Richard Nixon

Witcover: Hubert Humphrey's fateful blunder 50 years ago

Witcover: Hubert Humphrey's fateful blunder 50 years ago

Half a century ago last week, Richard Nixon was narrowly elected president over Democrat Hubert Humphrey. In the final days of that 1968 campaign. Humphrey obtained FBI surveillance that, if disclosed, might well have defeated Nixon. But he never used it, and Nixon ran the country for nearly six years, until he was forced to resign in the Watergate scandal.

Days before the election, President Lyndon Johnson gave his vice president evidence that a Nixon agent, Chinese-born Anna Chennault, went to the South Vietnamese Embassy in Washington to convey Nixon's desire that the Saigon regime boycott Paris peace talks underway.

But Humphrey balked at disclosing Nixon's ploy, insisting...

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