Public response to the 3 November speech was phenomenal. The President, seen above with Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman, displayed some of the letters and telegrams on his desk in the Oval Office.
In his diary entry for 4 November, Haldeman wrote:
Reaction day, and a spectacular one! Wires pouring in all day as fast as machines could process them. Piled them all on P desk. He greatly enjoyed going through them all through the day as the pile steadily grew. Showed his favorites to all comers. Almost all favorable, and about 43 referred to “quiet majority”….Bill Hopkins (White House Staff Administrator through many previous administraitons) says biggest telegram response to a president’s speech.
On 6 November, Haldeman wrote:
The euphoria continues. Reaction runs high, even the bad guys have finally agreed the P scored heavily with the speech and the election results. The worst the Washington Post could do was complain editorally that he shouldn’t have been so happy about it. Now the telegrams are fading out and the letters starting. 30,000 today, amazing! Ended up with about 50,000 wires…..
P said this afternoon he really needs the weekend off, hasn’t slept much recently, first getting ready for speech, then trying to unwind. Said this week brought a greater turn-around in public attitude than at any time since the FUnd Speech in 1952 (the so-called Checkers speech), and interestingly both were brought about solely by a solo TV talk to the people, and both by Nixon.