The Guessing Game – August 7, 1974
News for this day in 1974 had everything (or just about everything) to do with Watergate and the fate of President Richard Nixon. Support had evaporated when it was disclosed he was less-than-forthcoming regarding tapes and conversations – the consensus of opinion on Capitol Hill, and with most people in general, was that Nixon should and would resign.
But when? And would he?
On this August 7th in 1974, the latest news came from a meeting held with three prominent Republicans and Richard Nixon in the Oval office that afternoon. Senator Barry Goldwater, Senator Hugh Scott and Congressman John Rhodes emerged from the White House and met with reporters and assured the somewhat skeptical press that the subject of resignation never entered the conversation and that it was “three old friends talking about a bad situation”. When grilled about a purported midnight meeting between Barry Goldwater and Nixon, Goldwater protested loudly, saying it was a “g-d lie” (his words). Lots of adamant denials and tight-lipped conclusions. But it was a significant meeting nonetheless.
But it only fueled speculation that something was going to give, and give sooner rather than later. And August 7th, though not the date of his resignation, it was one step closer and one more element in the simmering pot that was Watergate and the Nixon White House. Things would have to drag on for another day.