Christopher Hitchens takes a look at the latest release of Nixon recordings at Slate. For the most part, his remarks about President Nixon, Dr. Henry Kissinger, and Rev. Billy Graham are precisely what one would expect him to say – especially when he presents variations on the remarks found in his best-selling book God Is Not Great.
But one sentence leaps out from the article:
At least nobody ever accused Nixon or Kissinger of having any sort of sex life while in office—the distinctly dank reek of the absence of same can be detected throughout the taped records.
Well….liberal and radical (and, oftentimes, conservative) pundits and journalists accused Dr. Kissinger of all manner of things during his tenure as National Security Advisor. But an absence of libido was never among the charges leveled at the man who gave the world the maxim “power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.”
To answer the question in this post’s title, at the time Dr. Kissinger was often photographed with ladies as notable as Barbara Walters, Gina Lollobrigida, Marlo Thomas, Candice Bergen, Samantha Eggar, and Jill St. John on his arm (before he remarried in 1973), Hitchens was working on the staff of the New Statesman. His duties there would likely have required him to examine English-language newspapers not only from London (where the Fleet Street press constantly ran photos of Kissinger with various lovelies) but all over the globe (including papers in which many more pictures could be found). It’s difficult to believe that Hitch’s eye never wandered away from the editorials and news articles to see the abundant visual evidence of Kissinger’s appeal to the opposite sex.
And where President Nixon is concerned, allow me to quote Barbara Walters’s words about her interview with him from her 1970 book How To Talk To Practically Anybody About Practically Anything: “I find that he has sex appeal— he’s slim and suntanned and . . . well, he’s just sexy, that’s all. And I call that charming.”
(Yes, younger readers of TNN, despite what you read in the papers or at DailyKos, there were presidents with “sex appeal” between Kennedy and Obama.)