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William Buckley, Editor, The National Review, on:
the final toast

William Buckley Q: How did you feel when you were listening to Nixon's final toast?

William Buckley: The feeling when we heard Mr. Nixon in Hangzhou was that he had been overcome by the tactical and bureaucratic and diplomatic exigencies as he saw them. And that he was abandoning such a role as he had enjoyed for twenty years as the leading spokesman for an adamant anti communist foreign policy. We felt that he had been overcome by the delirium of the event. It was such exciting news back in 1972. And some of us felt that that had happened and I wrote about it.

At a tactical level I supported Mr. Ashbrook in the New Hampshire primary against Mr. Nixon. I had made that commitment but I had also said I would not support him beyond that point. We the hard conservatives ended up supporting Mr. Nixon. But I wrote very, very widely on the subject and I did resign my appointment as a commissioner at USIA more or less in protest against that. It didn't slow him down. He put me in the United Nations the following year. But I wrote about it; I wrote a piece for Playboy magazine in addition to all my columns and my firing lines. So it was a wide concentration of attention on exactly what would be the implications of the Shanghai manifesto on foreign policy. And that might have had the effect of freezing a little bit that thaw from becoming sort of a flood.

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