixon Now'] was the best campaign song ever written.”

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Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
In the world of General Tso Tso sending an Ambassador to a country teeming with jihadists and failing to provide adequate security and then denying requests for more security, followed by standing down during a lengthy attack - and then topping the whole sordid thing off with a flood of lies to cover up the incompetence and cowardice - isn't a scandal.

General Tso Tso, you are a fraud.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The IRS may be second, but I think the massive and deep spying (espionage) on the American people by Obama's National Stasi Agency is the biggest. When the government can gather and look at in depth all the phone calls, emails, credit card statements, etc. of any and every American they choose, this far exceeds delay and harass the relatively very few people who apply for 501's.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I had to laugh when I read the latest on Snowden. The administration is pressuring China to extradite him and warned that failure to do so would cast doubt on China's "commitment to the rule of law". LMAO

Coming from the most lawless administration EVER ... this was truly a gut-buster!!!!!!!! Snowden must have something on Obama ... and it must be HUGE!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (36)
All Comments   (36)
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I haven't read all thru these so if someone made this rather obvious point already, forgive me. I don't know what planet this guy is from but here on earth, there will be no dripping. The president is a Democrat.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Obama needs to escape all damage is the passage of S744.
And the GOP is stupid enough to give it to him. Call all senators
Monday to try and stop the insanity of a 2000 page corrupt give
away to those who came here illegally. link to phone numbers
http://www.theorator.com/senate.html
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I completely disagree. The farrago of scandals works in Obama's favor: the public becomes confused and numb and the GOP overwhelmed. Which to investigate? Congressional investigators only have so much time and energy. As for the "drip, drip, drip," also not buying it. The media controls the faucet, and the dripping has almost stopped altogether on the IRS and Benghazi scandals.

No, Obama walks on all of these. He may not come out smelling like roses, but what does he care. Perversely, he even gains a certain added street cred in Washington for his use of power and for getting away with it. Exhibit #1: the immigration reform bill. Establishment Republicans are tripping over themselves to get it passed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The tragic events surrounding Benghazi tear asunder our foundations as a nation. If we can leave American patriots to be murdered by terrorists, then we have no soul left as a people.

Remember BENGHAZI!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Correction: If we can allow a government TO GET AWAY WITH leaving brave American patriots behind to be murdered....

Remember BENGHAZI!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Enough with this Obama just needs to be more open about the scandals nonsense: 157 visits to the WH by the acting IRS commissioner and 307 by his deputy add up to O or people close to him being intimately involved in this up to their necks. And who in their right mind believes that even VJ would have done something like this without her bosses’ permission?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We definitely hounded the wrong guy from office. Of course, we could maybe be excused for not realizing that accountability only applied t oone party.

And people still say there's no difference between the parties?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have been feeling the same thing as Chapin. The IRS is the scandal that undermines the very foundations of government the way Nixon did. You don't burgle the opposition and you don't use the taxation arm of government on your political opposition either. I believe this is actually deeper than the violation of the constitution involved in the NSA scandal. Other Anglo Saxon democracies like the UK or Australia don't have a 4th amendment and their governments have much more power in that area, but no government in either country could survive burglarizing or using their taxing authority on the opposition. Indeed the IRS scandal is the first time since Nixon that I felt a President has clearly crossed the line. I was equally unimpressed by the attempts to get Reagan and Clinton, but I agree with Chapin the IRS scandal will not bring down Obama. What it will do is, barring the unforeseen, guarantee that the Republicans will retain control of the house in 2014 and perhaps make significant gains in the Senate.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The dereliction of duty over Benghazi has already been sanitized and concealed enough to trivialize it?

How much more heinous could it be where some of the most honorable agents of your military, knowingly outnumbered, supposedly defy orders, offer and lose their lives, to shield and protect their own diplomats and sovereign assets from fatal harm?
There's a BIG difference between criminal negligence and premeditated corruption.
But, when you have the highest ranking agents of your government affirmatively involved in both, you have unmitigated totalitarianism.
Hard to believe there is yet another "authority" and article trying to dilute the severity of these HIGH CRIMES and violation of Oaths of Office.
Bin Laden's not really dead; He's in the White House.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Facts and significant differences are of little importance, but the media hated Nixon and the Media love Buckwheat.
Nixon was charged with a very petty crime however and he was completely innocent and but resigned. Thank you Viet Nam and the liberal media

Buckwheat is blatantly guilty of many crimes including treason and everyone is too afraid of the negative political ramifications of prosecuting a colored president even if he is guilty. – Just like the Black Panthers.
So he gets elected solely because he is a negro
and now he ruins the country
solely because he is a negro and he hates white people and he can commit any crime without any punishment
solely because he is a negro.

We can thank the liberals for this and the complete destruction of America.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Your comment has me spilt.

The first part is right on target.

The rest is near-racist garbage. Clinton was, white, last I heard, and his crimes were far beyond anyone's.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wake up. Unfortunately, that "near-racist garbage" is one explanation of what is TRUE.

Haven't you noticed how readily the anti-conservatives pounce on ANY criticism of the administration, democrats or liberalism with the epithet "racist"? That is how they control the argument and dictate the outcomes. Since the figurehead is an African American (is that PC enough for you?) any disagreement with anything gets you called "racist".

We should work to defuse the language and promote the truth.

Only Black people/ people of color have "Civil Rights" and we have defacto reparations even though slavery ended in 1865. And don't forget the soft racism of low expectations fostered on Blacks by liberals.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I will agree with you re: the "buckwheat" monikers....but to believe Clinton's crimes were worse than what this administration has done....? No way, not even close; this regime has an impressive body count and has weakened us beyond anyone's worst nightmares. It is 100% true that Obama's race is his teflon. Sad, but very true.

Remember BENGHAZI!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is possible that this thing is going to get out of control. I don't believe that the administration understands what that could mean. Continuing to ignore the situation will not help the stabilize anything. And yes...drip...drip...drip!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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