White House

Anna Chennault: the woman who helped Nixon sell out peace to win the presidency

Anna Chennault: the woman who helped Nixon sell out peace to win the presidency

On March 30, 94-year-old Anna Chennault died. What history will remember her for is the pivotal role she played in Richard Nixon's 1968 presidential victory — a role that, if it had been widely known at the time, might have deprived Nixon of the White House and assured the election of Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey instead.

Days before that election, Chennault — the China-born widow of World War II hero Gen. Claire Chennault of the famed Flying Tigers and a major Nixon fund-raiser — passed word to South Vietnam President Nguyen Van Thieu that if he boycotted planned peace talks in Paris, he could count on the support of a President Nixon.

The Nixon campaign feared that...

61°