What does Kissinger say was, in part, the cause of Nixon's fall as president?

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akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I agree that more detail is needed.  Kissinger was never implicated in the Watergate Scandal, and there is evidence to indicate that he was out of the loop in it.  Given his own penchant to be the center of attention throughout his career, he would probably say that Watergate and all that it exposed about the frailty of Richard Nixon might have accounted for his fall.  The Watergate Affair reflected Nixon's own political paranoia, his willingness to do whatever it took in order to consolidate his own power, and his belief that as President, his actions, could transcend the law, when needed.  Kissinger would probably point to these elements as being manifested in Watergate.  Additionally, he might suggest that Nixon's own condition of wanting to be embraced and accepted as President Kennedy was might have helped to fuel his own downfall because of the lack of focus on such pressing issues facing the nation. Yet, like so many associated with Nixon, there was little to indicate that members of the administration such as Kissinger were giving objective counsel and progressive input to the President about the direction of his tenure and meaningful insight to avoid what was in store for him.

lynnebh's profile pic

lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

Could you define more specifically what you are looking for? Do you mean in general what Kissinger said was Nixon's downfall, or are you referring to a specific book, speech or article that Kissinger wrote? Kissinger has written many works that discuss the Nixon administration, Watergate, the Viet Nam War, etc., so it would help to have more information.

We all know that Watergate - the break-in ordered by Nixon of the Democratic headquarters that was located in the Watergate Hotel in Washington - led to a series of events that unraveled the Nixon presidency and led to his resignation in 1974. Nixon feared he would not be re-elected for a second term, so he sent the so-called "plumbers" to break into the Democratic headquarters to obtain information that might give him an edge in his campaign.  I have read that Henry Kissinger often stated he believed the Viet Nam War was a "catalyst" that led to Watergate. Nixon feared the continued unpopularity of the Vietnam War would lead to his defeat and this fear made him so paranoid that he would do anything to give himself an advantage.

If you read about these two men - Kissinger and Nixon - you will find that they really did not like or respect each other very much. They called each other names behind each other's back, but in their own ways, they needed each other. Kissinger was one of the few in Nixon's administration not to be indicited for some crime associated with Watergate.

If this is not what you need, please re-post your question with more specific information.

Read about Watergate, Nixon and Kissinger here on eNotes.

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