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Posted at 12:03 AM ET, 03/11/2011

Nixon Center drops Nixon, becomes “Center for the National Interest.”

(Charlie Harrity/AP)
The Nixon Center is getting an extreme makeover — starting with a name change to the Center for the National Interest. The news was announced at Tuesday’s annual gala with the blessing of supporters, including Julie Nixon Eisenhower. But doesn’t the new name sound like all those other generic, earnest D.C. institutes/think tanks/NGOs?

“We had a lot of discussion about the name,” Executive Director Paul Saunders told us. “We felt strongly that the new name conveyed what we were about.” Saunders said he wasn’t concerned about being confused with other policy shops — the new name happens to be the title of the center’s magazine.

Cutting ties with Richard Nixon? Well, kind of. The old center was part of Nixon’s foundation; the new is independent. Saunders said Nixon’s library and privately run foundation focus on history; the new nonpartisan center is a “forward-looking” institute for foreign policy: “We believe that our new name unifies our existing ‘brands’ while avoiding confusion with the other two entities.”

By  |  12:03 AM ET, 03/11/2011

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