Time for another peek at the trove of Nixon-era documents acquired by the National Archives this summer. In April 1971, on the lookout for new talent, Nixon political operative Murray Chotiner spotted great potential in John Kerry, a young Vietnam veteran who attracted nationwide attention when he testified against the war before the Senate foreign relations committee. In a memo to Attorney General John Mitchell (below), Chotiner wrote that Kerry "could be an excellent candidate" for the Republicans. Chotiner speculated that Kerry's patrician background might make him sympathetic to the GOP. "[H]e is a Yale graduate and inclined toward the 'establishment,' " Chotiner noted, and "has no use for the Democrats as such." Chotiner further observed that during the hearings, when Kerry "was asked the direct question of how he'd voted in 1968," Kerry replied that he hadn't voted at all, but if he had, "he would have voted for Nixon."
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