On August 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon resigned. The night before, he addressed the nation on television. I remember that time clearly. I had just concluded my clerkship with Judge Ross. The judge was a Nixon confidante. The judge shared many insights about the President. As a result, I was particularly fascinated with the developments in Washington and the enigma that was Richard M. Nixon.
Do you know the actor Harry Shearer? Well, you should. He is wonderfully talented.
For a sadly funny and poignant skit on Nixon preparing to give his nationally televised resignation speech and then giving that speech, I encourage you to watch the six-minute YouTube video that is attached. Shearer provides us a penetrating insight into a brilliant, awkward, and complex man.
After the speech is over, Shearer, as Nixon, looks at those assembled in the Oval house. He wishes them a “Merry Christmas” with all the fake of bonhomie of child used to enduring playground beatings. It is August of 1974 but the raw winds of winter are evidently on Nixon’s mind.