Episode #37: Nixon resigns, Brady passes, pols on trial

Just in time for the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation, John Dean, his former counsel, has a new book on some 1,000 White House tapes that he has exhaustively catalogued and transcribed.  What is Dean’s view about Nixon?  Why weren’t the tapes destroyed?  And how does he see his own role in the Watergate scandal?  He’s on the show to talk about it.

We also turn to politics in two states — Tennessee, where two-term Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander is facing a tea party challenger in Thursday’s primary, and Minnesota, where Democratic Sen. Al Franken, who squeaked by in his first election six years ago, is trying to hold on to his seat against a galvanized Republican Party.  Minnesota Public Radio’s Tom Scheck and Nashville Public Radio’s Blake Farmer have all the details.

But if you want true gossip and sordid personal stuff, there’s the trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen, which WAMU’s Michael Pope says is like “a cross between Real Housewives of Richmond and Law & Order.”  The McDonnells are charged with accepting gifts and loans from a local businessman in exchange for political favors.

Finally, the nation this week lost the wickedly witty James Brady, the former White House press secretary under President Ronald Reagan, who was seriously wounded in the March 1981 assassination attempt on the president.  Brady went on to survive the shooting and become an active voice in support of stricter gun control. Sam Donaldson, former White House correspondent for ABC News and eyewitness to the horror of that day, shares his perspective on Brady’s tenure as Reagan’s spokesperson.

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