November 2, 1974 – Rockefeller Confirmation Gets Rocky – Down To The Wire On Mid-Terms
November 2, 1974 – With days away from the 1974 Mid-Term elections, politics seemed to be the only thing on peoples minds. Unless you were on Capitol Hill, in which case you were smack in the middle of two major events; the Watergate coverup Trial was continuing and the confirmation hearings for Nelson Rockefeller, who was President Ford’s choice as vice-President. Ford, as you’ll recall was Nixon’s appointed VP when Sprio Agnew resigned amid allegations and charges of corruption and bribery. When Nixon resigned as President, Gerald Ford assumed the role of President, and there was no vice-President since Nixon left office in August. Now, the appointed President was appointing a vice-President and Nelson Rockefeller was undergoing extensive grilling on everything from Rockefeller’s personal finances, his contributions to campaigns – his brother’s scathing book on former Labor Secretary, Associate SCOTUS Justice and United Nations Ambassador Arthur Goldberg.
As for the Watergate coverup trial, this was the week the jury heard from two acknowledged liars; E. Howard Hunt and Jeb Magruder. Two men who had put their hands on the Bible and swore that they had lied, but were now telling the truth. Both said they lied to cover the truth, to protect themselves from others. Each told why he had changed his mind, to walk the straight and narrow. Hunt, because he heard the White House transcripts earlier in the year and found that, to his mind, those in the White House didn’t deserve his loyalty. Magruder broke much earlier, a year when he discovered others were about to break and that James McCord already had. Both now insisted they were telling the truth.
The Mid-terms. Days away from the 1974 mid-term elections and President Ford was out busy campaigning for Republican candidates. Hitting his home state of Michigan and continuing on with a whirlwind tour concluding a 17,000 mile trip which covered some 20 states. In general, his theme was Stop Inflation by supporting the GOP slate of candidates and throwing out the “big spending” Democrats. He also said that voting for Democrats would endanger world peace. However, that pitch didn’t go over well and he backtracked to stick with a modified pitch that asked Republicans to stick with the Ford Foreign Policy. With the state of affairs, with Watergate, the economy and general voter apathy for midterms, it was hard to tell how much Ford’s campaigning was going to help. None of that would be known until the following week when America went to the polls.
And that’s just a little of what went on, the November 2, 1974 as reported by CBS Radio’s Washington Week In Review.