319-011

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


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. 

[00:22:05]

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.