In early 1975, President Gerald Ford discovered a box of cassette tapes inside of the box springs in the Presidential Bedroom. The President and First Lady, thinking they might be musical, listened to one of them and learned that they were actually taped conversations from inside of the oval office. As the United States was still recovering from the Watergate fiasco and his pardon of Richard M. Nixon and needed healing, he did not feel it proper or right to release the tapes at that time.
The tapes were later stored in a vault in the Ford Presidential library with instructions to not be opened until after the deaths of both Presidents Ford and Nixon. With the recent passing of Mr. Ford, those tapes have now been turned over to the House of Representatives, which has formed an investigative committee to review the contents.
Excerpts from the tapes were leaked to this reporter and are published below for the first time anywhere.
Some of the voices on the tapes have yet to be identified. Others are known members of the Cabinet and the White House staff. While none of the tapes have been dated, it is occasionally possible to guess (based on items mentioned) about when they were recorded. Until legal ramifications are discussed and decided, no one (other than those named) on the tapes except the President will be identified.
Choosing a New Vice President
Nixon: "Agnew is going to resign. He's got his press conference set for tomorrow. I have to pick a new Vice President."
Male #1: "Who do you have in mind?"
Nixon: "I don't want Reagan. We're both from California and that is not good geography."
Male #2: "Who cares about geography right now? You won't have to run for reelection!"
Nixon: "He's also taller than me, more popular than me, more famous than me, and his wife is better looking than mine."
Male #1: "What about Kissinger?"
Male #2: "Can't. He's foreign born. Besides, his popularity may be lower than the President's."
Nixon: "There's Al Haig."
Male #1: "Are you kidding! Every time you went to the crapper, he'd be telling everyone that he was in charge. Stay away from those military types."
Nixon: "There are a lot of Republican Governors, Senators, Representatives, and Cabinet people that would be qualified for the office. The trick is to pick the right one that would eventually pardon me if this whole Watergate thing blows up.
Male #2: "You could make history and go with a woman or a minority."
Nixon: "No way. That will never happen."
Male #1: "There's Earl Butz who's the Chairman over in Agriculture."
Nixon: "Hell, no! The press would have a field day with Dick and Butz. They'd play it like some kind of faggot show in the White House."
Male #2: "If we're going to talk about keeping it close, we can go with George Shutlz. He's been over Treasury and Labor."
Nixon: "Part of this job is being a good statesman, and he'd never make it as a statesman."
Male #1: "There's George Romney. He was head of a giant auto company, Governor of Michigan, and your HUD secretary for four years."
Nixon: "And an opponent who came in sixth in the GOP convention in 1968 and a Mormon. We don't need all his wives running around. There's only one second lady, not thirty-two! Besides, he's probably the last Mormon governor we'll see outside of Utah and the last one who'll run for President."
Male #2: "There's John Connelly from Texas. He was your Treasury Secretary for a while, was Governor of Texas, and was also wounded in the shooting that killed JFK. The people might like that."
Nixon: "I seriously thought about him, but he's changed political parties and the democrats hate him. He'd never get approved."
Male #2: "Strom Thurmond?"
Nixon" "The democrats and the blacks would eat my lunch on that one."
Male #1: "There's always Gerald Ford. He's the Minority Leader and should get an easy pass through the nomination process."
Nixon: "Yes, and he's also something of a sap, so he'll forgive me if I need the help. He's also been called a klutz, so that may take some of the bad attention off me if he slips on something."
Male #2: "So is it Ford then?"
Nixon: "Yes, we're done here."
Someone Under the Desk
Note: This tape was recorded at the Nixon home in Thousand Oaks, California during a Nixon vacation in October of 1972. It is assumed that, because of references to a desk, it was in the Nixon home office.
(sound of door opening and closing)
Male #1: "Mr. President, could we have a few minutes?"
Nixon: "Actually, I'm kind of busy right now."
Male #2: "This shouldn't take but a few seconds, sir."
Nixon: "Well, neither should I if experience holds true."
Male #3: "What, sir?"
Nixon: (sounds of moaning) (sound of zipper closing)
Marcia: (slightly muffled) "Oh crap, I got some on my dress."
Nixon: "Gentlemen, I'd like you to meet Marcia. She's my new White House intern here at my western White House."
Male #1: "Does she have a security clearance to be in here? Has she been briefed on the rules, policies, and procedures?"
Marcia: "No, but I've debriefed him enough times."
Male #2: "And just what were you doing underneath that desk?"
Marcia: "It's a medical term I got from my husband. He's a doctor of Radiation Oncology. He calls it a Lewinsky. He named it after himself."
Nixon: "Would anyone else, besides Marcia, care for a cigar right now?"
Male #3: "Sir! If word of this got out!"
Nixon: "Everyone knew about JFK and Marilyn. She's my Marilyn."
Male #1: "But what about Pat?"
Nixon: "Have you looked at Pat lately?"
Males #1,2, and 3: "Good point."
Male #1: "Mr. President, is this something you intend to make a long term affair? Is this something that has been going on for a long time? Is this something that has gone beyond the oral?"
Nixon: "That depends on what the definition of is, is."
Note: Child Monica was born to "father" Bernard Lewinsky and mother Marcia on July 23, 1973. She has never had a paternity tests. Psychologists have determined that since some behaviour is genetic, a predisposition to "do the president" in his office may be hereditary. A second gene giving one the desire to have sexual relations in the president's office may also have been inherited from a possibly different father.
Sock it to Me!
(sound of door closing)
Male: "You wanted to see me sir?"
Nixon: "They said you had the newest popularity poles?"
Male; "Right here, sir."
Nixon: "Well, sock it to me."
Male: "I beg your pardon, sir?"
Nixon: "Sock it to me!"
Male: "Sir, your Laugh-In appearance is over. You don't have to keep practicing your line anymore."
Nixon: "I like saying it, and that's the truth! (makes raspberry sound)
Male: Sir, that's another Laugh In character. You're not Lily Tomlin's Edith Ann, sir.
Nixon: "I'm not!"
Male: "No sir."
Nixon: (in fake German accent) "Very interesting."
Male: "You're not Arte Johnson, either, sir."
Nixon: "Well, we'll just have to call Henry and see what he has to say about this!"
(sound of the president picking up the phone and dialing)
Nixon: "One ringy dingy. Two ringy dingy."
Male: "Sir, you're not Lily Tomlin's Ernestine either. That's her operator character."
(phone is hung up)
Nixon: "Well when did the Flying Fickle Finger of Fate point your way?"
Male: "Sir, there was no fickle finger of fate. We are in the Oval Office of the White House. The Laugh In appearance has come and gone."
Nixon: "Do you think we could get Goldie Hawn to come to the oval office and dance in that little green bikini of hers? Her fake tattoos are always so funny."
Male: "I think she's a Democrat, sir."
Nixon: "Oh. What if we told her that this was beautiful Downtown Burbank?"
Male: "Sir, it's getting late. Do you want the public opinion poles or not."
Nixon: "No, but you can help me."
Nixon: "You say, say goodnight, Dick."
Male: "But I could never call you Dick, Mr. President."
Nixon: "But it's my name, and lots of people in America call me Dick."
Male: "Actually, according to these poles, they are calling you A dick."
Nixon: "What you see is what you get!"
Male: "Can I leave now, sir?"
Nixon: "Come on, say it first. ordering you."
Male: "Allright sir, say goodnight, Dick."
Nixon: "Goodnight, Dick!" (sound of laughter)
Male: "Are you happy now, sir?"
Nixon: "You bet your sweet bippy!"
Male: "Why do you keep saying this stuff?"
Nixon: "The devil made me do it."
"I am not a ..."
Male #1: "Mr. President, we really need to decide on your costume for the Halloween Ball next week. The first lady wants to go as a chef and a waitress."
Nixon: "I am not a cook!."
Male #2: "Last year, my wife and I went as chess pieces."
Nixon: "I am not a rook!"
Male #1: "What if Pat went as a librarian and you went as an encyclopedia."
Nixon: "I am not a book!"
Female #1: "What if you dressed up as a Rabbi?"
Nixon: "I am not a schnook!"
Male #1: "What about as famous bodies of water?"
Nixon: "I am not a brook!"
Male #2: "Pat had another idea. What if you went as cat burglars? You could both be dressed all in black."
Nixon: "Good idea! This year, I am a crook!"
The White House Pets
Nixon: "Dammit, that bleepin' piss bag peed on my chair again!"
Male #1: "One of the democrats, sir?"
Nixon: "No, it was probably Julie's dog, Vickey. She pees on everything she sees."
Male #2: "Shall I get one of the maids, sir?"
Nixon: "Yes, and get me that gun that Elvis gave me too. I'm going to shoot that damned poodle."
Male #1: "How do you know it was Vickey, sir?"
Nixon; "By the amount that the little bladder butt leaves. Trish's little terrier Pashon doesn't leave much, and it's usually on my pillow, and that stupid golden retriever, King Tamahoe, always leaves these monster piles of steaming dog crap everywhere."
Male #2: "But I thought you loved the White House pets, sir?"
Nixon: "Photo ops, photo ops, you moron. Everyone loves to see the President with a dog. Ever since I gave that stupid Checkers speech, everyone thinks I should have two or three."
Male #2: "Then you really don't love the dogs, sir?"
Nixon: "Hell no, I do love 'em. Why do you think I went to China? Where else can you get a good meal? They've got the most tender Blue Heeler I've ever eaten! The food there was great."
Male #1: "Maybe you should tell him what happened to Checkers, sir."
Nixon: "That cocker spaniel got the farts really bad. Checkers could clear a room faster than Henry Kissinger. I was so relieved when Pat agreed to let me have that gas bag put down. The kid's didn't like it, but they got replacements that are just as bad."