Tag Archives: Nixon

Frost/Nixon – A Study of Bitter Resentment


A Presidency doomed… by a character drawn from lifelong bitterness and resentment over self-perceived “elitism?” Matt Towery, of Southern Political Report/InsiderAdvantage, has a few terribly interesting and highly unique comments about the riveting movie, Frost/Nixon.

Why so unique? Towery just so happened to have once met Nixon… and attended Cambridge. From Southern Political Report today:

Fast-forward to real-life. It was 1983. I had worked as an aide to a Republican U.S. senator, but was completing my degrees at David Frost’s same Cambridge University. Back in the United States on holiday, I was at a well-known private establishment when a group of prominent Republican fundraisers spotted me and insisted that they had “Dick Nixon” with them in the next room. I thought they were joking, but instead, as they opened the door, there he stood, larger than life.

They told Nixon that I had worked in the Senate, but was now at Cambridge, studying toward an advanced degree in International Relations.

Nixon didn’t miss a beat. First the charm: “Most Americans think Oxford is the best … but all the smart guys go to Cambridge.” As with Frost, Nixon had charmed me in a flash. But in the course of our chat — Nixon clearly enjoyed talking international relations — he asked me an odd question in a newly sincere tone: “Are they treating you OK there?”

I guess with my Southern accent and lack of sophistication, he assumed that I, too, was a victim of highbred elitism.

Ironically, just like David Frost in the movie, my response shocked him. I felt totally at ease with the university and my many friends. Nixon shrugged off the subject and proceeded to allow me to question him for my dissertation. I had lucked out.

And therein lies the essence of this stellar film. Richard Nixon could be both a charmer and his own worst enemy. In displaying his insecurities about a real or imagined world of “elites,” he was an early embodiment of the “Paranoid Nation” I describe in my book.

Full article here.