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Wed Aug 8, 2012, 10:43 PM

Ironically(?), Nixon's first choice for VP to replace Agnew was John Connally...

"His favorite, I had long ago known, was John Connally. As early as October 6, four days before my resignation, the President had asked the former treasury secretary to accept the vice presidency. Both men knew it would give Connally a clear track to the White House in 1976. Connally wanted it, but he backed away when his enemies in both parties threatened to block his confirmation by the House and Senate and to drag the hearings on for many months. He was too new a boy in school to muster support from the Republicans in Congress, and his recent defection from the Democratic party did not endear him to those on the other side of the aisle.

By choosing Connally, Nixon would have become embroiled in another vicious partisan dispute, exactly the thing he was trying to avoid. So, with reluctance, he had to drop his favorite. He feared controversy would also rage if he chose Nelson Rockefeller, Ronald Reagan, or Barry Goldwater, all of whom were being strongly recommended by their friends. So he quickly settled on Gerald Ford, the amiable Michigan congressman who had acheived popularity, if not great distinction, as the House minority leader" ...



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