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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dwight Eisenhower Never Gave Dick Nixon a Valentine

Posted by on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 12:28 PM

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(Jeffrey Frank reads at Elliott Bay Book Company tonight at 7 pm. The reading is free.)

The interactions between presidents and their vice presidents have always been among the most interesting employer-employee relationships in the world. Consider the way Al Gore basically pretended Bill Clinton didn't exist during his presidential run, or the sight of President Obama setting his jaw against a mighty wince when Joe Biden told him over a hot mic that Obamacare was a "big fucking deal." Many presidential candidates choose their running mates to compensate for a personal or demographic failing, which often accounts for some awkward relationships later on.

But it doesn't get any more awkward than this: Once upon a time, one of the most popular presidents since George Washington took as his vice president a man who would go on to become one of the most hated figures in American history. Jeffrey Frank's chatty, buoyant new book, Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage, charts the relationship between Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, from their rushed introduction to Nixon's rise to the White House. Reading it will, at the very least, immediately make you feel good about all your interactions with all your coworkers forever...

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