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
what they say, we're going to keep it.

He turned the last section of his address into a political attack, making veiled accusations
about the finances of his opponents and challenging them to provide the same kind of open
explanation.

Although it would forever be known as Nixon's Checkers Speech, it was actually a
political triumph for Nixon at the time it was given. Eisenhower requested Nixon to come to West

Virginia where he was campaigning and greeted Nixon at the airport with, Dick, you're my boy.

The Republicans went on to win the election by a landslide.

Bibliography
Ambrose, Stephen E. Nixon: The Education of a Politician 1913-1962. Chicago: Simon &

Shuster, 1987.

Brodie, Fawn M. Richard Nixon: The Shaping of His Character. San Francisco: W.W. Norton &

Company, 1981.

"Free Republic." http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a76702.htm

Morris, Roger Richard Milhous Nixon: The Rise of an American Politician. New York: Henry

Holt & Company Inc., 1990.

Nixon Eisenhower, Julie Pat Nixon: The Untold Story. New York: Juldee Inc., 1986.

Randolph, Sallie G. Richard M. Nixon President. London: Walker Publishing Company Inc.,

1989.

"Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace." http://www.nixonfoundation.org/

Schuman, Michael A. Untied States Presidents: Richard M. Nixon. New York: Enslow

Publishers Inc., 1998

"The History Place: Great Speeches Collection." http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/nixon-
checkers.htm

"The Richard M. Nixon Homepage." http://www.stanford.edu/~andygray/nixon/