Watergate Almost Didn’t Happen

Checkers the family dog of the Richard Nixon family was the focus of Nixon's famous "Checkers speech" during the 1952 presidential campaign.

There have been many famous dogs of politicians over the years but Richard Nixon’s dog Checkers is probably the only one to have a speech named after it.

The New York Post had printed an article questioning why Senator Nixon had a trust fund for the election campaign. Today it is normal procedure for political candidates to have a fund available for future political endeavors.

Some Republicans wanted General Eisenhower the Republican presidential candidate to remove Nixon from the ticket but Eisenhower stuck with Nixon who went on national television to defend himself from those attacking him.

Nixon brought up the family dog Checkers in the speech saying that Checkers had been given to them after his wife Pat had mentioned that their kids had wanted a dog.

If General Eisenhower had removed Nixon from the ticket we almost certainly would never have had the Watergate scandal that ended Nixon’s presidency in 1974.

It was a stroke of genius on the part of Nixon to go on national television to stop the attacks on his character and he and General Eisenhower would win a landslide victory a few weeks later in the general election of 1952 defeating the Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson.

This website has a transcript of the Checkers speech:



Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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