David Gergen Shares His Experiences in the Nixon Administration


David, I want to start because there's some people in the audience. I get new affiliates every month, and we get 400 and right now. I want them to know that you work for RN, you work for Gerald Ford, you work for Ronald Reagan, you work for Clinton. But you have different sort of styles and roles for each of them. Let's start with president Nixon. What'd you do in the Nixon White House? Nixon White House, I came in, I've been in the navy. I went to law school and I went in the navy for three and a half years. My last year, you know, I was assigned to come back to come to Washington to work on draft reform. That was the time when Nixon had launched a random lottery to determine what draft number you got and whether you're going to go to Vietnam or not. And we tried to clean that up, they ran a bogus in some ways, I ran the moderator first year out. I'll tell you, you have time for a little story. We got lots of time. We can go a long time today. Okay, super. Well, so the next one out of The White House orders a random lottery to determine who goes to Vietnam. The Lewis Hershey was then head of the draft. He was sort of the J. Edgar Hoover of the drafts. And so Hershey did something they did back in the Second World War, which was a very popular war. They got a bowl, they got capsules, and they put January 1 in the first capsule, put it in a bowl, and then January 2, all the days of January, then February, all the way up through the days of December the last ones into the boat. Got a spoon started up a little bit. Put it in the closet. And then on the day on the random monitor, they brought it to bowl, reached in for number one, you ought to Vietnam. And it was like November 15th. And then all of the early all of the early numbers and all of the early draws were from late in the year. So the whole thing was tilted.

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