Former RN speechwriter and TV/Movie Superstar Ben Stein capped the Nixon Library’s 20th anniversary weekend with a glowing tribute to his former boss at an East Room gala dinner Saturday night.
Stein discussed working in the RN White House and gave a staunch defense of the 37th President’s legacy.
“Richard Nixon – the peacemaker – loved peace far more than he loved his own ambition,” Stein said in reference to RN not challenging voting irregularities in his 1960 presidential bid against JFK.
Stein went on to explain that RN answered the call in 1968, and sought to unite a nation divided by war and social strife.
“Let’s remember what the 1960’s were like,” Stein recalled. “The American people hired Mr. Nixon to end this revolutionary turmoil…..and that is precisely what he did.”
Stein also described the quagmire that was U.S. foreign policy before RN became Commander-in-Chief.
“When Richard Nixon took office, three hundred American soldiers and Marines were being killed per week,” Stein said, “Richard Nixon brought the North Vietnamese to the table, got our prisoners of war home, and ended American combat in Vietnam.”
“In 1972, RN shocked the world by going to China,” Stein explained, forcing the Russians into signing an arms limitation treaty and in the process lifted millions of Chinese people from under tyranny.
On the domestic front, RN was also a peacemaker, Stein said. His Justice Department fought to desegregate most of the nation’s schools, his signing of the clear air act assured improved quality of life for all Americans, and his health insurance plan – if passed – would have provided universal coverage.
“I will never turn my back on Richard Nixon, the peacemaker” said Stein. “Bless the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.”
Click here to watch of Edward F. Cox’s toast to President Nixon.
Click here to watch toasts to the President and First Lady by Nixon Foundation board member Maureen Nunn and California Congressman Gary Miller.
Click here to watch Robbie Britt’s performances of “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America.”
Click here to view the slideshow of the East Room gala dinner.
Click here to view the slideshow of a special wreathlaying at the gravesites of President and Mrs. Nixon.
Click here to view the slideshow the Rose Garden BBQ.
Click here to view the slideshow of Friday evening at La Casa Pacifica.
Click here to view the slideshow of the East Room Luncheon in honor of Pat Nixon featuring Pianist to the Presidents Roger Williams.
Click here to view the slideshow of the breakfast cruise aboard The Wild Goose, the private yacht of RN’s friend and legendary actor John Wayne.
Click here to read weekend coverage by the Orange County Register