even though they no longer mean anything to anybody

“Richard Nixon urges his White House staff to publicize his, er, personal warmth.

By Bonnie Goldstein – Slate Magazine

On July 11, papers and recordings of President Richard Nixon that previously had been withheld by the Nixon Foundation were released online and at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, Calif. Among these was an extraordinary piece of Nixoniana: a meandering 11-page memorandum (PDF) that Nixon sent in 1970 to his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, urging that White House staffers talk up what a warm human being “RN” was. (As was his habit, in the memo Nixon referred to himself repeatedly in the third person.) Nixon complained that “average voters” regarded RN as “an efficient, crafty, cold, machine.” To help correct this common misconception, Nixon cited “warm items” (Page 3) such as “the calls that I make to people when they are sick, even though they no longer mean anything to anybody” (Page 4). “I called some mothers and wives of men that had been killed in Vietnam,” he added, helpfully.”

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