Monday, February 7, 1972 - 3:50pm - 4:40pm
Richard Nixon, John Ehrlichman
Executive Office Building

When Joseph T. Sneed was dean of the Duke University School of Law school, he gave Chief Domestic Policy Adviser John D. Ehrlichman a picture of Richard Nixon taken when the President was a young law student at Duke. When Ehrlichman gave the picture to the President, the two discussed Sneed's political future. 


John Ehrlichman: It’s the dean. He’s named Sneed. He’s a very classy Republican.

President Nixon: Well, I’m—incidentally, a fellow that Lon Fuller recommended for the [Supreme] Court.

Ehrlichman: Yeah.

President Nixon: Says he’s that good.

Ehrlichman: Yeah. Well, I talked to him about busing and a lot of things, and he thinks straight.

President Nixon: Keep him in mind.

Ehrlichman: Yep. He’s—

President Nixon: How old is he?

Ehrlichman: I would guess about 52, something of that kind.

President Nixon: [Unclear.]

Ehrlichman: His wife was with him and she looks about that age.

President Nixon: What is his background, law school or whatever it is?

Ehrlichman: I’m not sure where he went to law school. He’s been teaching at Stanford for about eight or ten years. I don’t know where he was before that. I mean, that’s how I got an introduction to him. [Unclear.] But he asked to come in.

President Nixon: He is a classy guy, huh?

Ehrlichman: I think he is.

President Nixon: Good.

Ehrlichman: He’s got a funny muscle spasm, his head [unclear] over to one side, but very bright, very obviously quite conservative, a good Republican. He’s been active in Republican politics in California.

President Nixon: How the hell did he [unclear]?

Ehrlichman: I don’t know how that happened, but—

President Nixon: God Almighty. You know, you have to wonder how any [unclear].

Ehrlichman: [Unclear.] Apparently he’s been pretty busy in California state politics, because he knew all the players.

President Nixon: Let’s remember him, sort of keep him in mind, you know? You never know what—assistant attorney general, deputy attorney general. He’s that kind of fellow. 

Ehrlichman: He says you’re most welcome at the law school any time you wanted to come down.

President Nixon: [laughing] It’s about the only place they’ll let me on.

Ehrlichman laughs.

Original tape courtesy of the Nixon Library. This transcript is a working draft. Please let us know if you find important errors.