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The Legacy of a Scandal and a President

Twenty-five years ago this week, President Richard M. Nixon announced that he would be resigning from the presidency, "effective noon tomorrow." Since then, historians, journalists, politicians, and pundits have debated both the nature of his guilt and the stature of his presidency. Nixon himself spent the rest of his life working to recuperate his legacy by fashioning himself in books and appearances as an elder statesman. Supporters have always pointed to Nixon's opening of relations with China, his handling of detente, and his often innovative domestic policies as evidence of his historical worth. Detractors have argued that he violated the public trust and sought to circumvent the Constitution. But the argument over Nixon's eventual place in history is only half of the story. The scandal of Watergate and the resignation it prompted have changed the nature of both politics and journalism in Washington for the last quarter of a century and apparently for the foreseeable future. Each of the four elected presidents who have succeeded Nixon have felt the shadow of Watergate fall on their own presidencies.
Archived Scout Publication URL
  • https://scout.wisc.edu/report/ss/1999/0810
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Date of Scout Publication
August 10th, 1999
Date Of Record Creation
April 3rd, 2003 at 12:35pm
Date Of Record Release
April 3rd, 2003 at 12:35pm
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