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Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 18(3), 303–323.

The was a defining moment in American politics and led the resignation of President Richard Nixon and the indictments of several of his advisers. The Watergate scandal was also a watershed moment for how journalism was practiced in the United States.

Assessing the president: the media, elite opinion, and public support.
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Fighting in Vietnam nonetheless continued. In lieu of setting up unification elections, as stipulated in the Paris treaty, Thieu declared in November 1973 that the “Third Indochina War” had begun and went on the offensive. The NLF and NVA responded in kind, and with more success. Their final offensive to take Saigon was launched in March 1975. On April 2, Madame Nguyen Thi Binh, the Provisional Revolutionary Government representative who had signed the Paris treaty, offered to halt the NLF-NVA offensive if Thieu were replaced by a leader who would implement the terms of the Paris agreement. Thieu refused and lashed out against the NLF-NVA troops surrounding Saigon with every weapon at his command. The U.S. military, which came under the command of President Gerald Ford after Nixon was forced to resign on August 9, 1974 (due to the Watergate scandal), provided Thieu with monstrous 15,000-pound CBU-55 bombs originally intended to clear landing zones in the jungle.

War, presidents, and public opinion.

The responsive legislature: public opinion and law making in a highly disciplined legislature.
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The scandal takes its name from the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. The Watergate hotel was the site of a June 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

In February 1973, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution that impaneled the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities to investigate the Watergate burglary. Chaired by Democratic U.S. Sen. Sam Ervin, the committee held public hearings that became known as the "Watergate Hearings."

In April 1973, Nixon asked for the resignation of two of his most influential aides, H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman; both were indicted and went to prison. Nixon also fired White House Counsel John Dean. In May, Attorney General Elliot Richardson appointed a special prosecutor, Archibald Cox.

The Senate Watergate hearings were broadcast from May to August 1973. After the first week of the hearings, the three networks rotated daily coverage; the networks broadcast 319 hours of television, a record for a single event. However, all three networks carried the nearly 30 hours of testimony by former White House counsel John Dean.

After two years of investigations, evidence implicating Nixon and his staff grew, including the existence of a tape recording system in Nixon's office.

Public Opinion Quarterly, 66(3), 339–370.

Public opinion in America: moods, cycles, and swings.
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Continuous arrests fill the jails and prisons to the rafters, as at this precise moment, public opinion and the press are reduced to silence…. Political parties and religious sects have been eliminated…. Today the people want freedom. You should, Mr. President, liberalize the regime, promote democracy, guarantee minimum civil rights, recognize the opposition so as to permit the citizens to express themselves without fear, thus removing grievances and resentments.

Truth was not only the first casualty of war, as the Greek dramatist Aeschylus said 2,500 years ago, it was also a continuing casualty of American war plans and operations. President Johnson and his advisers engaged in numerous and elaborate deceptions in order to keep American public opinion on their side, or at least sufficiently confused so as to not interfere with their war plans. Johnson’s deceptions included misrepresenting the nature of the guerrilla war in South Vietnam, the extent of U.S. military operations in South Vietnam, covert operations against North Vietnam, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and U.S. peace proposals (which amounted to ultimatums). Added to these were continuing deceptions fostered by previous administrations concerning the Geneva Agreements, the nature of the South Vietnamese government, and the origins of the war.

Watergate Scandal Essay - 2046 Words - StudyMode
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Watergate Scandal Summary - historyrocket

On October 31, 1968, with the antiwar movement in full-swing and public opinion having turned against the war, President Johnson ended Operation Rolling Thunder, hoping to boost the presidential prospects of his vice president, Hubert Humphrey. Republican candidate Richard Nixon won the election and continued this official halt, while increasing the bombing of South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. He nonetheless wanted DRV leaders in Hanoi to believe that he was ready to employ all means necessary to win the war, perhaps even nuclear weapons. According to Nixon’s Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman, Nixon had confided to him:

Effective Papers: Essay on The Watergate Scandal

A summary Pentagon report at the end of 1966 took stock of civilian casualties, estimating that about 80 percent of the 13,000 to 24,000 North Vietnamese killed by American bombs were civilians. The commanding generals discussed the issue of civilian casualties, not as a humanitarian crisis, but as a public relations problem, as any acknowledgement of civilian casualties would give North Vietnam a “propaganda” advantage and turn world opinion (more strongly) against the United States. The report also noted that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were eager to abolish all legal restraints on bombing. A final report on Operation Rolling Thunder issued in the fall of 1968 summarized its failure to achieve stated military and psychological objectives:

Watergate scandal essay summary and response - …

In his 1999 book Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate, Woodward examined the impact of the scandal on Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton. “Shadow is a meticulously documented chronicle of self-delusion and self-pity,” wrote Mary McGrory [31].

Richard M. Nixon and The Watergate Scandal Essay - …

Public opinion shifted during the war. In the fall 1964 election, a majority of Americans voted for a presidential candidate who promised not to send “our boys” to Vietnam. Once combat troops were sent, however, the majority endorsed the war, in keeping with patriotic support for American troops abroad. A Gallup poll taken in June 1965 reported that 66% favored continued U.S. military involvement as opposed to 20% who favored withdrawal. Only one year later, support for the war had begun to wane. A Gallup poll taken in June 1966 reported 48% in favor of continued involvement and 35% in favor of withdrawal.

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