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Thu September 20, 2012
Just Plain Dick by Kevin Mattson
It all started with some businessmen bankrolling Richard Nixon to become a "salesman against socialization." But in this precursor to current campaign finance scandals, Nixon had some explaining to do to keep his place on Eisenhower’s Republican ticket, so he took to the airwaves.
In making his speech, Nixon left behind lines about a "Republican cloth coat" and a black and white cocker spaniel named "Checkers." The speech saved and bolstered Nixon’s political career and set the tone for the 1952 campaign.
Just Plain Dick: Richard Nixon's Checkers Speech and the "Rocking, Socking" Election of 1952 is political history and more. It’s the story of a young man nearing a nervous breakdown and staging a political comeback. Kevin Mattson is the Connor Study Professor of Contemporary History at Ohio University.