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Nixon secretary Rose Mary Woods dead at 87

Nixon secretary Rose Mary Woods dead at 87

Rose Mary Woods, the devoted secretary to President Nixon who said she inadvertently erased part of a crucial Watergate tape that had an 18-minute gap, has died. She was 87. Woods died Saturday night at a nursing home in Alliance, about 60 miles south of Cleveland, funeral home owner Roger Ruzek said Sunday. He did not know the cause of death.

The gap in the tape of a June 20, 1972, conversation between Richard Nixon and chief of staff H.R. Haldeman was critical to the question of what Nixon knew about the break-in at Democratic headquarters in the Watergate complex three days earlier and when he knew it.

The odds on her being Deep Throat are as close to zero as can be mathematically calculated... But every time a person from that time frame passes we always wonder if Bob Woodward will finally caught up the name. Don't hold your breath on this one.

Comments (11)

I know that everyone will [... (Below threshold)

I know that everyone will [...] scandal of Water[...] role in erasure [...] mind that her family [...] difficult time. Let's [...] perspective.

Thank [...]


I honestly couldn't give a ... (Below threshold)
Rob Hackney:

I honestly couldn't give a fuck. Nixon was never my President. Not after what he did. Ah well, there's always one rotton egg. Even in the GOPs history.

Actually, Nixon had one of ... (Below threshold)

Actually, Nixon had one of the most effective foreign policies of any president in recent history. (The fall of the Soviet Union wasn't all Reagen's credit, most of it was Gorbechav) It was Nixon's relations with China that allowed us to play China's communists against Russia's communists.

I like to view the Nixon watergate thing along the lines of Clinton's Lewinsky thing. In the end, the scandal itself was meaningless and had no affect at all on anything. The only problem was that Nixon was so secretive (and Clinton was such a dishonest person).

Nixon was never my Presi... (Below threshold)

Nixon was never my President. Not after what he did.

Which, if you're talking about Watergate, accounts for two years of his five and a half years as president.

Why was he not your president during the other three and a half years?

Yeah, during the other 3.5 ... (Below threshold)

Yeah, during the other 3.5 years, he was experimenting with socialist policies like wage and price controls. The Nixon legacy continues to rebound, appreciated more like an old pair of shoes, but he was pathetic on economics. However, it must be said that Nixon is already dead. This story is about his secetary, who may have had a little more sense.

I agree with some of the ab... (Below threshold)

I agree with some of the above, Wage and Price controls were a rotten idea as I'm sure Nixon himself would have agreed, after some time.

As bad as they were, Foreign policy and the China initiative were brilliant, even Democrats agree.

So, like most Presidents, the Nixon record is a mixed bag.

However, this had little or nothing to do with the "missing 18 minutes", or the firing of special prosecutors, and the Elliot Richardson stand.

These events are black marks - always will be - and lead directly to resignation to avoid impeachment.

The missing 18 minutes, not often remembered, played a significant role in the loss of support within Republican ranks, including me.

Okay, I wasn't born until a... (Below threshold)

Okay, I wasn't born until a year after the Watergate break in (to the day, oddly enough) but while I've heard of the famous 18 minute gap, I've never heard about it in context.

In other words, what was it about those 18 minutes that was any more or less important than any other gap? What was supposidly discussed that was so damning? Or was it just the missing time that itself was suspicious?

Exactly. I echo what Robert... (Below threshold)
Rob Hackney:

Exactly. I echo what Robert said.

I chose NOT TO BE A HYPOCRIT. The LIBERALS love it when we do that.

Nixon lost my respect. If you expect me to be all peaches and cream over him, then I would have to for Clinton too. Both lied...one was a little worse than the other sadly, as one was simply about ones personal life.

However, I choose to think Clinton is a complete fucktard and I'm glad he's gone too.

So no hypocrisy please. Either agree that Nixon was a huge dissapointment in the end, and came to nothing...worse than nothing for trying to deal with the commies in china thankyouverymuch...or agree that Clinton was also a "great man" who had a bit of a slip up and alittrle white lie or some such.

No Hypocrisy from me. I want my presidents to be PRESIDENTS.

- It takes a whole village ... (Below threshold)

- It takes a whole village to raise a child....but it takes a village idiot to survive all the vageries of what it takes tyo be president and then manage to completely blow it... but it was actuall more personal naivette' and hubris than stupidity....

- Maybe Mz Woods left the 18 minutes of tape to Woodward in her will....at any rate based on the hours and hours that she didn't erase, it was probably 16 minutes of "explative deleted"... Nixon never understood it was his own praveracating that sank his ship....same with Clinton and Rather and CBS.... must be a Washington desease... Admit nothing, deny everything, no matter how stupid you look doing it...."I am not a crook....the American people need to know their president is not a crook"....

I liked Nixon. He was not a... (Below threshold)

I liked Nixon. He was not a bore. Besides what has already been noted, he made the public aware of conservation, had a profound effect on gov. policiy towards native americans, really had an election stolen from him but put the good of the country before himself, founded an interegrated fraternity at Whittier College, and was right about Hiss and the widespread communist infiltration of the state dept. It seems like the hatred of him is disproportionate with what he did.

There's much more to Waterg... (Below threshold)

There's much more to Watergate than generally known. For those interested, read Jim Hougan's 1984 book: "Watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA" and Len Colodny/Robert Gettlin's 1991 book, "Silent Coup, The Removal of a President."

Some of the key Watergate players have popped up again in CBSgate.






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