1962: Bitter Richard Nixon


Former vice-president Richard Nixon looked to cement a political comeback by becoming governor of California on November 6, 1962.  The voters had other ideas, and instead re-elected Democrat Pat Brown by a slim margin. 

Almost 100 reporters gathered at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, to listen to Nixon’s concession speech the next morning.  It still stings with a sense of not just frustration, but sarcasm-laced bitterness from Nixon, as he chides the press for its campaign coverage.


Nixon claimed a long-standing media bias against him, which started when he argued the Alger Hiss case in 1948. ABC News invited the convicted purgerer Hiss to appear on a post-election TV special about Nixon’s derailed career.  The show, combined with Nixon’s statement five days before, generated enough sympathy for the ex-vice president that it may have actually sparked Nixon’s true political rehabilitation.  Within five years, Nixon was back in the spotlight as a Republican presidential hopeful, and he gained the White House by defeating Democratic vice president Hubert Humphrey in 1968.


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