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Day: February 11, 2013

“Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage” by Jeffrey Frank

Ike-and-Dick

“Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage” by Jeffrey Frank
c.2013, Simon & Schuster
$30.00 / $34.99 Canada
434 pages

 

BOOK REVIEW
by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER

The boss didn’t like you very much.

You sometimes wondered why you were ever hired, in fact. From the beginning, he was critical, secretive, and never let you know you’d overstepped your boundaries until you’d run past them by a mile.

And you took the job anyhow. And you learned because you knew that the boss doesn’t have to like you. Still, it might’ve helped – but would that change history? Possibly… as you’ll see in the new book “Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage” by Jeffrey Frank.

After his service in World War II, Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower wasn’t sure he wanted the presidency. So many of Washington’s politicians were pushing him toward it, but the truth was, Eisenhower was more comfortable with his military and business friends than with politicians. He didn’t even know that the choice of Vice President would be his. With the help of a committee, he chose Dick Nixon from a list of possibilities.

Nixon and Eisenhower had met, briefly, once or twice before. Nixon, the consummate strategic politician, was young and energetic but not well-liked. He very much wanted to be on the 1952 ticket with Eisenhower, even though Nixon’s wife, Pat, was adamantly against any further campaigning.

Almost immediately after being chosen, scandal enveloped the gregarious Nixon.

The Democrats accused him of accepting secret funds, an accusation he escaped by refuting the charges on live TV (then in its infancy). But the mess was enough to put doubt in the mind of the reticent Eisenhower, who left Nixon dangling on the question of whether or not the latter was still on the ticket.

He was, though the same thing would happen again four years later when Eisenhower was asked to run again as the incumbent. He never seemed to be entirely comfortable with Nixon’s eager political wrangling, but he needed Nixon’s political skills, his adeptness in overseas diplomacy, and his Civil Rights work.

Later, he needed Nixon to be in charge when Eisenhower almost lost his life…

And, of course, the rest of the story is that we had Dick Nixon to kick around for many years to come. There’s much more to it than that, though, and “Ike and Dick” gives you the whole amazing story.

I liked this book, not entirely because of the political history that constitutes most of it, but because author Jeffrey Frank subtly pulled me into life in the 1950s. In light of the past few elections’ viciousness, what Frank shares almost seems quaint.

I was also very interested in learning about each man’s private personality, particularly that of Nixon. Curiously, the Nixon Frank writes about was not the same person who became President. Nixon as veep was breezier, perhaps, and savvier. His youth showed, and I was fascinated.

This isn’t a book for everybody but if you miss it, I think you’ll be sorry. “Ike and Dick” is definitely government-as-UNusual (in relation to what we have now), and if you’re captivated by that, then you’ll like it very much.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin.

Service to their school

Marlo Cleary (left) and Dawn Reichle Bailon (right) stand with the Service to Education Awards they received Jan. 26 at the Keizer First Citizen Awards Banquet. (KEIZERTIMES/Lyndon A. Zaitz)
Marlo Cleary (left) and Dawn Reichle Bailon (right) stand with the Service to Education Awards they received Jan. 26 at the Keizer First Citizen Awards Banquet. (KEIZERTIMES/Lyndon A. Zaitz)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Capitol Auto Group: Special People - Special Place

When it comes to organized sports at McNary High School, there are only so many spots to go around, which means that a number of students who would like to participate find themselves filling the time in less-than-advantageous ways.

McNary teachers Marlo Cleary and Dawn Reichle Bailon often heard the complaints from cut students and the sometimes more disastrous outcomes.

“The first two hours after school is out can oftentimes be problematic for a lot of teenagers. Things like substance abuse, teen pregnancy, crime, etc., are a real problem that we are trying to find positive solutions for,” Cleary said.


For more of this article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the Feb. 8 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

Walsh claims President’s Award

Former City Councilor Richard Walsh was honored for his work on Keizer Rapids Park with the Keizer Chamber of Commerce’s annual President’s Award Jan. 26. (KEIZERTIMES/Lyndon A. Zaitz)
Former City Councilor Richard Walsh was honored for his work on Keizer Rapids Park with the Keizer Chamber of Commerce’s annual President’s Award Jan. 26. (KEIZERTIMES/Lyndon A. Zaitz)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Rich Walsh doesn’t do it for the recognition.

But the award was certainly a nice benefit.

Walsh, a local attorney and former Keizer City Councilor, was honored with the President’s Award at the Jan. 26 Keizer First Citizen Awards Banquet at Keizer Civic Center.

“It was a huge honor,” said Walsh, currently chair of the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. “I really appreciated it, I really did. I like being involved in things. I have since leaving the council at the end of 2010. I have tried to keep involved and make a change in the community.”


For more of this article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the Feb. 8 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.