Pat Buchanan

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Person.png Pat Buchanan   Sourcewatch WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(Author, pundit, speechwriter)
Patrick Buchanan.jpg
BornPatrick Joseph Buchanan
Washington DC, U.S.
Alma materGeorgetown University, Columbia University
ReligionRoman Catholicism
SpouseShelley Ann Scarney
Member ofKnights of Malta, The Unz Review
PartyRepublican Party, Reform Party
American Conservative author, syndicated columnist, and television commentator.

Employment.png White House Director of Communications

In office
February 6, 1985 - March 1, 1987

Patrick J. Buchanan is an American author, syndicated columnist, and television commentator. In 2000, he ran for President of the United States on the Reform Party ticket. He had twice unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for president. He has written several books on his political and religious views.

He is also one of the founding editors of and main contributors to The American Conservative magazine, and as such would be labeled an "old" conservative figure, particularily criticizing the Bush administration's neo-conservative and profligate spending habits.

"The conservative movement has been hijacked and turned into a globalist, interventionalist, open borders ideology that is not the conservative movement I grew up in."[1]

During the 2000 campaigns, and in some circles after, he appeared often with Ralph Nader to discuss disturbing imperialist and globalization trends in the Republican Party and Democratic Party. In general their analyses of problems tend to converge, but their solutions diverge sharply.

Buchanan believes that United States sovereignty has been sacrificed to the gods of the global economy. Labeled an "isolationalist", he was a loud critic of NAFTA, CAFTA, George W. Bush's foreign policy of rejecting U.S. allies and invading Iraq, and running up huge trade deficits.

Buchanan wrote in 1996 that Watergate was indeed a coup d'état to remove Richard Nixon from the US presidency.[2]

Work for the Nixon White House

The next year, he was the first adviser hired by Nixon's presidential campaign;[3] he worked primarily as an opposition researcher. The highly partisan speeches Buchanan wrote were consciously aimed at Richard Nixon's dedicated supporters, for which his colleagues soon nicknamed him Mr. Inside.[4] Buchanan traveled with Nixon throughout the campaigns of 1966 and 1968. He made a tour of Western Europe, Africa and, in the immediate aftermath of the Six-Day War, the Middle East.

During the course of Nixon's presidency, Buchanan became entrusted on press relations, policy positions, and political strategy.[5] Early on during Nixon's presidency, Buchanan worked as a White House assistant and speechwriter for Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew. Buchanan coined the phrase "Silent Majority," and helped shape the strategy that drew millions of Democrats to Nixon. In a 1972 memo, he suggested the White House "should move to re-capture the anti-Establishment tradition or theme in American politics."[6] His daily assignments included developing political strategy, publishing the President's Daily News Summary, and preparing briefing books for news conferences. He accompanied Nixon on his trip to China in 1972 and the summit in Moscow, Yalta and Minsk in 1974. He suggested that Nixon label Democratic opponent George McGovern an extremist and burn the White House tapes.[7] Buchanan later argued that Nixon would have survived the Watergate scandal with his reputation intact if he had burnt the tapes.[8]

Buchanan remained as a special assistant to Nixon through the final days of the Watergate scandal. He was not accused of wrongdoing, though some mistakenly suspected him of being Deep Throat. In 2005 when the actual identity of the press leak was revealed as Federal Bureau of Investigation Associate Director Mark Felt, Buchanan called him "sneaky," "dishonest" and "criminal."[9] Because of his role in the Nixon campaign's "attack group," Buchanan appeared before the Senate Watergate Committee on September 26, 1973. He told the panel: "The mandate that the American people gave to this president and his administration cannot, and will not, be frustrated or repealed or overthrown as a consequence of the incumbent tragedy".[7]

When Nixon resigned in 1974, Buchanan briefly stayed on as special assistant under incoming President Gerald Ford. Chief of Staff Alexander Haig offered Buchanan his choice of three open ambassador posts, including South Africa, for which Buchanan opted. President Ford initially signed off on the appointment, but then rescinded it after it was prematurely reported in the Evans-Novak Political Report and caused controversy, especially among the U.S. diplomatic corps.[10]

Buchanan remarked about Watergate: "The lost opportunity to move against the political forces frustrating the expressed national will ... To effect a political counterrevolution in the capital — ... there is no substitute for a principled and dedicated man of the Right in the Oval Office".[7]

Long after his resignation, Nixon called Buchanan a confidant and said he was neither a racist nor an antisemite nor a bigot or "hater," but a "decent, patriotic American." Nixon said Buchanan had "some strong views," such as his "isolationist" foreign policy, with which he disagreed. While Nixon did not think Buchanan should become president, he said the commentator "should be heard."[11] However, according to a memo President Nixon sent to John Ehrlichman in 1970, Nixon characterized Buchanan's attitude towards integration as "segregation forever".[12] Following Nixon's re-election in 1972, Buchanan himself had written in a memo to Nixon suggesting he should not "fritter away his present high support in the nation for an ill-advised governmental effort to forcibly integrate races."[13]