'Grotesque connotations': the '$4,000' critique of presidential hopeful Nixon
Even before the Watergate scandal, President Richard Nixon's image had much room for improvement
"Loose fingers, hanging downward from bent wrists moving toward the camera in a swimming motion are confusing, and have grotesque connotations."
A 1967 critique of future president Richard Nixon by media consultant Jack Bynam is coming to auction later this month, providing collectors with a wonderful insight into attempts to remould the Republican candidate's image.
The 10 page report is one of 81 Nixon-related documents being offered to bidders in a single lot at RR Auction's online sale.The artefacts belong to Nixon's former joke writer, Paul Keyes.
Bynam's report, underlined in places by Nixon, was commissioned by the future president in an effort to improve his public image. A year later, he won the presidency of the United States.
"His frequently clenched fists indicate tension ... even belligerency," states Bynam, adding that the grease Nixon was using to keep his hair in place game him "a slick, foreign look ... unbecoming in his role".
While complimenting him on his oratory and knowledge, Nixon's smile also came in for criticism. "More like an effort than a pleasure," states Bynam.
His ties were too dark and his sleeves were too long, the report adds.
We believe the $4,000 estimate for the 81 items is on the low side, such is the likely interest in this insightful political document among the world's political memorabilia collectors, and the fact that several memos in the collection were handwritten by Nixon.
The online auction ends on August 10. We will bring you all the key results, so make sure you check back here soon.
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Image: RR Auction