On November 5, 1968, Richard Nixon completed his remarkable comeback from political oblivion and was elected President of the United States (okay, his victory wasn’t confirmed until early the following morning, but still…).
When I was writing my book, I deliberately aimed for 2018 as a release date since it would mark the 50th anniversary of Nixon’s victory. Indeed, the 50th anniversary had been the main driving point behind the entire project. This book had started out as a proposed Q&A with former Nixon aide and Mudge Rose managing partner Tom Evans to mark the 50th anniversary of his joining the firm in 1963.
From Nixon in New York:
In 1968, Richard Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey in one of the closest presidential races in American history (third-party candidate George Wallace, governor of Alabama, turned in a strong third-place showing that contributed to the closeness of the race). Nixon won a clear majority in the Electoral College but defeated Humphrey by less than 1 percent in the popular vote. Much like in 1960, a few close states could have swung the election in the other direction. In this case, had Humphrey won Ohio, Illinois, and California (he lost all three by less than 3 percent), he would have won the presidency.
Nixon’s victory, which wasn’t confirmed until the following morning, was a tremendous accomplishment for both the candidate and his campaign manager. For Nixon, it was the culmination of an incredible comeback that seemed like a pipe dream after that fateful morning in 1962 when he behaved like a sore loser. For Mitchell, it was confirmation that he was one of the smartest, savviest lawyers in the country. The two men shared a moment right after the networks declared Nixon the winner. “Well, John, we had better get down to Florida and get this thing planned out,” Nixon said, putting his hand on his campaign manager’s shoulder. “Mr. President,” Mitchell responded, eyes welling up with tears. “I think I’d better go up and be with Martha.” As Nixon would later reflect, this was the first time anyone would ever call him “Mr. President.”