Richard Nixon, wannabe rapper

This week is the 40th anniversary of Richard M. Nixon's resignation from the presidency. That means it is a perfect time to remember the fact that Nixon regretted ever getting into politics.

He wanted to be a rapper instead.

In another lifetime, this man could have been a rapper. (AP)

On an audiotape at the Nixon Presidential Library (even after leaving the Oval Office, he couldn't shake his habit of recording every thought) he is found to say for all of posterity, ''I have often thought that if there had been a good rap group around in those days, I might have chosen a career in music instead of politics.''

And he didn't even know MC Rove existed yet.

In 1997, a Washington Post reporter went on a tour at Richard Nixon's birthplace, a small farmhouse in Yorba Linda, Calif., and heard the recording play on the audio tour. The reporter responded, "Of all the revisionist history presented here, this conceit is the most boggling: Richard Milhous Nixon as Snoop Doggy Dick."

When this became common knowledge in 1990, several people immediately began imagining the verses Nixon might have made. Christopher Buckley and Paul Slansky wrote "Nixon's Rap" for the New York Times. Here's an excerpt:

It don't make no difference if I'm strong or I'm brave

All they ever talk about is how I need a shave

In the first debate with J.F.K. I know I was in trouble

When the press chose 2 focus its attention on my stubble

I lost, but 2 years later I was runnin' again

4 the California statehouse I had a monster yen

I gave it my best but I lost 2 Pat Brown

Told the guys in the press they'd miss kickin' Dick around

6 more years pass and where am I? In Miami

(The time before the time I got hugged by Sammy)

It woulda been a landslide if it hadn't been 4 Spiro

And I woke up the next mornin' as America's hero.

U can't keep me down, can't keep me down

U can't keep me down, can't keep me down

A columnist for the Daily Press in Virginia also submitted some Watergate-themed rhymes:

Did you fall for that Watergateblather?

It was just a jive left-wing invention

By Woodward, Bernstein and Dan Rather.

How could you doubt my good intention?

The biased press made me the scapegoat, made me quit and take the rap.

Just because my White House tape

Had an 18 1/2-minute gap

And now, 24 years later, we have YouTube to make the ethereal dreams of a post-presidential rapping career real.

Jaime Fuller reports on national politics for "The Fix" and Post Politics. She worked previously as an associate editor at the American Prospect, a political magazine based in Washington, D.C.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read Politics



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Next Story
Jaime Fuller · August 7, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.