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Forum speaker to explore similarities between Nixon, Trump administrations

Mar 17, 2017

Veteran journalist John A. Farrell will be discussing the parallels between President Nixon’s and Trump’s administrations, and the political future those similarities may predict on Thursday, April 6. His talk, titled “Why Nixon? Why Nixon now? A study of a controversial president in a time of presidential controversy,” is part of Flagler College’s Forum on Government and Public Policy series and will be held in Lewis Auditorium.

Farrell, the author of the new biography “Richard Nixon: The Life,” said similarities and differences between both presidents are significant.

“They both practice a ‘politics of grievance,’ aiming their politics at the South and Rust Belt states,” he said. “Both have both been enmeshed in a scandal over a break-in at Democratic Party headquarters. They both have been accused of conspiring with a foreign power to win election. Both declared war on the press. Both have or had a difficult relationship with the intelligence community.”

But, he noted, the presidents' backgrounds are very different: Nixon came from a poor California farming community and Trump was raised by a wealthy family in New York.

“That said,” he added, “Trump's tweets sound an awful lot like Nixon's ranting on the famous White House tapes.” 

In addition to “Richard Nixon: The Life,” Farrell is the author of “Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned,” a biography of America's greatest defense attorney and “Tip O’Neill and the Democratic Century.” He is a contributing editor to Politico Magazine, after a prize-winning career as a newspaperman, most notably at The Denver Post and The Boston Globe, where he worked as White House correspondent and served on the vaunted “Spotlight” team. His biography of Clarence Darrow was awarded the Los Angeles Times book prize for the best biography of 2011. Other accolades include the Gerald R. Ford prize and the Aldo Beckman Award from the White House Correspondents Association for coverage of the presidency, the 2001 Raymond Clapper Memorial Award for distinguished Washington reporting, the 1990 Roy Howard Public Service Prize and a George Polk Award in 1984. Farrell has guest lectured for classes at colleges including Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the United States Military Academy.

For more than 30 years, the Flagler College Forum on Government and Public Policy has invited nationally recognized journalists and commentators to St. Augustine to discuss issues of importance in regional, state and federal government. All Forums take place in Lewis Auditorium, 14 Granada St., at 7 p.m. Forums are free and open to the public, but seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are a person with a disability and need reasonable accommodations, please contact Lynn Francisco at 904-819-6460. Sign Language Interpreters are available upon request with a minimum of three days’ notice.
Call (904) 826-8572 or visit here for more information.

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