At the 1952 Republican national convention, young Senator Richard M. Nixon was
chosen to be the running mate of presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Nixon had enjoyed a spectacular rise in national politics. Elected to Congress in 1946, he
quickly made a name for himself as a militant anti-Communist while serving on the House
Un-American Activities Committee. In 1950, at age 38, he was elected to the U.S. Senate and
became an outspoken critic of President Truman's conduct of the Korean War, wasteful spending
by the Democrats, and also alleged Communists were in the government.
But Nixon's rapid rise in American politics came to a crashing halt after a sensational
headline appeared in the New York Post stating, "Secret Rich Men's Trust Fund Keeps Nixon in
Style Far Beyond His Salary." The headline appeared just a few days after Eisenhower had chosen
him as his running mate. Amid the shock and outrage that followed, many Republicans urged
Eisenhower to remove Nixon from the ticket before it was too late.
Nixon, however, in a brilliant political maneuverer, took his case directly to the American
people via the new medium of television in a nationwide hookup. With his wife sitting stoically
nearby, Nixon offered an apologetic explanation of all of his finances, including the now-famous
lines regarding his wife's "respectable Republican cloth coat" and the tale of a little dog named
Checkers given as a present to his young daughters. "...I want to say right now that regardless of