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Dick Nixon Still Getting Kicked Around

A new book about President Richard Nixon claims he was wife-beating drunk who dabbled in Mafia man-love. But was he a good conservative?

In his new biography of President Nixon, author Don Fulsom throws dirt all over the place, reporting rumors that Nixon had mob ties going back to the 1940s, that he drank excessively while in the White House, that he beat up on First Lady Patricia Nixon and that he had a gay love affair with his Cuban pal, Bebe Rebozo.

We already know, thanks to that Watergate thing, that Nixon encouraged dirty tricks on opponents, used the I.R.S. and the F.B.I. as weapons against political enemies, bombed countries without permission from Congress and cussed a heck of a lot about a heck of a lot of things.

Now comes this book, Nixon’s Darkest Secrets: The Inside Story of America’s Most Troubled President, making it sound as though the stuff that drove Nixon out of office was merely a by-product of a grander weirdness.

As you can imagine, it’s not his problem drinking or his wife beating that peppers the headlines — it’s the suggestion that he may have had a gay affair. As if that’s somehow worse than punching the First Lady.

Here’s a report from the New York Daily News, which includes the melodious phrase, “a boozy Nixon nuzzling Rebozo.”

Here’s a report from the U.K.’s Daily Mail, which describes Rebozo as “a short, swarthy, good-looking Cuban-American businessman.” Short, swarthy AND good looking!

The book is from MacMillan:

And here’s an archive of stories by Don Fulsom in Crime Magazine, with pieces on notorious cases from Lee Harvey Oswald to Whitey Bulger to Dominque Strauss-Kahn.

And, for entertainment purposes only, here’s a photo-illustration:

Richard Nixon (right) and unidentified companion

(Top photo of David Frost and Richard Nixon provided by

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