The Watergate Moment

New York Times, August 8, 1994.


To look back on it: On Feb. 1, 1974, I urged President Richard Nixon to invoke the 25th Amendment and declare Gerald Ford to be acting President, on the explicit understanding that Mr. Nixon would resume the office if the impeachment proceedings came to rest without expelling him.

That became, in the nature of things, the position of National Review, and early in March my brother, Senator James Buckley, publicly called on the President to resign. This rank-breaking severely rattled the White House, but Mr. Nixon’s strategists remained confident that the President would survive. It wasn’t until April 29 that Mr. Nixon finally succumbed to pressures from all sides and released the transcripts of the tapes. That was the moment, as I reflect on it, when one knew that the king must die.

New York Times