The Last Liberal Republican
Richard Nixon lamented that he would be remembered only for Watergate and warming relations with China. He wasn’t wrong – about the wreckage of Watergate in particular – but his legacy also entails an ambitious social policy agenda that surprised Democrats, shocked conservatives, and seems nothing short of remarkable in these hyper-partisan, hew-to-the-party-line times.
John Roy Price, who played a key role in shaping that agenda as one of the White House’s senior domestic policy advisors, recounts this forgotten aspect of Nixon’s ill-fated presidency in a discussion of his book The Last Liberal Republican: An Insider's Perspective on Nixon's Surprising Social Policy. Nixon’s priorities, from health care to welfare to the environment, would reverberate through subsequent administrations, and Price places him firmly in the liberal Republican tradition of Theodore Roosevelt, New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey, and Dwight Eisenhower.
A special assistant to the president from 1969 to 1971, Price also served during Nixon’s first term as executive secretary of the Council for Urban Affairs and Council for Rural Affairs. He went on to become president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh. He also founded and later served as chair of the board of the Ripon Society, a centrist Republican public policy organization.
Watch his presentation live online at YouTube.com/kclibrary.