In 1962 Richard Nixon suffered a humiliating defeat in the California gubernatorial election, one that led him to declare an end to his career in politics. What followed was one of the most remarkable political comebacks in American history, one chronicled by Victor Li
in his book Nixon in New York: How Wall Street Helped Richard Nixon Win the White House
(Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2018). It began with Nixon’s move to New York immediately after his defeat, one that Li notes placed him in the economic and media capital of the nation. He soon became a partner at a longtime Wall Street law firm, for which the political contacts he developed during his time in public office garnered considerable business. Yet Nixon remained involved in politics, working behind the scenes at the 1964 Republican convention and campaigning for Republican candidates throughout 1965 and 1966. As Li demonstrates, Nixon’s work at the firm not only earned him a sizable income, but it also provided him with key staffers for his successful 1968 presidential campaign and even an opportunity to test out some of the issues on which he would run.