Richard Nixon's life is a story made for a movie, or better yet, a modern-day tragedy. Having a troubled childhood, Richard was raised by a somewhat abusive father and a controlling mother. Some historians have believed that as a result of his childhood, Nixon had a drive to succeed, to prove himself; certainly after his venomous battles with the media, he felt that he had to appear good while using any tactics to win. After Nixon graduated third in his class from Duke University Law School, but failed to procure a position in a New York law firm, his antipathy for the "eastern establishment" began. By 1947, however, Nixon proved his expertise in establishing foreign diplomacy. For this reason, he was asked to run as Vice-President with Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was highly successful in foreign affairs and ran the presidency well when Eisenhower suffered a stroke.
After Richard Nixon was leading John F. Kennedy in 1960by 11 points before the first televised debates, but lost, by the narrowest of margins, the presidential election because his lead plummeted after the debates on TV, he went on to run for governor of California in 1962, but lost to Edmund G. Brown. Disgruntled with the "liberal press" whom he felt persecuted him, Nixon suggested that he would drop out of public life saying to the media, "You won't have Richard Nixon to kick around anymore."
Nevertheless, he was nominated for president and won against Hubert H. Humphrey in 1968 because George Wallace of Alabama, a third-party candidate, drew many votes away from Humphrey. During his first four years, Nixon was successful, especially in foreign affairs as he signed an agreement with the Soviet Union in which USSR promised to reduce nuclear weapons. For a time, he also helped reduce inflation. However, throughout his political career, the liberal press hounded him and he became susceptible to lashing out at various journalists, aggravating the situation. (He suspected some in his cabinet as treacherous and providing information to the press.)
So, because of the antipathy between him and the press, and because of his past losses, Nixon ran a rather closed government and felt that he could take no chances and could not rely on the fickle polls. He allowed the Watergate break-in because of his paranoia of losing even though he had a lead, always remembering another loss that he felt he should not have suffered. So, to defend himself, he wanted as much evidence as he could glean from his opponents. This all was unnecessary as he won the election by a large margin. Nevertheless, his arrogance and a fear of openness with the press/media who had previously fallen upon him often with petty comments about his wife and other privte matters were the tragic flaws that clouded his reasoning and brought about his resignation.