Ted Kennedy Rightly Accused Nixon of Playing Fatal Politics With Vietnam War

Senator Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, was one of the few leading Democrats to call out Richard M. Nixon on the President’s secret plan to time American withdrawal from Vietnam to his 1972 reelection campaign. Nixon’s secret timetable and Kennedy’s criticisms of it are explored in the first two episodes of my documentary miniseries:


Kennedy’s criticism of Nixon’s Vietnam strategy was one of the reasons he became a political bogeyman for the right, but in this case history has proved him right.

You can listen hear the entire phone call in which Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, D-Minnesota, the former Vice President of the United States, receives Nixon’s thanks for attacking Kennedy and defending the President. It’s part of a free, online exhibit that the Presidential Recordings Program of the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia put together featuring White House tapes and transcripts about Ted Kennedy from the administrations of Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson, and his older brother, John F. Kennedy.

Nixon’s obsession with all things Kennedy played a role in the abuses of power that led to his downfall. Listen to him order the use of the Secret Service to spy on Kennedy and the IRS to investigate him and more.



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