Screenplays for You - free movie scripts and screenplays

Screenplays, movie scripts and transcripts organized alphabetically:


Nixon (1995)

by Stephen J. Rivele, Christopher Wilkinson and Oliver Stone

More info about this movie on IMDb.com


FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY


A PROLOGUE APPEARS on a black screen:

"This film is an attempt to understand the truth of Richard
Nixon, thirty-seventh president of the United States.  It
is based on numerous public sources and on an incomplete
historical record.

In consideration of length, events and characters have been
condensed, and some scenes among protagonists have been
conjectured."

On a portable screen we read the famous words from Matthew:
"What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole
world and lose his own soul?"  This FADES into:

A BLACK AND WHITE 16-mm sales training FILM.  At the
moment, the sales manager, BOB, is chatting with EARL, a
rookie salesman.

		BOB
	Sure you've got a great product, Earl.
	But you have to remember what you're
	really selling.
		(then)
	Yourself.

INT. WATERGATE HOTEL - CONFERENCE ROOM - NIGHT

Seven men in shirts and ties are seated around a table in a
darkened room.  They are smoking Cuban cigars, idly
watching the film.

TITLE: "JUNE 17, 1972."  Then: "THE WATERGATE HOTEL"

A BUSBOY yawns as he clears away the remains of dinner.  A
WAITER starts pouring Margaritas from a pitcher.

A balding man in his early fifties tosses a five onto the
table.  He is HOWARD HUNT.

		HUNT
	Just leave it.

The waiter puts down the pitcher, picks up the five, and
follows the busboy out of the room.

The moment the door closes behind them, GORDON LIDDY is on
his feet, locking the door.  OTHER MEN are visible, putting
on jackets, securing technical equipment from briefcases
and bags.  They are: FRANK STURGIS, BERNARD BARKER, EUGENIO
MARTINEZ, VIRGILIO GONZALES, and JAMES MCCORD.

		LIDDY
		(checks his watch)
	Zero-one-twenty-one.  Mark.

Sturgis rolls his eyes, drains his Margarita.  Liddy pulls
a wad of cash from his pocket, starts passing out hundred
dollar bills to his men.

		LIDDY (CONT'D)
	Just in case you need to buy a cop.
	But don't spend it all in one place.
	We're going to do McGovern's office
	later tonight.

McCord shakes his head.

		LIDDY (CONT'D)
	Orders from the White House, partner.

Liddy bypasses Hunt, who is browsing a folded Spanish
language paper.

		LIDDY (CONT'D)
	Howard ... What the hell?  What're you
	doing?

		HUNT
	Dogs ... Season starts tomorrow.
		(off Liddy's look)
	It keeps me calm.  I don't like going
	back into the same building four
	times.

Liddy mutters something didactic in German.

		HUNT (CONT'D)
	Mein Kampf?

		LIDDY
		(translates into English)
	"A warrior with nerves of steel is yet
	broken by a thread of silk."
	Nietzsche.

		HUNT
	Personally I'd prefer a greyhound with
	a shot of speed.

		LIDDY
		(to all)
	Remember -- listen up!  Fire team
	discipline is there at all times.
	Keep your radios on at all times
	during the entire penetration.  Check
	yourselves.  Phony ID's, no wallets,
	no keys.  We rendezvous where?  The
	Watergate, Room 214.  When?  At zero
	three-hundred.

		STURGIS
	Yawohl, mein fartenfuhrer.

		LIDDY
		(narrowing, waving his gun)
	Don't start with me, Frank, I'll make
	you a new asshole.

		HUNT
		(rising past them)
	Let's get the fuck out of here, shall
	we, ladies?

		LIDDY
	Anything goes wrong, head for your
	homes, just sit tight -- you'll hear
	from me or Howard.

		HUNT
		(aside)
	Personally, I'll be calling the
	President of the United States.

A nervous chuckle as Hunt follows Liddy out the main door.
The rest exit through the door behind the screen.

The FILM is ending.  Bob puts a hand on Earl's shoulder.

		BOB
	And remember, Earl: Always look 'em in
	the eye.
		(to the camera)
	Nothing sells like sincerity.

A BLACK SCREEN as the film rattles out, followed by a RADIO
REPORT over the darkened room, the sounds of doors closing.

		RADIO REPORT (V.O.)
	Five men wearing surgical gloves and
	business suits, and carrying cameras
	and electronic surveillance equipment,
	were arrested today in the
	headquarters of the Democratic
	National Committee in Washington.
	They were unarmed.
	Nobody knows yet why they were there
	or what they were looking for...

					FADE IN TO:

EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT (1973)

TITLES RUN - A raw November night.  We are looking through
the black iron bars of the fence towards the facade of the
Executive Mansion.  A LIGHT is on in a second floor room.

We move towards it through the bars, across the lawn.  Dead
leaves blow past.  A SUBTITLE READS: "NOVEMBER 1973"

A black LIMOUSINE slides up to the White House West Wing.
An armed GUARD with a black DOBERMAN approaches.

The window opens slightly.  The Guard peers in.  Then, he
opens the door.

		GUARD
	Good evening, General Haig.

GENERAL ALEXANDER HAIG gets out, walks up the steps.  He
carries a manila envelope.  As he enters the White House,
we hear an AUDIO MONTAGE of NEWS REPORTERS from the
previous year.  The VOICES fade in and out, overlap.

		REPORTERS (V.O.)
	Judge John Sirica today sentenced the
	Watergate burglars to terms ranging
	from up to forty years ... The White
	House continues to deny any
	involvement ...

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - VESTIBULE - NIGHT

HAIG enters, starts up the stairs.  The mansion is dark,
silent.  Like a tomb.

		REPORTERS (V.O.)
	Presidential counsel John Dean
	testified before the Senate Watergate
	Committee that the scandal reaches to
	the highest levels ...

MOVING: A low-angle shot of Haig's spit-shined shoes moving
down the long corridor of the second floor of the
Residence.

		REPORTERS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
	Presidential aides Haldeman and
	Ehrlichman were ordered to resign
	today ... In a stunning announcement,
	White House aid Alexander Butterfield
	revealed the existence of a secret
	taping system ...

CLOSE: on the manila envelope in Haig's hand.

		REPORTERS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
	The President has fired the Watergate
	Special Prosecutor, Archibald Cox,
	provoking the gravest constitutional
	crisis in American history ...

Haig stops at the door, quietly knocks.  No answer.

		REPORTERS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
	Judge Sirica has ordered the President
	to turn over his tapes ...

Haig opens the door.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - LINCOLN SITTING ROOM - NIGHT

The room is small, austere, dominated by a portrait of
LINCOLN over the fireplace.  HAIG stands in the doorway,
holding the envelope.

		HAIG
	These are the tapes you requested, Mr.
	President.

RICHARD NIXON is in shadow, silhouetted by the fire in the
hearth.  The air-conditioning is going full blast.

Haig crosses the room, opens the envelope, takes out a reel
of tape.

Nixon sits in a small armchair in a corner.  A Uher tape
recorder and a headset are on an end table at his elbow.
Next to it is a large tumbler of Scotch.

Haig hands the envelope containing the tapes to Nixon.

		NIXON
	This is June twentieth?

		HAIG
	It's marked.  Also there's June twenty
	third.  And this year -- March twenty
	first.  Those are the ones ...

Nixon squints at the label in the firelight.

		HAIG (CONT'D)
	... the lawyers feel ... will be the
	basis of the ... proceedings.

Nixon tries to thread the tape.

		NIXON
	Nixon's never been any good with these
	things.

He drops the tape on the floor.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	Cocksucker!

Haig picks up the tape.  Then he steps to the table,
reaches for the lamp.

		HAIG
	Do you mind?

Nixon gestures awkwardly.  Haig turns on the lamp.  For the
first time we can see Nixon's face: he hasn't slept in
days, dark circles, sagging jowls, five-o'-clock shadow.
He hates the light, slurs a strange growl -- the effect of
sleeping pills.

		HAIG (CONT'D)
	Sorry ...

		NIXON
		(gestures)
	... go on.

Haig threads the tape.  Nixon, looking at it, remembers.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	... Y'know Al, if Hoover was alive
	none of this would've happened.  He
	would've protected the President.

		HAIG
	Mr. Hoover was a realist.

		NIXON
	I trusted Mitchell.  It was that damn
	big mouth wife of his.

		HAIG
	At least Mitchell stood up to it.

		NIXON
	Not like the others -- Dean, McCord,
	the rest ... We never got our side of
	the story out, Al.  People've
	forgotten.  I mean: "Fuck you, Mr.
	President, fuck you Tricia, fuck you
	Julie!" and all that shit, just words,
	but what violence!  The tear gassing,
	the riots, burning the draft cards,
	Black Panthers -- we fixed it, Al, and
	they hate me for it -- the double
	dealing bastards.  They lionize that
	traitor, Ellsberg, for stealing
	secrets, but they jump all over me
	'cause it's Nixon.
		(repeats)
	... They've always hated Nixon.

Haig finishes threading.

		HAIG
	May I say something, Mr. President?

		NIXON
	There's no secrets here, Al.

		HAIG
	You've never been a greater example to
	the country than you are now, sir, but
	... but you need to get out more, sir,
	and talk to the people.  No one I know
	feels ... close to you.

Nixon looks at him, moved by his concern.

		NIXON
	I was never the buddy-buddy type, Al.
	You know, "Oh I couldn't sleep last
	night, I was thinking of my mother who
	beat me" -- all that kind of crap, you
	know the psychoanalysis bag ... My
	mother ... The more I'd spill my guts,
	the more they'd hate me.  I'd be what
	... pathetic!  If I'd bugged out of
	Vietnam when they wanted, do you think
	Watergate would've ever happened?  You
	think the Establishment would've given
	a shit about a third-rate burglary?
	But did I?  Quit?  Did I pull out?

He stares, waits.

		HAIG
	No, sir, you did not.

		NIXON
	Damn right.  And there's still a
	helluva lotta people out there who
	wanna believe ... That's the point,
	isn't it?  They wanna believe in the
	President.

He suddenly tires of talking, rubs his hands over his face.

		HAIG
	You're all set, sir.  Just push this
	button.  Good night, Mr. President.

		NIXON
	You know, Al, men in your profession
	... you give 'em a pistol and you
	leave the room.

		HAIG
	I don't have a pistol.

		NIXON
	'Night, Al.

Haig quietly closes the door.  Nixon takes a generous slug
of Scotch.  Then he looks down at the tape recorder.  He
puts on the Uher headset, and hits the fast-forward button:
high-speed VOICES.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	Goddamn!

He hits stop, puts on his eyeglasses, studies the recorder
for a moment.  Pushes the "play" button.  VOICES.  Barely
audible at first.  Nixon leans closer, listening.

		NIXON (ON TAPE) (CONT'D)
	They did what?!  I don't understand.
	Why'd they go into O'Brien's office in
	the first place?

		HALDEMAN (ON TAPE)
	Evidently to install bugs and
	photograph documents.

					 FLASHBACK TO:

INT. EXEC OFFICE BLDG - NIXON OFFICE - DAY (1972)

SUBTITLE READS: "JUNE 1972."

Nixon's hideaway office in the Executive Office Building.
BOB HALDEMAN, his crew-cut, hard-edged chief of staff, sits
across the desk, a folder open on his lap.  Nixon, at his
desk, seems a healthier man than in the previous scene.
Also there are JOHN EHRLICHMAN, portly domestic advisor,
and JOHN DEAN, blond, gentrified, legal counsel.

		NIXON
	But O'Brien doesn't even use that
	office.  The Democrats've moved to
	Miami.  There's nothing there!

		HALDEMAN
	It was just a fishing expedition.
	Apparently it was their fourth attempt
	at the DNC.

		NIXON
	Their fourth!

		HALDEMAN
	It's possible they were looking for
	evidence of an illegal Howard Hughes
	donation to the Democrats, so the
	Democrats couldn't make an issue of
	your Hughes money.

		NIXON
	Contributions!  It was a legal
	contribution.  Who the hell authorized
	this?  Colson?

		EHRLICHMAN
		(shakes his head)
	Colson doesn't know about it; he's
	pure as a virgin on this one.  It's
	just not clear the burglars knew what
	they were looking for.  They were
	heading to McGovern's office later
	that night.

		NIXON
	Jesus!  Did Mitchell know?

		EHRLICHMAN
	Mitchell's out of his mind now.
	Martha just put her head through a
	plate-glass window.

		NIXON
	Jesus!  Through a window?

		HALDEMAN
	It was her wrist.  And it was through
	a plate-glass door.

		EHRLICHMAN
	Anyway, they had to take her to
	Bellevue.  Maybe she'll stay this
	time.

A beat.

		NIXON
	Martha's an idiot, she'll do anything
	to get John's attention.  If
	Mitchell'd been minding the store
	instead of that nut Martha we wouldn't
	have that kid Magruder runnin' some
	third-rate burglary!  Was he smoking
	pot?

		EHRLICHMAN
	Mitchell?

		NIXON
	No!  Magruder!  That sonofabitch tests
	my Quaker patience to the breaking
	point.

		DEAN
	The bigger problem I see is this guy
	who was arrested, McCord -- James
	McCord -- he headed up security for
	the Committee to Re-Elect.  He turns
	out to be ex-CIA.

		NIXON
	"Ex-CIA"?  There's no such thing as
	"ex-CIA," John -- they're all Ivy
	League Establishment.  Is he one of
	these guys with a beef against us?

		EHRLICHMAN
	McCord? ...

		NIXON
	Find out what the hell he was doing at
	"CREEP."  This could be trouble.
	These CIA guys don't miss a trick.
	This could be a set-up.

INTERCUTS of all of these people arise as the scene runs --
McCord, Liddy, Magruder, Mitchell, Martha, Hunt, etc.

		HALDEMAN
		(with a look to Ehrlichman)
	We feel the bigger concern is Gordon
	Liddy ...

		NIXON
	That fruitcake!  What about him?

		HALDEMAN
	Well, you know, sir, he's a nut.  He
	used to work here with the "Plumbers"
	and now he's running this Watergate
	caper.  You remember his plan to
	firebomb the Brookings using Cubans as
	firemen?  He wanted to buy a damned
	fire truck!  Magruder thinks he's just
	nutty enough to go off the
	reservation.

		NIXON
	What's Liddy got?

		HALDEMAN
	Apparently he was using some campaign
	cash that was laundered for us through
	Mexico.  The FBI's onto it.  We could
	have a problem with that.

		DEAN
	... But it'll just be a campaign
	finance violation ...

		HALDEMAN
	... And if Liddy takes the rap for
	Watergate, we can take care of him ...

		NIXON
	I don't have time for all this shit!
		(to Haldeman)
	Just handle it, Bob!  Keep it out of
	the White House.  What else?
	Kissinger's waiting -- he's gonna
	throw a tantrum again if I don't see
	him, threatening to quit ... again.
		(sighs)

		EHRLICHMAN
	Well, sir ... it turns out -- one of
	the people implicated is still, you
	see, on our White House payroll.

		NIXON
	Who?  Not another goddamn Cuban?

		HALDEMAN
	No, sir.  A guy named Hunt.

Nixon stops, stunned.

		NIXON
	Hunt?  Howard Hunt?

		EHRLICHMAN
	He left his White House phone number
	in his hotel room.

		HALDEMAN
	He works for Colson.  He used him on
	the Pentagon Papers.  We're trying to
	figure out when he officially stopped
	being a White House consultant.  After
	the arrest he dumped his wiretapping
	stuff into his White House safe.

		NIXON
		(incredulous)
	Howard Hunt is working for the White
	House?  No shit!  This is goddamn
	Disneyland!  Since when?

		EHRLICHMAN
	Chappaquiddick.  You wanted some dirt
	on Kennedy.  Colson brought him in.

		DEAN
	You know Hunt, sir?

		NIXON
		(perturbed)
	On the list of horribles, I know what
	he is.  And I know what he tracks back
	to.
		(then)
	You say he was involved in the
	Plumbers?

		HALDEMAN
	Definitely.  Colson had him trying to
	break into Bremer's apartment after
	Bremer shot Wallace, to plant McGovern
	campaign literature.

		NIXON
		(lofty)
	I had nothing to do with that.  Was he
	... in the Ellsberg thing?

		HALDEMAN
	Yes, you approved it, sir.

		NIXON
	I did?

		HALDEMAN
	It was right after the Pentagon Papers
	broke.  They went in to get his
	psychiatric records.

		NIXON
	Fucking hell.

		HALDEMAN
	We were working on China.

Nixon has a seat, shaken.  He stares right at us, as we:

				SHARP CUT BACK TO:

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - OVAL OFFICE - DAY (1971)

The PRESIDENT'S MEN are gathered in somber silence, sharing
front page copies of the New York Times.  SUBTITLE READS:
"JUNE 1971 - A YEAR EARLIER"

INSERT HEADLINE: "Secret Pentagon Study Details Descent
into Vietnam"; "Pentagon Papers Expose Government Lies."

The technique we've established of an AUDIO MONTAGE of
REPORTER'S VOICES continues over the scene.

		REPORTERS (V.O.)
	The New York Times began publishing
	today the first in a series of forty
	seven volumes of top secret Pentagon
	Papers relating to the war in Vietnam.
	The papers reveal a systematic pattern
	of government lies about American
	involvement in the war ...

Nixon throws down the paper in disgust and attempts to feed
his Irish setter, KING TIMAHOE, a biscuit, as HENRY
KISSINGER paces the room, the most upset of all.

		KISSINGER
	Mr. President, we are in a
	revolutionary situation.  We are under
	siege -- Black Panthers, Weathermen;
	The State Department under Rogers is
	leaking like a sieve.  And now this
	insignificant little shit Ellsberg
	publishing all the diplomatic secrets
	of this country will destroy our
	ability to conduct foreign policy.

		NIXON
		(feeding the dog)
	Here, Tim ... Tim.  I'm as frustrated
	as you, Henry, but don't you think
	this one's a Democrat problem.  They
	started the war; it makes them look
	bad.

Kissinger lowers his voice for effect, pounds the desk.

		KISSINGER
	Mr. President, how we can look the
	Soviets or the Chinese in the eye now
	and have any credibility when any
	traitor can leak!  Even the
	Vietnamese, tawdry little shits that
	they are, will never -- never -- agree
	to secret negotiations with us.  This
	makes you look like a weakling, Mr.
	President.

		HALDEMAN
	He's right about one thing, sir.  I
	spoke with Lyndon.  This Pentagon
	Papers business has knocked the shit
	out of him.  Complete collapse,
	massive depression.  He feels the
	country is lost, that you as President
	can't govern anymore.

		NIXON
		(irritated)
	Goddamn!
	How long have we had this fucking
	dog?!  Two years, he still doesn't
	come!  We need a dog that looks happy
	when the press is around.

		EHRLICHMAN
	Well, he's photogenic.  Let's try dog
	bones?

		KISSINGER
		(end of his patience)
	Mr. President, the Vietnamese, the
	Russians ...

Nixon finally throws the biscuit at the dog, glares at
Kissinger.

		NIXON
		(to Ehrlichman)
	Fuck it!  He doesn't like me, John!
		(to Kissinger)
	It's your fault, Henry.

		KISSINGER
	I beg your pardon --

		NIXON
	It's your people who are leaking to
	the Times.  Wasn't this Ellsberg a
	student of yours at Harvard?  He was
	your idea; why are you suddenly
	running for cover?

		KISSINGER
	He was, he was.  We taught a class
	together at Harvard.  But you know
	these back-stabbing Ivy League
	intellectuals, they can't ...

		NIXON
		(cold)
	No, Henry.  I don't.

		KISSINGER
	He's turned into a drug fiend, he shot
	people from helicopters in Vietnam, he
	has sexual relations with his wife in
	front of their children.  He sees a
	shrink in L.A.  He's all fucked up.
	Now he's trying to be a hero to the
	liberals ... If he gets away with it,
	everybody will follow his lead.  He
	must be stopped at all costs.

		COLSON
	Sir, if I might?

		NIXON
	Go, Chuck.

		COLSON
	For three years now I've watched
	people in this government promote
	themselves, ignoring your orders,
	embarrassing your administration.  It
	makes me sick!  We've played by the
	rules and it doesn't work!

		MITCHELL
		(to Nixon)
	We can prosecute the New York Times,
	go for an injunction ...

		NIXON
	... but it's not, bottom-line, gonna
	change a goddamn thing, John.  The
	question is: How do we screw Ellsberg
	so bad it puts the fear of God into
	all leakers?

		COLSON
	Can we link Ellsberg to the Russians?

		NIXON
	Good, I like that.  The other issue
	is: How the hell do we plug these
	leaks once and for all?  Who the
	hell's talking to the press?
		(he looks directly at Henry)
	Henry, for two goddamn years you've
	put wiretaps on your own people.

		KISSINGER
	To protect you, Mr. President.

		COLSON
		(interjects)
	To protect yourself is more like it.
	The pot calling the kettle ...

Kissinger throws Colson a vicious look, while Nixon ignores
it.

		KISSINGER
		(aside)
	Who are you talking to like this, you
	insignificant shit ...

		NIXON
	... and what do we get for it?  Gobs
	and gobs of bullshit, gossip, nothing!
	Someone is leaking.
	We've got to stop the leaks, Henry, at
	any cost, do you hear me?  Then we can
	go for the big play -- China, Russia.

		COLSON
	Mr. President, we can do this
	ourselves.  The CIA and the FBI aren't
	doing the job.  But we can create our
	own intelligence unit -- right here,
	inside the White House.

A slow move in on Nixon as he thinks about it.

		NIXON
	Well, why not?

		HALDEMAN
	Our own intelligence capability -- to
	fix the leaks?

		COLSON
	Yeah, like the Plumbers.

Nixon smiles.

		NIXON
	I like it.  I like the idea.

		EHRLICHMAN
	Is it legal?
		(a beat)
	I mean has anyone ever done it before?

		NIXON
	Sure.  Lyndon, JFK, FDR -- I mean,
	Truman cut the shit out of my
	investigation of Hiss back in '48.

		MITCHELL
	It was illegal, what he did.

		NIXON
	You know, this kinda thing, you gotta
	be brutal.  A leak happens, the whole
	damn place should be fired.  Really.
	You do it like the Germans in World
	War II.  If they went through these
	towns and a sniper hit one of them,
	they'd line the whole goddamned town
	up and say: "Until you talk you're all
	getting shot."  I really think that's
	what has to be done.  I don't think
	you can be Mr. Nice-guy anymore ...

		COLSON
	Just whisper the word to me, sir, and
	I'll shoot Ellsberg myself.

		EHRLICHMAN
	We're not the Germans, sir ...

		NIXON
	Ellsberg's not the issue.  The
	Pentagon Papers aren't the issue.
		(almost to himself)
	It's the lie.

A pause.  Everyone in the room chews on this for a moment.
Mitchell, the oldest in the group, smokes on his pipe,
stone-faced.

		MITCHELL
	The lie?

		NIXON
	You remember, John, in '48 -- no one
	believed Alger Hiss was a communist.
	Except me.  They loved Hiss just like
	they loved this Ellsberg character.
	East Coast, Ivy League.  He was their
	kind.  I was dirt to them.  Nothing.

As they talk, a MONTAGE arises of ALGER HISS and the days
of old -- the photographs of the notorious 1948 Hiss case:
HISS, CHAMBERS, the YOUNGER NIXON with the microfilm; a
headline reading "HISS FOUND GUILTY"; TRUMAN, ELEANOR
ROOSEVELT, a beaming EISENHOWER shaking Nixon's hand.

		MITCHELL
		(to the room)
	And Dick beat the shit out of them.

		NIXON
	But I wouldn't have if Hiss hadn't
	lied about knowing Chambers.  The
	documents were old and out of date,
	like these Pentagon Papers.  The key
	thing we proved was that Hiss was a
	liar.  Then people bought it that he
	was a spy.
		(then)
	It's the lie that gets you.

		MITCHELL
		(to the room)
	Hiss was protecting his wife.  I've
	always believed that.

		NIXON
		(cryptically)
	When they know you've got something to
	protect, that's when they fuck you!

		HALDEMAN
	What's this faggot, Ellsberg,
	protecting?

		COLSON
	His liberal elitist friends.  His
	Harvard-Ph.D.-I-shit-holier-than-thou
	attitude.

Kissinger waits.  Nixon acknowledges him.  The camera is
moving tighter and tighter on the President.  His
expression is furious, his words violent.

		NIXON
	Alright, Henry -- we're gonna go your
	way.  Crush this Ellsberg character
	the same way we did Hiss!

		KISSINGER
		(interjects)
	There's no other choice.

		NIXON
	We're gonna hit him so hard he looks
	like everything that's sick and evil
	about the Eastern Establishment.
		(to Colson)
	You and your "plumbers" are gonna find
	dirt on this guy -- let's see him
	going to the bathroom in front of the
	American public!  And when we finish
	with him, they'll crucify him!

					 FLASH CUT TO:

INT. FIELDING PSYCHIATRIST OFFICE - NIGHT (1971)

SUBTITLE READS: "ELLSBERG'S PSYCHIATRIST'S OFFICE - 1971"

ANOTHER BREAK-IN is in effect.  LIDDY in wig, thick
glasses, false teeth, and THREE CUBANS (Barker, Martinez
from Watergate, and de Diego, not at Watergate) are
visible, moving through, smashing up the office.  In CLOSE
UPS, we see hands jerking open filing cabinets, pulling the
drawers out of desks.

		REPORTERS (V.O.)
	The Nixon Administration responded by
	filing an injunction against the New
	York Times to prevent further
	publication ... President Nixon
	condemned the Pentagon Papers as the
	worst breach of national security in
	U.S. history ... Daniel Ellsberg, who
	leaked the papers, was charged today
	in federal court ...

While this is going on, a powerful FLASHBULB keeps popping.
The photographer, looking for evidence, suddenly catches
his partner in the light, his startled face buried beneath
a 70's wig -- HOWARD HUNT.  Hunt is pissed:

		HUNT
	Fuck you -- gimme that fucking film!

					BACK TO:

INT. EXEC OFFICE BLDG - NIXON OFFICE - DAY (1972)

RESUME - CLOSE on NIXON remembering Howard Hunt, as
HALDEMAN looks on.

		NIXON
	Howard Hunt? ... Jesus Christ, you
	open up that scab ... and you uncover
	a lot of pus.

		HALDEMAN
	What do you mean, sir?

Nixon chooses not to answer.

		NIXON
	Where's Hunt now?

		EHRLICHMAN
	In hiding.  He sent Liddy to talk to
	me.

		NIXON
	And?

		EHRLICHMAN
	He wants money.

		NIXON
	Pay him.

		EHRLICHMAN
	Pay him?  I told him to get out of the
	country.  It's crazy to start ...

		NIXON
	What the hell are you doing,
	Ehrlichman?  Screwing with the CIA?  I
	don't care how much he wants -- pay
	him.

		HALDEMAN
	But what are we paying him for?

		NIXON
	Silence!

		HALDEMAN
	But, sir, you're covered -- no one
	here gave orders to break into the
	damned Watergate.  We're clean.  It's
	only the Ellsberg thing, and if that
	comes out, it's "national security."

		NIXON
	"Security" is not strong enough.

		HALDEMAN
	How about a COMINT classification?  We
	put it on the Huston plan.  Even the
	designation is classified.

		NIXON
	"National Priority."

		EHRLICHMAN
	"Priority?"  How about "secret, top
	secret"?

		DEAN
	I was thinking "sensitive."

		NIXON
	"National security priority restricted
	and controlled secret."

		HALDEMAN
	We'll work on it.  I say we cut
	ourselves loose from these clowns and
	that's all there is to it.

A beat.  Nixon looks out at the Rose Garden.

		NIXON
	It's more than that.  It could be more
	than that.  I want Hunt paid.

		EHRLICHMAN
	Uh, we've never done this before, sir
	... How do we pay?  In ... hundreds?
		(smirks)
	Do you fill a black bag full of
	unmarked bills?

		NIXON
		(snaps)
	This is not a joke, John!

		EHRLICHMAN
	No, sir.

		NIXON
	We should set up a Cuban defense fund
	on this; take care of all of them.

		HALDEMAN
	Should we talk to Trini about paying
	these guys?  Or maybe Chotiner?

		NIXON
	No, keep Trini out of this.
	Chotiner's too old.  And for God's
	sake, keep Colson out.
		(including Dean)
	It's time to baptize our young
	counsel.  That means Dean can never
	talk about it.  Attorney-client
	privilege.  Get to it.  And Dean --
	you stay close on this.

		DEAN
	Yes, sir, don't worry --

Prompted, Ehrlichman and Dean leave.  When the door closes:

		NIXON
	Bob, did I approve the Ellsberg thing?
	You know, I'm glad we tape all these
	conversations because ... I never
	approved that break-in at Ellsberg's
	psychiatrist.  Or maybe I approved it
	after the fact?  Someday we've got to
	start transcribing the tapes.

		HALDEMAN
	You approved that before the fact,
	because I went over it with you.  But
	...

		NIXON
	Uh, no one, of course, is going to see
	these tapes, but ...

		HALDEMAN
	That's right, and it's more a problem
	for Ehrlichman.  He fixed Hunt up with
	the phony CIA ID's, but ... what else
	does Hunt have on us?

Again, Nixon chooses not to answer.

		NIXON
	We've got to turn off the FBI.  You
	just go to the CIA, Bob, and tell
	Helms that Howard Hunt is blackmailing
	the President.  Tell him that Hunt and
	his Cuban friends know too damn much,
	and if he goes public, it would be a
	fiasco for the CIA.  He'll know what
	I'm talking about.

		HALDEMAN
		(still confused)
	All right.

		NIXON
	Play it tough.  That's the way they
	play it and that's the way we're going
	to play it.  Don't lie to Helms and
	say there's no involvement, but just
	say this is sort of a comedy of
	errors, bizarre, without getting into
	it.  Say the President believes it's
	going to open up the whole Bay of Pigs
	thing again.  Tell Helms he should
	call the FBI, call Pat Gray, and say
	that we wish for the sake of the
	country -- don't go any further into
	this hanky-panky, period!

		HALDEMAN
	The Bay of Pigs? ... That was
	Kennedy's screw-up.  How does that
	threaten us?

		NIXON
	Just do what I say, Bob.

		HALDEMAN
	Yes, sir, but ... do you think Gray'll
	go for it?

		NIXON
	Pat Gray'll do anything we ask him.
	That's why I appointed him.

		HALDEMAN
	He'll need a pretext.  He'll never
	figure one out for himself.

		NIXON
		(sighs)
	Christ, you're right -- Gray makes
	Jerry Ford look like Mozart.
		(then)
	Just have Helms call him.  Helms can
	scare anybody.

		HALDEMAN
	The only problem with that, sir -- it
	gets us into obstruction of justice.

		NIXON
	It's got nothing to do with justice.
	It's national security.

		HALDEMAN
	How is this national security?

		NIXON
	Because the President says it is.  My
	job is to protect this country from
	its enemies, and its enemies are
	inside the walls.

Pause.  Haldeman is perplexed.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	I suppose you thought the Presidency
	was above this sort of thing.

		HALDEMAN
	Sir?

		NIXON
	This isn't a "moral" issue, Bob.  We
	have to keep our enemies at bay or our
	whole program is gonna go down the
	tubes.  The FBI is filled with people
	who are pissed that I put Gray in and
	not one of their own.  Vietnam, China,
	the Soviet Union: when you look at the
	big picture, Bob, you'll see we're
	doing a hell of a lotta good in this
	world.  Let's not screw it up with
	some shit-ass, third-rate burglary.

		HALDEMAN
	I'll talk to Helms.
		(looks at his watch)
	Oh, Pat asked if you're coming to the
	Residence for dinner tonight.

		NIXON
	No, no, not tonight.  Don't let her in
	here.  I have too much to do.

		HALDEMAN
	Yes, sir.  I'll talk to Helms, and, uh
	... what's our press position on this
	Watergate thing?  What do I tell
	Ziegler to tell them?

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - LINCOLN SITTING ROOM - NIGHT (1973)

RESUME SCENE - NIXON takes another drink, looks up at
Lincoln's portrait.

		NIXON (ON TAPE)
		(yelling)
	Tell 'em what we've always told 'em!
	Tell 'em anything but the goddamn
	truth!

As the tape grinds on with hard-to-hear DIALOGUE, Nixon
searches through a drawer in the rolltop desk next to the
fireplace.  He finds a small vial of pills, fumbles with
the cap.  He rips the cap off, the pills scattering on the
desk.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	Shit!

He begins scooping them back into the bottle, his hands
trembling with the effort.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
		(mumbles)
	Put me in this position ... Expose me
	like this.

He downs a couple of pills with the Scotch.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	Why don't they just fucking shoot me?

Nixon takes another drink, looks down.

				SHARP CUT BACK TO:

INT. TV STUDIO - NIGHT (1960)

DOCUMENTARY FOOTAGE - JOHN F. KENNEDY looking straight at
the camera.  Tanned, impeccable, confident.

		KENNEDY
	I do not think the world can exist in
	the long run half-slave and half-free.
	The real issue before us is how we can
	prevent the balance of power from
	turning against us ... If we sleep too
	long in the sixties, Mr. Khrushchev
	will "bury" us yet ... I think it's
	time America started moving again.

					  DISSOLVE TO:

NIXON does not look well.  His clothes are baggy, and he
has a slight sheen of perspiration around his lower lip.
He seems uncomfortable in his movements, robotic, falsely
aggressive with his raised eyebrows and glaring demeanor.
(The following essences are taken from four debates and
various campaign material; in using a documentary JFK, we
will be cutting around him when off-debate material is
used.)

		NIXON
	... When it comes to experience, I
	want you to remember I've had 173
	meetings with President Eisenhower,
	and 217 times with the National
	Security Council.  I've attended 163
	Cabinet meetings.  I've visited fifty
	four countries and had discussions
	with thirty-five presidents, nine
	prime ministers, two emperors, and the
	Shah of Iran...

INT. TV STUDIO - CONTROL ROOM - NIGHT

PAT NIXON, a year older than Dick, watches her champion
through the glass booth.  The "Mona Lisa" of American
politics, she projects deep admiration for, and pride in,
her husband.  But now she appears perturbed by what she's
seeing.

A younger HALDEMAN sits watching the debates on monitors
with HERB KLEIN, press secretary, and OTHERS in the Nixon
circle.  Through the glass we see the CANDIDATES.

MURRAY CHOTINER, campaign manager, overweight and bow-tied,
moves down the row of monitors holding a cigar.  He manages
to drop ashes on an attractive KENNEDY STAFFER.

		CHOTINER
	Excuse me, sweetheart.

As he sits next to Haldeman, Nixon drones on.

		NIXON (ON T.V. MONITOR)
	Let's take hydroelectric power.  In
	our administration, we've built more
	...

		CHOTINER
		(privately)
	Jesus Christ, has he told them how
	many push-ups he can do yet?  What the
	hell happened to him?

		HALDEMAN
	He just got out of the hospital,
	Murray, and he hasn't taken an hour
	off during the campaign, thanks to
	you.

		CHOTINER
	You could've at least gotten him a
	suit that fit, for Christ's sake, and
	slapped some makeup on him.  He looks
	like a frigging corpse!

		NIXON (T.V.)
	... When we consider the lineup of the
	world, we find there are 590 million
	people on our side, 800 million on the
	Communist side, and 600 million who
	are neutral.  The odds are 5 to 3
	against us ...

		HALDEMAN
	He wouldn't do the makeup.  Said it
	was for queers.

JFK's face is on the monitors now.

		CHOTINER
	Kennedy doesn't look like a queer,
	does he?
		(then)
	He looks like a God.

		HALDEMAN
	Murray, it's not a beauty contest.

		CHOTINER
	We better hope not.

		PAT
		(upset)
	What are you doing to him, Murray?
	Look at him -- he's not well.  He
	doesn't have to debate John Kennedy.

		HALDEMAN
	Mrs. Nixon, we didn't ...

		CHOTINER
	Pat, baby, listen, when it comes to
	...

		PAT
	He can win without doing this.

		KENNEDY (ON TV)
	... in attacking my resolve, Mr. Nixon
	has carefully avoided mentioning my
	position on Cuba ...

		HALDEMAN
	Oh shoot!  He's going to do it!  Here
	it comes.

		KENNEDY (ON TV)
	... As a result of administration
	policies, we have seen Cuba go to the
	Communists ... eight jet minutes from
	the coast of Florida!
	Castro's influence will spread through
	all of Latin America.  We must attempt
	to strengthen the democratic anti
	Castro forces in exile.  These
	fighters have had virtually no support
	from our government!

		HALDEMAN
		(whispers to Klein, Chotiner)
	Sonofabitch!  He was briefed by the
	CIA.  He's using it against us!  He
	knows we can't respond.

		CHOTINER
	It's a disgrace.

		MODERATOR
	Mr. Nixon?

Nixon looks, astounded, at JFK.  He fumbles his response.

		NIXON
	I think ... I think ... that's the
	sort of very dangerous and
	irresponsible suggestion that ...
	helping the Cuban exiles who oppose
	Castro would, uh ... not only be a
	violation of international law, it
	would be ...

		HALDEMAN
		(closes his eyes)
	He's treading water.  Don't mention
	Khrushchev.

		NIXON
	... an open invitation for Mr.
	Khrushchev to become involved in Latin
	America.  We would lose all our
	friends in Latin America.

		KLEIN
	He just violated national security,
	Dick!  Attack the bastard!

		KENNEDY
	I, for one, have never believed the
	foreign policy of the United States
	should be dictated by the Kremlin.  As
	long as ...

Klein hangs his head; Chotiner shares a look with Haldeman.

The young Kennedy staffers applaud gleefully.

		NIXON (V.O.)
	The sonofabitch stole it!

INT. AMBASSADOR HOTEL - SUITE - LOS ANGELES - DAWN (1960)

NIXON stands at the center of a room crowded with his MEN.
He is despondent, astounded.  PAT NIXON watches silently,
bitter, nearly in tears.

		CHOTINER
	He carried every cemetery in Chicago!
	And Texas -- they had the goddamned
	cattle voting!

The final ELECTION FIGURES are coming in over the
television.  They show Kennedy with a 120,000-voter margin
(34.2 to 34.1 million) and run down the electoral college
votes.

		CHOTINER (CONT'D)
	Closest election in history, Dick, and
	they stole it.  Sonofabitch!

		NIXON
	He outspent us and he still cheated.
	A guy who's got everything.  I can't
	believe it.  We came to Congress
	together.  I went to his wedding.  We
	were like brothers, for Christ's sake.

Pat leaves abruptly; she can't take it anymore.  Chotiner
looks at Dick as if he were incredibly naive.  HALDEMAN and
KLEIN are at a table, reams of returns before them.

		KLEIN
	We've got the figures, Dick!  The
	fraud is obvious -- we call for a
	recount.

		HALDEMAN
	Nobody's ever contested a presidential
	election.

		CHOTINER
	Who's going to do the counting?  The
	Democrats control Texas, they control
	Illinois.

		KLEIN
	We shift 25,000 votes in two states,
	and ...

		CHOTINER
	How long would that take?  Six months?
	A year?

		HALDEMAN
	Meanwhile, what happens to the
	country?

		NIXON
	The bastard!  If I'd called his shot
	on Cuba I would've won.  He made me
	look soft.

		KLEIN
		(reading transcript)
	"I feel sorry for Nixon because he
	does not know who he is, and at each
	stop he has to decide which Nixon he
	is at the moment, which must be very
	exhausting." -- Jack Kennedy.

		CHOTINER
	Bullshit!

The CAMERA is driving in on Nixon building to a rage.
Klein knows how to get to him.

		KLEIN
		(reading)
	"Nixon's a shifty-eyed, goddamn liar.
	If he had to stick to the truth he'd
	have very little to say.  If you vote
	for him you ought to go to hell!" --
	Harry S Truman ... That's what killed
	us, Dick, not Cuba -- the personality
	problem.  Are we gonna let these
	sonofabitch Democrats get away with
	this?

		HALDEMAN
		(sotto voce)
	You know, Herb, it's not the time ...

Nixon in close-up, inner demons moving him.  A brief IMAGE
of something ugly ... in Nixon.  Himself, perhaps, drenched
in blood, or death imagery.

		NIXON
	Goddamn Kennedy!  Goes to Harvard.
	His father hands him everything on a
	silver platter!  All my life they been
	sticking it to me.  Not the right
	clothes, not the right schools, not
	the right family.  And then he steals
	from me!  I have nothing and he
	steals.
		(softly, lethal)
	And he says I have "no class."  And
	they love him for it.  It's not fair,
	Murray, it's not fair.

		CHOTINER
	Dick, you're only forty-seven.  You
	contest this election, you're
	finished.  You gotta swallow this one.
	They stole it fair and square.

Nixon looks at him, broken-hearted.  He controls his
reaction, and exits the room.

		CHOTINER (CONT'D)
	We'll get 'em next time, Dick.

		KLEIN
	What makes you think there's gonna be
	a next time, Murray?

Chotiner picks up the corner of a campaign poster with
Nixon's face on it, the name in bold below.

		CHOTINER
	Because if he's not President Nixon,
	he's nobody.

INT. AMBASSADOR HOTEL - CORRIDOR & SUITE - DAWN

NIXON crosses the corridor which is subdued in the morning
light.  He hesitates at the door, knocks softly.

PAT NIXON stirs quietly as her husband walks to her bed.
They occupy separate beds.

		NIXON
	We lost ...

		PAT
		(bitterly)
	I know ...

		NIXON
	It's hard to lose ...

She reaches out to touch him.  He allows himself to be
touched.  It seems that, between them, intimacy is
difficult.

		PAT
	It makes us human ...

		NIXON
	It's not fair, Buddy.  I can take the
	insults; I can take the name-calling.
	But I can't take the losing.  I hate
	it.

		PAT
	We don't have to put ourselves through
	this again, Dick.

		NIXON
	What do you mean?  We worked for it.
	We earned it.  It's ours.

		PAT
	It is.  We know that.
		(then)
	And it's enough that we know.  Just
	think of the girls.  They're still
	young.  We never see them.  I lost my
	parents.  I don't want them to lose
	theirs; I don't want them to grow up
	without a mother and father ...

		NIXON
	Maybe I should get out of the game.
	What do you think, Buddy?  Go back to
	being a lawyer and end up with
	something solid, some money at the end
	of the line ... You know, I keep
	thinking of my old man tonight.  He
	was a failure, too.

		PAT
	You're not a failure, Dick.

		NIXON
	You know how much money he had in the
	bank when he died?
		(beat)
	Nothing.  He was so damned honest ...
		(then)
	But I miss him.  I miss him a hell of
	a lot.

He seems about to cry.  Pat reaches out and cradles his
head on her shoulder.  On his eyes we:

					 CUT TO:

EXT. NIXON GROCERY STORE - DUSK (1925)

A few gas pumps in front, overlooking a dry, western,
Edward Hopper landscape.  A run-down residence at the back.
A large man in bloody butcher's apron, FRANK NIXON (46),
crosses.

INT. NIXON GROCERY STORE - DUSK

HAROLD (16), tall, handsome, walks in whistling.  He winks
at RICHARD (12), who is sorting fruit in the bins.  HANNAH
(39), a dour but gracious Quaker woman, is behind the
counter with a CUSTOMER.

		RICHARD
		(whispers)
	What'd he say?

		HAROLD
	What do you think?  He said in life
	there's no free ride.

		RICHARD
	What'd you say?

		HAROLD
	I said I didn't need a free ride.
		(flashes a smile)
	I need a suit.

Richard buries his face in his hands.

		RICHARD
	Oh, no, Harold.  He doesn't respond
	well to humor.
		(looks at his mother,
		 worried)
	Maybe if you talk to Mother she can
	...

		HAROLD
	I'd rather get a whipping than have
	another talk with her.  Anything but a
	talk with her.

Richard is terrified Mom might overhear.

		RICHARD
	Shhhh!

But it's too late.  Hannah looks over, very sharp, as her
customer departs.

		HANNAH
	Richard ... come with me, would you
	...

		RICHARD
		(surprised, aloud)
	Why me?

INT. NIXON HOUSE - KITCHEN - DUSK

RICHARD, obediently seated, pays his Mother heed.  He seems
a gloomy, unsmiling child in her presence.  We sense that
this is familiar territory for both.  HANNAH, very quiet,
penetrating with her gaze.

		HANNAH
	Because Harold tests thy father's will
	is no reason to admire him.  Let
	Harold's worldliness be a warning to
	thee, not an example.

		RICHARD
	Yes, Mother ...

		HANNAH
	Harold may have lost touch with his
	Bible, but thou must never lapse.

Then, she extends her hand.

		HANNAH (CONT'D)
	Now, give it to me ...

Richard is about to plead ignorance.

		HANNAH (CONT'D)
	Do not tell a lie, Richard ... The
	cornsilk cigarette Harold gave thee
	behind the store this morning.

		RICHARD
		(lying)
	I don't ... have them.  Mother ... I
	swear, I ... didn't smoke.

		HANNAH
		(withdrawing)
	I see ... Well then, Richard, we have
	nothing more to talk about, do we?

		RICHARD
		(fearful, blurts out)
	Please, Mother, it ... it was just one
	time, Mother, I'm ... I'm sorry.

		HANNAH
	So am I.  Thy father will have to know
	of thy lying.

		RICHARD
		(terrified)
	No, no!  Please, don't.  Don't tell
	him.  I'll never do it again.  I
	promise.  I promise ...
		(on the edge of tears)
	Please, mama ...

		HANNAH
		(pause)
	I expect more from thee, Richard.

He buries his head in her skirt.  The faintest smile on
Hannah's face as she pockets the cigarette.

		RICHARD
	Please!  I'll never let you down
	again, Mother.  Never.  I promise.

		HANNAH
	Then this shall be our little secret.
		(She lifts his face to hers)
	Remember that I see into thy soul as
	God sees.  Thou may fool the world.
	Even thy father.  But not me, Richard.
	Never me.

		RICHARD
	Mother, think of me always as your
	faithful dog ...

INT. NIXON HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT

HANNAH puts the food on the table as FRANK NIXON, sleeves
rolled up, waits at the head of the table, fuming.  ARTHUR
(6) and DONALD (9) join RICHARD and HAROLD.  (The fifth
brother, Edward, has not yet been born.)  Harold reaches
for a dish.

		FRANK
	Don't you dare, Harold!

		HAROLD
		(a little laugh)
	I just thought, since the food was
	here ...

		HANNAH
	We haven't said grace yet.  Richard.

		RICHARD
		(nervously)
	Is it my turn?

Hannah nods.  Richard puts his hands together, trying to
please.

		RICHARD (CONT'D)
	Heavenly Father, we humbly thank--

		FRANK
		(interrupts)
	I'll do it.  There's a coupla things I
	wanna say.

		HANNAH
	Could thou at least remove thy apron,
	Frank?

		FRANK
	This blood pays the bills, Hannah.
	I'm not ashamed of how I earn my
	money.
		(clears his throat)
	Heavenly Father, you told Adam in the
	Garden, after that business with the
	snake, that man would have to earn his
	way by the sweat of his face.  Well,
	as far as I can tell, Father, what was
	true in Eden is true in Whittier,
	California.  So we ask you now to
	remind certain of our young people ...
		(glares at Harold)
	... that the only way to get a new
	suit to go to the promenade with
	Margaret O'Herlihy, who happens to be
	a Catholic by the way, is to work for
	it.
		(then)
	Amen.

		ARTHUR
	I like Margaret O'Herlihy, too.  She's
	very pretty.  Can we pray now?

The boys start giggling.

		HANNAH
	Arthur!

		FRANK
	You think this is funny?
		(then)
	Pretty soon you boys are gonna have to
	get out there and scratch, 'cause
	you're not gonna get anywhere on your
	good looks.  Just ask those fellas ...

Frank waves to the Hobos, now squatting and wolfing down
the food.  They look up, embarrassed.

		FRANK (CONT'D)
	Charity is only gonna get you so far --
	even with saints like your mother
	around.  Struggle's what gives life
	meaning, not victory.  Struggle.  When
	you quit struggling, they've beaten
	you, and then you end up in the street
	with your hand out.

Frank begins eating; the rest follow.

		NIXON (V.O.)
	My mother was a saint, but my old man
	struggled his whole life.  You could
	call him a little man, a poor man, but
	they never beat him.  I always tried
	to remember that when things didn't go
	my way...

EXT. WHITTIER FOOTBALL FIELD - DAY (1932)

FOOTBALL MONTAGE: RICHARD (19), 150 pounds, is on the
defensive line as the ball is hiked.  ("Let's get fired
up!")  He gets creamed by a 200-pound offensive tackle.  He
jumps up, no face guard, hurting, and resets.  AD LIB
football chatter.  We can tell from Richard's cheap uniform
that he is a substitute.  But:

We go again.  And again.  Building a special RHYTHM of JUMP
CUTS showing Nixon getting mauled each time.  He doesn't
have a chance, this kid, but he has pluck.  And he comes
back for more.  And more.

This image of pain and humiliation should weave itself in
and out of the film in repetitive currents.  As we

					 CUT TO:

OMIT SCENE #19

INT. HILTON HOTEL - BALLROOM - NIGHT (1962)

We move down past a blizzard of balloons and confetti blown
by a hotel air-conditioner to a huge "NIXON FOR GOVERNOR"
banner.

NIXON thrusts his arms in the air -- the twin-V salute.
The CROWD cheer wildly.  SUBTITLE READS: "CALIFORNIA
GOVERNORSHIP, 1962."

INT. HILTON HOTEL - SUITE - NIGHT

NIXON is slumped in an armchair, feet on a coffee table,
holding a drink, going through defeat once again.

HALDEMAN stares glumly at the TV.  PAT sits across the room
in grim silence.

ON TV - a NEWSCASTER stands in front of a tally board with
the network logo: "Decision '62."

		NEWSCASTER
	President Kennedy has called Governor
	Pat Brown to congratulate him...

		HALDEMAN
	Are we making a statement?

		NEWSCASTER
	ABC is now projecting that Brown will
	defeat Richard Nixon by more than a
	quarter of a million votes.

Nixon holds up his drink to the screen.  Moves to a piano.

		NIXON
	Thank you, Fidel Castro.

		PAT
	You're not going to blame this on
	Castro, are you?

		NIXON
	I sure am.  The goddamned missile
	crisis united the whole country behind
	Kennedy.  And he was supporting Brown.
	People were scared, that's why.

		PAT
	I suppose Castro staged the whole
	thing just to beat you.

		NIXON
	Buddy, before you join the jubilation
	at my being beaten again, you should
	remember: People vote not out of love,
	but fear.  They don't teach that at
	Sunday School or at the Whittier
	Community Playhouse!

		HALDEMAN
		(interjects)
	I should go down and check in with our
	people.

Haldeman leaves quickly.

ON TV - GOVERNOR BROWN steps to the podium.  A band plays
"Happy Days Are Here Again."

		PAT
		(back at Dick)
	I'm glad they don't.  You forget I had
	a life before California, a rough,
	rough life.  Life isn't always fair,
	Dick...

Nixon drowns her out, playing the piano (well) and singing
along bitterly.

		NIXON
	"--the skies above are clear again.
	Let's sing a song of cheer again--"...
	Cocksucker!

Pat turns off the TV.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
		(continues to play)
	Don't you want to listen to Brown's
	victory speech?

		PAT
	No.  I'm not going to listen to any
	more speeches ever again.

		NIXON
	Amen to that.

		PAT
	It's over, Dick.

		NIXON
	I'll concede in the morning.

		PAT
	Not that.
		(then)
	Us.

Nixon stops playing, looks at her.

		PAT (CONT'D)
		(coldly)
	I've always stood by you.  I
	campaigned for you when I was
	pregnant.  During Checkers, when Ike
	wanted you out, I told you to fight.
	This is different, Dick.  You've
	changed.  You've grown more ...
	bitter, like you're at war with the
	world.  You weren't that way before.
	You scare me sometimes... I'm fifty
	years old now, Dick.  How many
	people's hands have I shaken -- people
	I didn't like, people I didn't even
	know.  It's as if, I don't know, I
	went to sleep along time ago and
	missed the years between... I've had
	enough.

He moves toward her awkwardly.  Pat struggles.  She goes to
a window, her back to him.  She is not one to enjoy
"scenes."  She tends to accommodate to others to preserve
an aura of happiness.

		NIXON
		(confused)
	What are you saying?  What are you
	talking about?

		PAT
	I want a divorce.

		NIXON
	My God -- divorce?
		(beat)
	What about the girls?

		PAT
	The girls will grow up.  They only
	know you from television anyway.

		NIXON
	It would ruin us, Buddy, our family.

		PAT
	You're ruining us.  If we stay with
	you, you'll take us down with you.
		(beat)
	This isn't political, Dick.  This is
	our life.

		NIXON
	Everything's political, for Christ's
	sake!  I'm political.  And you're
	political, too!

		PAT
	No, I'm not!  I'm finished.

She is very serious.  He sees it.  It terrifies him.  The
same withdrawal he experienced from his mother.

		NIXON
	This is just what they want, Buddy.
	Don't you see it?  They want to drive
	us apart.  To beat us.  We can't let
	them do it.  We've been through too
	much together, Buddy ... We belong
	together.

		PAT
		(ironic)
	That's what you said the first time we
	met.  You didn't even know me.

MARRIAGE MONTAGE: During this scene we have a series of
SHOTS of their courtship -- the Whittier College campus,
1930s Los Angeles; driving in a car together; the wedding;
the FIRST CHILD; the Pacific NAVAL CAPTAIN underneath a
palm tree; running as a first-time CONGRESSMAN with Pat;
the EISENHOWER years...

		NIXON
		(very tender)
	Oh, yes, I did.  I told you I was
	gonna marry you, didn't I?  On the
	first date ... I said it because I
	knew ... I knew you were the one ...
	so solid and so strong ... and so
	beautiful.  You were the most
	beautiful thing I'd ever seen ... I
	don't want to lose you, Buddy, ever...

INTERCUT WITH:

Nixon seeking tenderness.  He puts a hand on her arm.  He
tries gently to pull her towards him, to kiss her.

		PAT
	Dick, don't...

		NIXON
	Buddy, look at me ... just look at me.
	Do you really want me to quit?

She stares out the window.  A long moment.

		PAT
	We can be happy.  We really can.  We
	love you, Dick.  The girls and I...

		NIXON
	If I stop ... there'll be no more talk
	of divorce?

A long moment.  She finally turns her eyes to him,
assenting.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	I'll do it.
		(waves his hand)
	No more.

		PAT
	Are you serious?

		NIXON
	Yeah ... I'm out.

		PAT
	Is that the truth?

		NIXON
	I'll never run again.  I promise.

					 SHARP CUT TO:

INT. HILTON HOTEL - HALLWAY - NIGHT

NIXON stalks down the hallway, fuming.  HALDEMAN walks
alongside.

		NIXON
	Where are they?

		HALDEMAN
		(worried, points to a door)
	Dick, you don't have to make a
	statement.  Herb covered it for you.

		NIXON
	No!

He bursts through the door into:

INT. HILTON HOTEL - PRESS CONFERENCE - BALLROOM - NIGHT

A noisy CROWD of REPORTERS reacts, excitedly, to NIXON'S
fast entry.  The smell of blood is in the air.

					  TIME CUT TO:

NIXON at the podium

		NIXON
	... I believe Governor Brown has a
	heart, even though he believes I do
	not.  I believe he is a good American,
	even though he feels I am not.  I am
	proud of the fact that I defended my
	opponent's patriotism; you gentlemen
	didn't report it but I am proud I did
	that.  And I would appreciate it, for
	once, gentlemen, if you would write
	what I say.
		(time dissolve)
	... For sixteen years, ever since the
	Hiss case, you've had a lot of fun --
	a lot of fun.  But recognize you have
	a responsibility, if you're against a
	candidate, to give him the shaft, but
	if you do that, at least put one
	lonely reporter on the campaign who
	will report what the candidate says
	now and then...

HALDEMAN glances at KLEIN.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	... I think all-in-all I've given as
	good as I've taken.  But as I leave
	you I want you to know -- just think
	how much you're going to be missing:
	you won't have Nixon to kick around
	anymore.  Because, gentlemen, this is
	my last press conference...

A FEW REPORTERS shout questions.  There is a loud
confusion, but Nixon has vanished.

		KLEIN
	What the hell was that?

		HALDEMAN
		(beat)
	Suicide.

					 CUT TO:

NIXON HISTORICAL MONTAGE:

A grainy "NEWSREEL" treats NIXON as political history, now
over.  The ANONYMOUS REPORTERS return -- YOUNG NIXON, in
his Navy uniform, is campaigning in California in the 1940s
against Voorhis and Douglas.

		REPORTER 1 (V.O.)
	We can now officially write the
	political obituary of Richard Milhouse
	Nixon ... He came into being as part
	of the big post-war 1946 Republican
	sweep of the elections.  People were
	weary of the New Deal and FDR's big
	government ...

Images of FDR, TRUMAN, and ACHESON, early Cold War imagery
- the Soviets, Berlin.

		REPORTER 1 (V.O.) (CONT'D)
	... The United States had been a
	strong ally of the Soviet Union, which
	had lost more than twenty million
	people in its fight against Nazism.
	But Nixon, coming from the South
	Pacific war, won his first term in the
	House by freely associating his
	liberal opponent, Jerry Voorhis, with
	Communism.

Images of Voorhis, Hoover ... NIXON working a CROWD,
standing on the tailgate of his station-wagon, debating
Voorhis.

		REPORTER 2 (V.O.)
	For Nixon, politics was war.  He
	didn't have opponents, he had enemies.
	He didn't run against people, he
	ruined them ... He won his California
	seat in the U.S. Senate in 1950 in a
	vicious campaign against liberal
	congresswoman and movie actress, Helen
	Gahagan Douglas...

NEWSFILM of NIXON and CHOTINER at a rally with PAT.  Images
of DOUGLAS follow.  CAMPAIGN WORKERS handing out smear
literature.

		NIXON ("NEWSFILM LOOK")
	How can Helen Douglas, capable actress
	that she is, take up so strange a role
	as a foe of Communism?  Why, she's
	pink right down to her underwear ...

		REPORTER 3 (V.O.)
	... Nixon quickly became the
	Republican's attack dog.
	He tore into Truman for losing
	Mainland China in 1949, and blamed the
	war in Korea on a weak foreign policy
	... His speeches, if more subtle than
	those of his Republican ally, Joe
	McCarthy, were just as aggressive ...

Nixon at another rally with Pat.

		NIXON ("NEWSFILM LOOK")
	... I promise to continue to expose
	the people that have sold this country
	down the river!  Until we have driven
	all the crooks and Communists and
	those that have helped them out of
	office!!

Images of Truman, the hydrogen bomb, the Rosenbergs, Klaus
Fuchs, Oppenheimer, the Chinese taking over in 1949 ...
Mao.

		NIXON ("NEWSFILM LOOK") (CONT'D)
	The direct result of Truman's decision
	is that China has gone Communist.  Mao
	is a monster.  Why?!  Why, Mr.
	Acheson?!  Who in the State Department
	is watching over American interests?!
	Who has given the Russians the atomic
	bomb?! ... Today the issue is slavery!
	The Soviet Union is an example of the
	slave state in its ultimate
	development.  Great Britain is halfway
	down the same road; powerful interests
	are striving to impose the British
	socialist system upon the people of
	the United States!

		REPORTER 2 (V.O.)
	... Nixon became one of the leading
	lights of the notorious House Un
	American Activities Committee,
	questioning labor leaders, Spanish
	Civil War veterans, Hollywood
	celebrities ...

		NIXON ("NEWSFILM LOOK")
		(questioning witness)
	Can you tell me today the names of any
	pictures which Hollywood has made in
	the last five years showing the evils
	of totaliarian Communism?

NIXON surrounded by REPORTERS outside the HUAC hearing
room.

		REPORTER 4 (V.O.)
	... but it was the Alger Hiss case
	that made Nixon a household name ...

IMAGES of Alger Hiss's career: clerking for Oliver Wendell
Holmes; with FDR at Yalta, with Churchill, with Stalin.

		REPORTER 4 (V.O.) (CONT'D)
	... One of the architects of the
	United Nations, intimate with FDR and
	Oliver Wendell Holmes, Alger Hiss was
	a darling of the liberals.
		(then)
	But Whittaker Chambers, a former
	freelance journalist, said he was a
	Communist.

WHITTAKER CHAMBERS testifying before the HUAC.

		CHAMBERS (TV INTERVIEW)
	... If the American people understood
	the real character of Alger Hiss, they
	would boil him in oil ...

		REPORTER 4 (V.O.)
	... Hiss claimed he was being set up
	by Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover to
	discredit the New Deal's policies.
	The case came down to an Underwood
	typewriter, and a roll of film hidden
	in a pumpkin patch.

DOCUMENTARY IMAGE - A DETECTIVE-TYPE reaches into a
hollowed-out pumpkin and pulls out microfilm.  In his
congressional office, NIXON examines the film with a
magnifying glass, playing to the cameras with a deadly
serious mien ... Shots of MRS. HISS, the Underwood
typewriter.

		REPORTER 4 (V.O.) (CONT'D)
	... Years later the Freedom of
	Information Act revealed that the film
	showed a report on business conditions
	in Manchuria, and fire extinguishers
	on a U.S. destroyer.  None of these
	documents were classified.  Were they
	planted by Chambers, who seemed to
	have a strange, almost psychotic
	fixation with Alger Hiss?

NIXON points to a headline -- "HISS CONVICTED."

		REPORTER 1 (V.O.)
	After two confusing trials, Hiss went
	to jail for perjury.  To the right
	wing, Nixon was a hero and a patriot.
	To the liberals, he was a shameless
	self-promoter who had vengefully
	destroyed a fine man.  Eleanor
	Roosevelt angrily condemned him.
	It was to become a pattern: you either
	loved Richard Nixon or hated him.

A brief IMAGE here that will recur through-out the film.
An image of evil -- call it "The Beast."

		REPORTER 2 (V.O.)
	Driven by demons that seemed more
	personal than political, his rise was
	meteoric.  Congressman at 33, senator
	at 35, Eisenhower's vice-presidential
	candidate at 39.  Then came the
	Checkers Crisis ... Nixon was accused
	of hiding a secret slush fund.  About
	to be kicked off the ticket by Ike, he
	went on national television with an
	unprecedented appearance ...

INTERCUT Checkers speech - NIXON, looking and sounding like
Uriah Heep, pleads with the American people on TV, as PAT
sits uncomfortably in an armchair nearby.

		NIXON (ON TV)
	... so now what I am going to do is
	give this audience a complete
	financial history.  Everything I've
	earned, everything I've spent,
	everything I owe ...

Nixon forces a smile.  Pat is clearly in pain, mortified.

		REPORTER 2 (V.O.)
	The list included their house, their
	Oldsmobile, Pat's Republican cloth
	coat, and lastly, in what was to
	become history -- a sentimental gift
	from a Texas businessman ...

		NIXON (ON TV)
	You know what it was?  It was a little
	cocker spaniel dog.  Black and white
	spotted.  And ... our little girl,
	Tricia, the six-year-old, named it
	"Checkers."  And you know, the kids
	love that dog and we're going to keep
	it ...

		REPORTER 4 (V.O.)
	Fifty-eight million people saw it.  It
	was shameless.  It was manipulative.
		(then)
	It was a huge success!

DOCUMENTARY REPLACEMENT - Nixon with Ike in triumph.  A
clip of Eisenhower praising Nixon.  Nixon and Pat standing
up to rock-throwing STUDENTS in Venezuela.  Pointing his
finger at KHRUSHCHEV in the Kitchen Debate.

		REPORTER 3 (V.O.)
	Eisenhower put Nixon back on the
	ticket ... Responding to attacks on
	Truman, Acheson and the entire
	Democratic Party for betraying the
	American principles in China, Korea
	and elsewhere -- it was two-time
	Democratic presidential candidate,
	Adlai Stevenson, who perhaps best
	summed up the national unease with
	Richard Nixon...

DOCUMENTARY - SHOTS of ADLAI STEVENSON  campaigning in '52
and '56 against IKE.  Images of JOE MCCARTHY precede.  The
HERBLOCK CARTOON of Nixon crawling out of the sewer system.
Others of his cartoons follow.

		STEVENSON (RADIO V.O.)
	... This is a man of many masks.  Who
	can say they have seen his real face?
	He is on an ill-will tour,
	representing McCarthyism in a white
	collar.  Nixonland has no standard of
	truth but convenience, and no standard
	of morality except sly innuendo, the
	poison pen, the anonymous phone call;
	the land of smash and grab and
	anything to win ... "What, ultimately,
	shall it profit a man if he shall gain
	the whole world and lose his own
	soul?"

Ending with more recent SHOTS of Nixon campaigning in '60
and '62.  As the IMAGES spot out in newsreel style:

		REPORTER 4
	It was a great story of its time and,
	in California where it started, it has
	come crashing to an end.  It is too
	bad in a way, because the truth is, we
	never knew who Richard Nixon really
	was.  And now that he is gone, we
	never will ...

"March of Time"-type music as we

				 SLOWLY FADE INTO:

		NIXON (V.O.)
	"Your father stinks" ... They actually
	said this to Tricia.  Two girls
	wearing Kennedy pins.  At Chapin!

INT. FIFTH AVE APARTMENT - NEW YORK CITY - NIGHT (1963)

A New York cocktail party.  Society DAMES.  Rich,
conservative BUSINESSMEN, platters of martinis and hors
d'oeuvres carried by white-gloved BLACK BUTLERS.  The
fashions are Balenciaga and Courreges, tipping to the
shorter hemlines; the mood is smoky and upbeat, the folks
pressed into airtight packs of loud conversation.

NIXON is talking to JOHN MITCHELL (54), his wife MARTHA
(40's), and TWO OTHER ASSOCIATES of the law firm he has
joined.

		NIXON
		(anguished)
	She was crying when she came home.
		(shakes his head)
	She was devastated.

		MARTHA
	Poor little Tricia.  Well, that's New
	York -- makes for a tougher animal
	later in life.

		NIXON
		(to the other lawyers)
	I told her, her daddy couldn't even
	get a goddamned job in this city when
	I got out of Duke.  Every white-shoe
	lawyer firm turned me down.  Didn't
	have the right "look."  Hell, I
	couldn't even get into the FBI.

		MITCHELL
		(indicating)
	Dick, we should catch Rocky 'fore he
	leaves.

NELSON ROCKEFELLER, Governor of New York, dominates the
room.  Big smile, horn-rimmed glasses.  Next to him is
HAPPY, his new wife, much younger.

		NIXON
		(glancing)
	Well, he can walk in this direction,
	too.

		MARTHA
	Did you catch that picture of you in
	Newsweek last week, Dick?  You were
	standing in a crowd on Fifth Avenue,
	and you were looking straight ahead,
	and everyone else was looking the
	other way like you'd just farted or
	something.
		(laughs)
	It said: "Who Remembers Dick Nixon?"
	I was screaming.  It was so funny!

		NIXON
	Yeah, that was hilarious, Martha.
		(for the others)
	They were all looking the other way
	'cause they were waiting for the light
	to change.  I called AP on that --
	typical of the press in this country,
	they wouldn't correct it.  That or
	they print the retraction right next
	to the girdle ads.

		LAWYER
	Oh, I've read some very nice things
	about you.

		MARTHA
		(puts her hand on Nixon's
		 arm)
	Maybe where you come from.  But where
	I come from, Dick Nixon is as
	misunderstood as a fox in a henhouse.
	And you know why?
		(they all wait)
	Because, honey, they all think your
	smile and your face are never in the
	same place at the same time.

Nervous laughter.

		MARTHA (CONT'D)
	You and me -- we gotta work on that,
	sweetie...

		MITCHELL
		(guiding Dick away)
	Someone freshen Martha's drink.  I
	think she's down a quart.

		MARTHA
	Well, zippety-fucking-doo-dah!

Mitchell moves Nixon away towards the Rockefeller GROUP.

		MITCHELL
	Sorry, Dick.  She's a little tipsy.

		NIXON
	You mean smashed!  She called up at
	midnight last week.  Talking a bunch
	of crap.  Pat can't stand her.

		MITCHELL
	It's a thing she does.  She talks at
	night.

		NIXON
	Talks all day, too!  How the hell can
	you put up with her, John?

		MITCHELL
		(sheepishly)
	What the hell -- I love her.  And
	she's great in bed.

Rockefeller holds court, not immediately noticing Nixon.

		ROCKEFELLER
	... There are no guarantees in
	politics.  I'm going to roll the dice
	with everyone else.

HENRY KISSINGER (40's), intense, holds a martini.

		KISSINGER
	Well, if a Rockefeller can't become
	President of the United States, what's
	the point of democracy?

Laughter.

		NIXON
	The point of democracy is that even
	the son of a grocer can become
	president.

Laughs.

		ROCKEFELLER
	And you came damn close, too, Dick.

As Rocky clutches Dick, who doesn't like to be touched:

		ROCKEFELLER (CONT'D)
	Howya doin'!  New York treating you
	okay?  I'm sorry I haven't been able
	to see you at all--

		NIXON
		(cutting off the apology)
	Well enough.  You're looking "happy,"
	Nelson.

With a look to Happy.

		ROCKEFELLER
	Oh, Happy!
		(introduces his new wife)
	Dick Nixon ... You remember him.

		NIXON
	Hi, Happy.  Well, you're obviously
	making him happy.

		ROCKEFELLER
	Repartee, Dick -- very good.  Hey, I
	feel ten years younger!  It makes a
	helluva difference, let me tell ya!
	How's the lawyer life?

		NIXON
	Never made so much money in my life.
	But my upbringing doesn't allow me to
	enjoy it.  I did get to argue a case
	before the Supreme Court.

		ROCKEFELLER
	Won or lost?

		NIXON
	Lost.

		ROCKEFELLER
	Someday, Dick.

OTHERS are pressing in on Rockefeller, who is obviously the
"star" of the party, so there is pressure to talk fast.

		NIXON
	But being out of the game gives me
	time to write.

		ROCKEFELLER
	To what?

		NIXON
	Write.  You know, a book.  I'm calling
	it "Six Crises."  It's a good thing,
	Rocky -- take some time off to write.

		ROCKEFELLER
		(shaking another hand)
	Hiya, fellow ... What were they?

		NIXON
	What?

		ROCKEFELLER
	The "crises"?

		NIXON
	"Checkers" of course, Hiss, Ike's
	heart attack, Venezuela, the Kitchen
	Debate, and Kennedy.

		ROCKEFELLER
	Sounds like you got a crisis syndrome.
	Aren't you exaggerating a bit, Dick?
	Call it three-and-a-half, maybe four
	...

		NIXON
		(laughs awkwardly)
	Let's wait and see how you survive
	your first crisis, Rocky ...

		ROCKEFELLER
	Whatcha mean by that?

		NIXON
	You know: how the voters are gonna
	play your divorce.

Rockefeller, who still clutches the visibly uncomfortable
Nixon, gives him a squeeze before finally releasing him.

		ROCKEFELLER
	Don't you worry about it, fella, and I
	won't.

About to rejoin his wife.

		NIXON
	Well, in any case, Rocky, I'll send
	you my book.  "Six Crises."

		ROCKEFELLER
	Whatcha predicting -- your boy
	Goldwater going to split the party?

		NIXON
	Some say you are, Rocky.

		ROCKEFELLER
	The Republican Party was never home to
	extremists.  You should know better.
	This guy's as stupid as McCarthy, and
	McCarthy never did you any good in the
	long run, now did he?

A pause.  It lands home on Dick.  Rockefeller turns to
Kissinger, who's been listening.

		ROCKEFELLER (CONT'D)
	Hey, you know Henry Kissinger -- he's
	down from Harvard.  On my staff,
	foreign policy whiz ...

		NIXON
		(shakes hands)
	No, but I liked your book on nuclear
	weapons.  We have similar views on the
	balance of power ...

		ROCKEFELLER
	Well, that's wonderful.  So get me
	this "crisis" thing, Dick; I'll be
	glad to take a look at it.

He raps Nixon one more time on the shoulder and moves of
into a waiting GROUP.

		NIXON
	... as the old alliances crumble.

		KISSINGER
	Finally someone who's noticed!  I'm a
	great admirer of yours, too, Mr.
	Nixon.  You are an unusual politician.
	We share a mutual idol -- "Six Crises"
	sounds like a page from Churchill.

		NIXON
	Churchill, DeGaulle, Disraeli.  They
	all went through the pain of losing
	power.

		KISSINGER
		(smiles)
	But they all got it back again, didn't
	they?
		(proffering a card)
	We should have lunch sometime.

					     TIME CUT:

NIXON and MITCHELL move to the edges of the PARTY, which is
now diminishing.  They bypass PAT, who is absently staring
off in conversation with MARTHA and SEVERAL OTHER LADIES
who lunch ... Nixon looks back at ROCKEFELLER leaving --
KISSINGER hovering near him.

		NIXON
		(seething)
	Rocky's full of shit!  No way he's
	going to get nominated west of the
	Hudson with a new wife.  He's gonna be
	drinking Scotches in retirement at
	some goddamn country club with the
	rest of the Republicans.

		MITCHELL
	Goes to show you all the moolah in the
	world can't buy you a brain.

		NIXON
		(snags a drink from a passing
		 tray)
	Well, he seems to have bought
	Kissinger.

		MITCHELL
	The Jewboy's a Harvard whore with the
	morals of an eel -- sells himself to
	the highest bidder.

		NIXON
		(brays loudly)
	You're the one who should be in
	politics, John.  You're tougher than I
	am.  You never crack.

		MITCHELL
	That'll be the day.

		NIXON
	Let's get out of here; it's too
	painful.  I hate it.
		(then)
	We went bowling last weekend.  Next
	weekend we're going to the zoo.
	Whoever said there was life after
	politics was full of shit.

		MITCHELL
	Make some money, Dick, prove yourself
	to the Wall Street crowd and let
	Goldwater and Rockefeller take the
	fall against Kennedy.

Nixon looks at him.

		NIXON
	Yeah.  John, I'm in hell.
		(then)
	I'll be mentally dead in two years and
	physically dead in four.  I miss -- I
	don't know -- making love to the
	people.  I miss -- entering a room.  I
	miss -- the pure "acting" of it.
	John, I've got to get back in the
	arena.

On Pat glancing over:

					 CUT TO:

INT. DALLAS CONVENTION SITE - DAY (1963)

SPOTLIGHT on a sexy Studebaker car of the era.  A DRUM
ROLL, and suddenly out of the various apertures of the car
pop six half-naked HOSTESSES doing the twist.  Wild cheers.

The ANNOUNCER describes the new gimmicks on the car (AD
LIB) as we swing to reveal NIXON, looking uncomfortable in
a Stetson cowboy hat shaking hands with AUTOGRAPH SEEKERS
and car buffs, posing for cheese-cake photographs.  A
banner behind him reveals: "Dallas Welcomes Studebaker
Dealers."

The Studebaker GIRLS are fanning out through the sales
booths, whistling, swinging whips, as a large man in a
Stetson, JACK JONES, accompanied by a suave-looking Cuban
born businessman, TRINI CARDOZA, breaks through the
autograph hounds to rescue Nixon.

		JONES
	That's enough now, let him be.  He's
	just like you and me, folks, just
	another lawyer ... Let's go, let's go,
	break it up ...

Moving Nixon out of there.

		NIXON
	Thanks, Jack.  You sure throw a
	helluva party.

		JONES
	Party ain't started yet, Dick.  Got
	these gals coming over to the ranch
	later for a little private "thing,"
	y'know ... There's some fellows I want
	you to meet.

		NIXON
	Well, uh, Trini and I have an early
	plane.  We were hoping to get back to
	New York in time for ...

		TRINI
	It'll be okay, Dick; these guys are
	interesting ... real quiet.  And the
	girls are, too.

		JONES
	Y'know, it's not every day we Texans
	get to entertain the future President
	of the United States.

		NIXON
	Like you said Jack, I'm just a New
	York lawyer now.

		JONES
		(chuckles, with a look to
		 Trini)
	We'll see about that.

New FANS circle up, their WIVES giggling.

		FANS
	Oh, Mr. Nixon could you sign ...?  My
	wife and I think you are just the
	greatest.  Please run again ...

More fans flood in, circling him.  On Trini and Jack
watching this.

EXT. JONES RANCH - DAY

An entire LONGHORN STEER turns on a spit in a large
barbecue pit, basted by black SERVANTS.  We see a sprawling
Spanish-style RANCH HOUSE in the countryside.  The parking
area looks like a Cadillac dealership.  The CROWD is a
mixture of CORPORATE EXECUTIVES, CUBANS, and COWBOY-TYPES,
some WIVES.

TRINI is talking to TWO of the DANCERS, nodding his head in
NIXON'S direction.  They look, and smile at him.

Across the lawn, Nixon smiles back awkwardly as JACK JONES
nudges him.  They both eat steaks and corncobs.

		JONES
	I know for a fact that the one with
	the big tits is a Republican, and
	she'd do anything for the Party.

		NIXON
	She's quite pretty.

		JONES
	Her name's Sandy ...

Trini joins them, bringing the girls.

		NIXON
	By the way, Jack, this looks like a
	pretty straight-forward transaction to
	me, but we should get into it soon --
	just take a few minutes, maybe up at
	the house ...

		JONES
		(to Trini, coming up)
	He's all business, ain't he, Trini?
		(to Dick)
	Dick, we could've had our own goddamn
	lawyers handle this deal.  We brought
	you down here 'cause we wanted to talk
	to you ...

		TRINI
	Dick, this is Teresa, and this is
	Sandy.

		TERESA
	Hi ... Dick.

		SANDY
	Hi.

		NIXON
	Hello ...

Pause.

INT. JONES RANCH - DAY

A walk-in stone fireplace dominates the room; the heavy
beams hung with black wrought-iron candelabras.  Thick
cigar smoke impregnates the air; the crowd has
substantially thinned to the heaviest hitters.  The MEN,
now in shirt-sleeves, drink from bottles of bourbon.

A man -- MITCH -- emerges from one of the side rooms with a
DANCER.

Off to the side in a semi-private alcove, SANDY, the
dancer, tries to make conversation, but NIXON is showing
her pictures of his kids.

		NIXON
	That's Julie ... and that's Tricia.
	She, uh, reminds me a little bit of
	you ...

		SANDY
		("interested")
	Oh yeah ... she really is ...
	wholesome.

Trini interjects, trying to help out.

		TRINI
	So what's up?  ... Uh, I get the
	feeling Sandy really likes you, Dick.

		SANDY
	I like that name, Dick.

		TRINI
	Why don't you two disappear in the
	bedroom in there.  Come back in half
	an hour ...

		NIXON
	Uh ... Trini.

Trini smiles and, leaving Dick the playing field, vanishes.
Sandy, feeling the vacuum, holds Nixon's hand.

		SANDY
	What do you say?  Do you like me,
	Mister Vice President?

Nixon swallows hard, blushing now.  He sweats, very
uncomfortable with this intimacy.

		NIXON
		(croaks)
	Yes, of course.  But ... uh ...

A brief IMAGE flashes by -- beastlike, offensive, unworthy.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	... I don't really know you yet, Sandy
	... What do you like?  I mean, what
	kind of clothes do you like?  Do you
	like blue ... red?

		SANDY
	Oh, I like satin, I like pink ...

		NIXON
	What kind of, uh ... music do you
	like?

		SANDY
	I like jazz ...

		NIXON
	Yeah ... Guy Lombardo ...

		SANDY
	Elvis I like, too.

		NIXON
	Oh yeah, he's good.

Sandy puts her hands on his face and head.

		SANDY
	... but it depends on what I'm doing
	to the music, Dick ...

		NIXON
	Uh, is your mother ... still alive?

		SANDY
	Yeah, she lives in Dallas ...

		NIXON
	She must be very attractive.  Would
	she like an autograph?  She might
	remember me ... Where's Trini?

Looking around desperately.

					  TIME CUT TO:

INT. JONES RANCH - DAY

Later.  The crowd has thinned further to a hard-core dozen.
The last man -- Mitch -- comes from the inner bedrooms,
zipping up, the Servants chasing out the straggling girls.
Another round of drinks is served.  The cigars are out.

		JONES
	Hell, Kennedy's pissed Cuba away to
	the Russians.  And he don't know what
	the hell he's doing in Vietnam.  These
	are dangerous times, Dick, especially
	for business ...

		NIXON
	Agreed.

A CUBAN in an Italian suit, one part sleazy, another part
dangerous, steps from the shadows.

		CUBAN
	We know what you tried to do for Cuba,
	Mr. Nixon.  If you'd been elected
	president in '60, we know Castro'd be
	dead by now.

NIXON shares a look with TRINI.

		NIXON
	Gentlemen, I tried.  I told Kennedy to
	go into Cuba.  He heard me and he made
	his decision.  I appreciate your
	sentiments.  I've heard them from many
	fine Cuban patriots, but it's nothing
	I can do anything about.  Now, it's a
	long drive back to Dallas tonight, and
	Trini and I have got an early flight
	tomorrow to New York ...

		JONES
		(interrupting)
	Dick, these boys want you to run.
		(the "boys" mutter in unison)
	They're serious.  They can deliver the
	South and they can put Texas in your
	column.  That would've done it in '60.

		NIXON
	Only if Kennedy dumps Johnson.

		JONES
	That sonofabitch Kennedy is coming
	back down here tomorrow.  Dick, we're
	willing to put up a shitpot fulla
	money to get rid of him -- more
	money'n you ever dreamed of.

		NIXON
	Nobody's gonna beat Kennedy in '64
	with all the money in the world.

A beat.

		CUBAN
	Suppose Kennedy don't run in '64?

Nixon looks at him.  A subconscious IMAGE again --
something slimy, reptilian.

		NIXON
	Not a chance.

		CUBAN
	These are dangerous times, Mr. Nixon.
	Anything can happen.

Another pause.  Nixon gathers together his papers and
briefcase.

		NIXON
	Yes, well ... Gentlemen, I promised my
	wife.  I'm out of politics.

		MITCH
		(insolent smile)
	You just came down here for the
	weather, right, Mr. Nixon?

		NIXON
	I came down here to close a deal for
	Studebaker.

		TRINI
	What about '68, Dick?

		NIXON
	Five years, Trini?  In politics,
	that's an eternity.

		JONES
	Your country needs you, Dick.

Nixon shakes his hand, departs.

		NIXON
	Unfortunately, my country isn't
	available right now.

EXT. LOVE FIELD - DAY (1963)

A CROWD is waiting for Air Force One.  People hold banners,
signs: "Dallas Loves JFK," "We Love You Jackie."

A Cadillac pulls up at the far corner of the tarmac.  NIXON
gets out with CARDOZA.  They walk toward a small executive
PLANE.

Nixon pauses, looks up.  He feels something ominous in the
air.

		NIXON
	Trini, let's get out of here fast.  Go
	check on the pilot, or they'll hold us
	up till he's out of the airport.

As Trini hurries off to the plane, Nixon takes one last
look up at his fate written in the soft white clouds over
Dallas.  As we:

					 CUT TO:

DOCUMENTARY

JOHN KENNEDY coming off the plane at Love Field with
JACKIE, waving to the crowd.  The sound of a rushing,
monstrous engine.  Then wind.

					 CUT TO:

INT. NIXON'S FIFTH AVENUE APARTMENT - STUDY - DAY (1963)

NIXON sits, subdued, in an armchair in a small study,
caught between the fire in the grate, the TELEVISION images
of the assassination, and the phone call he's on.

		NIXON
		(low-key)
	Look, Edgar, these guys were really
	strange, I mean, y'know ...
	extremists, right-wing stuff, Birchers
	... Yeah?

Nixon listens for several beats.  PAT, smoking nervously,
watches from another chair.  Newspapers are strewn all
around.

DOCUMENTARY IMAGES on the TV show a grieving JACKIE, BOBBY,
TEDDY and the TWO CHILDREN.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	I see ... Oswald's got a Cuba
	connection ... to Castro?  I see.  A
	real Communist.  That makes sense.
	Thank you, Edgar.

He hangs up.  It's evident he's still puzzled, but wants to
believe.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	Hoover says this Oswald checks out as
	a beatnik-type, a real bum, pro-Castro
	...

TV images of BOBBY KENNEDY.

		PAT
	Dick, you should call Bobby.

		NIXON
	He doesn't want me at the funeral.

		PAT
	You don't have to go.

		NIXON
		(glances at TV)
	De Gaulle's gonna be there.  And
	Macmillan.  And Adenauer. Nixon can't
	not be there.

		PAT
	Then call him.  I'm sure it was an
	oversight.

		NIXON
	No.  It's his way.  He hates me.  Him
	and Teddy.  They always hated me.

		PAT
	They've lost a brother.  You know what
	that means, Dick.

Nixon sighs, watches the TV -- images of a touch football
game in Hyannis Port.

				SHARP CUT BACK TO:

INT. NIXON HOUSE - ARTHUR'S BEDROOM - DAY (1925)

ARTHUR NIXON (7) cries in pain.  RICHARD (12) helps FRANK,
his father, hold him on the bed as a DOCTOR twists a long
needle into the base of Arthur's spine.

		ARTHUR
	Daddy!  Please!  Make it STOP!!!

Arthur's eyes roll onto Richard for help, Richard can't
bear it, pulls away.

INT. NIXON HOUSE - PARLOR - DAY (1925)

FRANK comes down the narrow stairs, shocked, fighting
tears.  HANNAH sits reading her Bible.  The BOYS linger
nervously around their made-up cots in the parlor.

		FRANK
		(sobs)
	The doctors are afraid the little
	darling is going to die ...

INT. NIXON HOUSE -  ARTHUR'S BEDROOM - DAY

ARTHUR laps at some tomato gravy on toast, which makes him
happy.  His face is angelic, as if he were getting better.

HANNAH feeds him, cleans his lips with a napkin, as RICHARD
sits close by, squeezing Arthur's hand, puzzled by it all.
FLASHES run through his head -- Arthur sitting on his lap,
learning to read; Dick swinging Arthur by his arms.  DON
and HAROLD are also there.  The Doctor has gone.

		ARTHUR
		(low)
	Thank you, Mama, I feel better ... I'm
	sleepy.

		HANNAH
		(removing the food)
	We'll let thee rest now, my little
	angel.

She tucks him in.  He yawns.  The brothers are awkward,
ready to leave.  Arthur turns his loving eyes on Richard.

		ARTHUR
	Richard, don't you think ... I should
	say a prayer before I sleep?

Richard is awkward, stutters.

		HANNAH
		(nearly cracking)
	Yes, Arthur, I do ...

He smiles at her, then:

		ARTHUR
	If I should die before I wake, I pray
	the Lord my soul to take ...

He slips off, into a coma.

Richard watches, devastated.

INT. NIXON HOUSE - PARLOR - ANOTHER DAY

RICHARD runs to his mother, HANNAH, who is coming down the
stairs with FRANK.  She seems very shaken, but quiet, off
in another world.  The moment Richard reaches her, throwing
his arms around her skirt, she snaps him back.  A harsh,
angry voice.

		HANNAH
	No! ... No.  Don't ...

Richard is shocked as his mother sweeps by in her private
grief.

INT. NIXON'S FIFTH AVENUE APARTMENT - STUDY - DAY

RESUME NIXON - his face lost in the silence of the memory.
The television SOUNDS fade back in alongside PAT'S voice.

TV IMAGE - LYNDON JOHNSON being sworn in.

		NIXON
	... if I'd been president, they never
	would have killed me.

Pat is bewildered by the statement.

		PAT (O.S.)
	Dick?  Are you going to call?

He looks at her, absent.

		PAT (CONT'D)
	Bobby?

He looks back at the TV screen.

		NIXON
		(quietly)
	No ... I'll go through Lyndon.  We'll
	be invited.

We flash suddenly to Kennedy's head being blown apart.
Then back to Johnson as we:

				   CUT FORWARD TO:

DOCUMENTARY

SUBTITLE READS: "FIVE YEARS LATER - 1968"

IMAGE - CLOSE on LYNDON JOHNSON announcing:

		JOHNSON
	... accordingly, I shall not seek, and
	I will not accept, the nomination of
	my party for another term as your
	president ...

					 CUT TO:

INT. NURSING HOME - DAY

HANNAH NIXON, in her seventies.

		REPORTER 1 (V.O.)
	... Johnson's  withdrawal resurrects
	Richard Nixon as a strong Republican
	candidate against the war.  His
	mother, Hannah Nixon, just before her
	death last year, commented on her
	son's chances.

		REPORTER 2 (O.S.)
	Mrs. Nixon, do you think your son will
	ever return to politics?

		HANNAH
	I don't think he has a choice.  He was
	always a leader.

		REPORTER 2 (O.S.)
	Do you think he'd make a great
	president, Mrs. Nixon?

		HANNAH
	... if he's on God's side, yes ...

EXT. NIXON'S FIFTH AVENUE APARTMENT - DAY (1968)

REPORTERS flock outside the building as NIXON and his GROUP
exit their car, trying to ignore the press.

INT. NIXON'S FIFTH AVENUE APARTMENT - DAY (1968)

NIXON enters, ebullient, with MITCHELL, HALDEMAN, ZIEGLER,
taking off their winter coats.

		MITCHELL
	Jesus, Dick, never seen anything like
	it!  Even the goddamn Times is saying
	you got it.

		HALDEMAN
	Vietnam's gonna put you in there this
	time, chief.

		ZIEGLER
	We got the press this time!

		NIXON
	And we got the "big mo"!  We're back!

		PAT (O.S.)
	So?  You've decided?

They turn.  PAT is in the corridor.

		PAT (CONT'D)
	Were you planning to tell me?

		NIXON
	We ... haven't announced anything ...
	uh ...

She's walking away, cold.  Dick follows, with a look to his
men.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	Uh, wait ...

		MITCHELL
	You need her, Dick -- in '60 she was
	worth five, six million votes.

		NIXON
	Don't worry -- I'll use the old Nixon
	charm on her.

As he goes:

		HALDEMAN
		(to the others)
	The old Nixon charm?  Who could resist
	that.

INT.   NIXON'S FIFTH AVENUE APARTMENT - BEDROOM - DAY

NIXON enters.  PAT is mechanically taking his identical
gray suits from the closet and laying them on the bed.

		NIXON
	Buddy? ...

		PAT
	You should be going ... the primaries
	are soon, aren't they?  New Hampshire
	...

		NIXON
	They love you, Buddy.  They need you,
	too.

		PAT
	I don't want them to love me.

		NIXON
	I need you out there.  It won't be
	like last time.  The war's crippled
	the Democrats.  I can win ... We
	deserve it.  Yeah, it's ours, Buddy --
	at last.  Nobody knows better than
	you.  Frank Nixon's boy.

Pat slows her packing.  Nixon takes her hand.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	Remember what Mom said?  We're not
	like other people, we don't choose our
	way.  We can really change things,
	Buddy.  We've got a chance to get it
	right.  We can change America!

She stops, looks at him, feels his surge of power.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	It was our dream, too, Buddy, together
	... always.

		PAT
	Do you really want this, Dick?

		NIXON
	This.  Above all.

		PAT
	And then you'll be happy?

The briefest smile opens her face.  He takes the inch,
presses in, hugs her.

		NIXON
	Yes ... you know it!  Yes ... I will.
	Yeah!

		PAT
		(in his embrace)
	Then I'll be there for you.

		NIXON
		(exultant)
	You're the strongest woman I ever met.
	I love you, Buddy.

		PAT
	Can I just ask for one thing?

		NIXON
	Anything.

		PAT
	Will you ... would you kiss me?

He does so with all the earnestness he is capable of.

INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - DAY (1968)

NIXON, fielding questions, is on a small stage, surrounded
by a STUDIO AUDIENCE in a semi-circle.  A mike is around
his neck, no separation from the people.  PAT sits behind
him, a campaign smile painted on.  Nixon is visible to us
on TV monitors inside an engineer's booth.

		NIXON (ON TV)
	I would never question Senator
	Kennedy's patriotism.  But going
	around the country promising peace at
	any price is exactly what the North
	Vietnamese want to hear.

Cheers.  Applause.

		HALDEMAN
		(to the TV director)
	Cue the crowd.  Go to the woman's
	group.  Get the bald guy, he's great
	...

		NIXON (ON T.V.)
	I, unlike Senator Kennedy, have a plan
	to end the war.  But not for peace at
	any price, but peace with honor!

EXT. LA COSTA COUNTRY CLUB - ESTABLISHING - DAY

EXT. LA COSTA COUNTRY CLUB - PRIVATE PATIO - DAY

J. EDGAR HOOVER (60's), short and fat, covered with steam
room sweat, looks like a Roman emperor, as he watches
television intermittently, taking pictures of CLYDE TOLSON
(50's), his long-time friend and associate.  Tolson has a
towel around his waist and one over his head.

		TOLSON
		(sarcastic)
	What do you think this plan is, Edgar?
	A nuclear attack?

		HOOVER
	He's lying, Clyde.  Always has.
	That's why Nixon's always been useful.
	Hold still.  And take your hand off
	your hip.

JOAQUIN, a very young, near-naked Hispanic boy, comes in
with refreshments: orange slices, fruit, and pastel drinks
with parasols.

					  INTERCUT TO:

INT. TV STUDIO - DAY

RON ZIEGLER checks his scripts as NIXON continues on the
other side of the glass.

		DIRECTOR
		(turns)
	Who's next?

		ZIEGLER
	The Negro.  We gotta have a Negro.

A BLACK MAN appears on the monitors.

		BLACK MAN
	Mr. Nixon ...

		NIXON
	Yes, sir!

		BLACK MAN
	You've made a career out of smearing
	people as Communists.  And now you're
	building your campaign on the
	divisions in this country.  Stirring
	up hatred, turning people against each
	other ...

Ziegler and HALDEMAN are apoplectic.

		HALDEMAN
	What the fuck's he doing?  He's making
	a speech.

		ZIEGLER
	Cut him off!

		DIRECTOR
	I can't cut him off!  This isn't
	Russia!

The Black Man turns to the studio audience.

		BLACK MAN
	You don't want a real dialogue with
	the American people.  This whole
	thing's been staged.  These aren't
	real people.  You're just a mouthpiece
	for an agenda that is hidden from us.

		HALDEMAN
		(screaming)
	Go to commercial!

		DIRECTOR
	There are no commercials.  You bought
	the whole half-hour, baby ...

The Black Man is walking down the aisle toward Nixon.

		BLACK MAN
		(impassioned)
	When are you going to tell us what you
	really stand for?  When are you going
	to take the mask off and show us who
	you really are?

Close on Nixon's upper lip, sweating.

Haldeman watches intently.

		HALDEMAN
	It's a high hard one, chief.  Park it.

Nixon gathers himself, looks firmly at the Black Man.

		NIXON
	Yes, there are divisions in this
	country ...

		BLACK MAN
	Who made them -- you made them!

		NIXON
	... but I didn't create them.  The
	Democrats did!  If it's a dialogue you
	want, you're more likely to get it
	from me than from the people who are
	burning down the cities!  Just think
	about that ... The great Doctor King
	said the same things.  You know, young
	man, who a great hero is -- Abraham
	Lincoln.  Because he stood for common
	ground, he brought this country
	together ...

The audience applauds.  Haldeman punches Ziegler's arm.

		HALDEMAN
	I love that man!
		(then)
	Fire the sonofabitch who let that
	agitator in!

		ZIEGLER
		(relieved)
	Okay, go to the little girl.  Can he
	see the little girl?

		DIRECTOR
	She's right down front.

		NIXON
	I don't know if you can see her, but
	there's a little girl sitting down
	here with a sign.  Could you hold that
	up, sweetheart?

		ZIEGLER
	Bag the guy.  Take the sign!

The Camera cuts to a LITTLE GIRL holding a hand-lettered
sign.

		NIXON
	The sign has on it three simple words:
	"Bring us together!"  That is what I
	want, and that is what the great
	silent majority of Americans want!

The audience loves it.  APPLAUSE signs light up.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
		(shouts over)
	And that's why I want to be president.
	I want to bring us together!

EXT. LA COSTA COUNTRY CLUB - PRIVATE PATIO - DAY

Like a lizard, HOOVER eyes JOAQUIN, the Hispanic boy.

		TOLSON
	... give me a break, Mary.

		NIXON (V.O.)
	You all know me.  I'm one of you, I
	grew up a stone's throw from here on a
	little lemon ranch in Yorba Linda ...

		HOOVER
		(mimics)
	It was the poorest lemon ranch in
	California, I can tell you that.  My
	father sold it before they found oil
	on it.

		NIXON (V.O.)
	It was the poorest lemon ranch in
	California, I can assure you.  My
	father sold it before they found oil
	on it.

		TOLSON
		(mimics)
	But it was all we had.

		NIXON (V.O.)
	... but it was all we had.

		HOOVER
	You're new.  What's your name?

		JOAQUIN
	Joaquin, Mr. Hoover.

Hoover selects an orange slice, puts one end between his
teeth.  Wiggles it.  Joaquin bends over, bites off the
other end.  Tolson looks peeved.

		NIXON (V.O.)
	My father built the house where I was
	born with his own hands.  Oh, it
	wasn't a big house ...

		HOOVER
	Turn this crap off, Clyde.  It's
	giving me a headache ... You may go,
	Joaquin.

He takes a drink off Joaquin's tray as Clyde turns off the
TV.  Joaquin vanishes.

		HOOVER (CONT'D)
	I want to see him tomorrow, Clyde.

		TOLSON
	Edgar, think twice.  He works in the
	kitchen.

		HOOVER
	Not Joaquin, you idiot.  Nixon.  Did
	you hear what he said in Oregon?
	About me having too much power.

		TOLSON
	It's between Nixon and a Kennedy
	again, Edgar ... Who do you want?

		HOOVER
	Kennedy -- never.  He'll fry in hell
	for what he did to me.  But Nixon
	doesn't know that, which is why I'm
	gonna have to remind him he needs us a
	helluva lot more'n we need him.

EXT. DEL MAR RACETRACK - STARTING GATE - DAY

THOROUGHBREDS explode out of the chutes.

EXT. DEL MAR RACETRACK - CLUBHOUSE - DAY

A private box just above the finish line.  HOOVER raises
his binoculars, watching the race.  He is wearing a white
tropical suit, Panama hat, white shoes.  CLYDE is dressed
similarly.

JOHNNY ROSELLI, white hair, deep tan, sharp dresser, sits
with him in the box, spots someone ...

		ROSELLI
	Your boy's on his way up ... I met him
	years ago.  In Havana.

ON THE TRACK: TWO HORSES are in a terrific stretch drive.

HOOVER watches impassively.

		ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
		(frantic)
	And down the stretch they come!  It's
	Sunday's Chance Son and Olly's Boy
	duelling for the lead ...

CLOSE: OLLY'S BOY puts a nose in front of SUNDAY'S CHANCE.

		HOOVER
	He's folding, Johnny.

ON THE TRACK: Sunday's Chance is tiring, falling behind
Olly's Boy.

		ROSELLI
	You just wait a second.

CLOSE: On Olly's Boy bandaged front legs.  Then, Olly Boy's
right foreleg snaps.  It sounds like a rifle shot.

Olly's Boy goes down over his shoulder.  The JOCKEY is
thrown across the track.

The CROWD is stunned.  Sunday's Chance wins easily.

Hoover turns to Roselli.

		TOLSON
	A bit extreme, isn't it?

		ROSELLI
	It's the drama.
		(gestures to the crowd)
	The crowd loves that shit.  Hey!
	There's Randolph Scott.  You might
	like that guy, friend of mine.  Wanna
	meet him?  Edgar?

SHOUTING and CHEERS behind them.  They turn.  NIXON is
making his way down the aisle, waving to the crowd.  He is
followed by HALDEMAN.

Hoover passes Roselli a ticket.

		HOOVER
	Not now, Johnny.  Cash this for me,
	would you?

		ROSELLI
	It's a two-dollar bet, Edgar.  You got
	thousands coming on this ... what the
	fuck?

		HOOVER
	I told you, just cash it, Johnny.  And
	don't swear around me ...

A beat.  Roselli crosses Nixon, who enters the box.

		NIXON
	Edgar, wonderful to see you.  Clyde
	... hi.

		TOLSON
	Mr. Nixon.

		HOOVER
	Thank you for coming, Dick.

		NIXON
	Winning?

		HOOVER
	Actually, I've just had a bit of luck.

		ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
	The management of Del Mar is saddened
	to announce that Olly's Boy will have
	to be destroyed ...

Groans from the crowd.

		NIXON
	Oh, my goodness ...

		HOOVER
	How about you?  Are you going to win?

		NIXON
	You should ask Bobby.

		TOLSON
		(sarcastic)
	... little Bobby.

		HOOVER
	Would you walk with me down to the
	paddock?  I'd like to look at the
	horses for the eighth.

		NIXON
	Can't we just talk here?  I've got the
	police chiefs in San Diego.

		HOOVER
	I'm trying to spare you an
	embarrassment.  Johnny Roselli is on
	his way back here.

Nixon looks sick.

		NIXON
	Roselli?  Johnny Roselli?

		HOOVER
	Yes.  Your old friend from Cuba.

		NIXON
	I never met the man.

		HOOVER
	I know you've been very careful not
	to.  That's why I'm concerned.

Nixon glances at Hoover.  Hoover smiles.

EXT. DEL MAR RACETRACK - PADDOCK - DAY (1968)

Moving with NIXON, HOOVER and TOLSON along the rail outside
the walking ring.  FBI AGENTS have cleared a circle around
them.  The HORSES for the next race are being saddled.
Nixon waves to PATRONS of the track.

		HOOVER
	You'll win the nomination.

		NIXON
	It could be '60 all over again, Edgar.
	Bobby's got the magic, like a goddamn
	rock star.  They climb all over each
	other just to touch his clothes!
	He'll ride his brother's corpse right
	into the White House.

		TOLSON
	Ummm...

		HOOVER
		(nods)
	If things remain as they are ... He's
	got the anti-war vote.

		NIXON
	Or he'll steal it like his brother.
	He's a mean little sonofabitch, Edgar
	... He had the IRS audit my mother
	when she was dying in a nursing home.

		HOOVER
	I know ...

		TOLSON
		(casually)
	... Somebody should shoot the little
	bastard.

		NIXON
	I wanna fight just as dirty as he
	does.

		TOLSON
	... Use his women.

		NIXON
	... Any information you have, Edgar.
	The sonofabitch is not gonna steal
	from me again!  Can you back me up on
	this?  Can I count on your support?

		HOOVER
		(amused)
	I look at it from the point of view
	that the system can only take so much
	abuse.  It adjusts itself eventually,
	but at times there are ... savage
	outbursts.  The late "Doctor" King for
	example.  A moral hypocrite screwing
	women like a degenerate tomcat,
	stirring up the blacks, preaching
	against our system ...
		(shakes his head)
	Sometimes the system comes close to
	cracking.

Hoover stop in front of a huge GELDING, pats his muzzle.

		HOOVER (CONT'D)
	We've already had one radical in the
	White House.  I don't think we could
	survive another.

Nixon feels uncomfortable.  Images, vague, disturbing.
Even the nostrils on the horse seem to be emitting a
devil's fire, and the noises of the snorting animal magnify
...

		NIXON
		(a beat)
	Yeah, well, as I said, Edgar ...

		HOOVER
		(precisely)
	You asked if you could count on my
	support ... As long as I can count on
	yours.

		NIXON (V.O., ON TAPE)
	The old queen did it on purpose.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - LINCOLN SITTING ROOM - NIGHT (1973)

RESUME SCENE - NIXON listens as the tape rolls.

		NIXON (ON TAPE)
	He wasn't protecting me.  He was
	putting me on notice.

		HALDEMAN (ON TAPE)
	What?  That he knew Johnny Roselli?
	Hoover knew a lot of gangsters.

		NIXON (ON TAPE)
	Yeah, but Roselli wasn't just any
	gangster.  He was the gangster who set
	up Track 2 in Cuba.

INT. EXEC OFFICE BLDG - NIXON OFFICE - NIGHT (1972)

NIXON and HALDEMAN are alone.  The lights are on.  Nixon's
had a couple of drinks.  The talk is a little looser.

		HALDEMAN
		(confused)
	I don't understand.  Track 2's Chile?

		NIXON
	Chile, Congo, Guatemala, Cuba.
	Wherever's there's a need for an
	Executive Action capability, there's a
	Track 2.  In Cuba, Track 1 was the Bay
	of Pigs invasion.  Track 2 ... it was
	our idea.
		(stands)
	We felt the invasion wouldn't work
	unless we got rid of Castro.  So we
	asked ourselves -- who else wants
	Castro dead?  The Mafia, the money
	people.   So we put together Track 2
	...

CUBA MONTAGE

Images begin to project from that long-ago time.  A YOUNGER
NIXON.  Macho Cuban "Freedom Fighters" in the Keys and
Guatemala.  The CIA, the MOB -- including JOHNNY ROSELLI.
FAT CATS and CASINO BOSSES shaking hands with young Nixon
on his visit in the 40's.  A Rum and Coca-Cola SONG plays.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
		(softly)
	The first assassination attempt was in
	'60, just before the election.

		HALDEMAN
		(stunned)
	Before?!  Eisenhower approved that?

		NIXON
	He didn't veto it.
		(then)
	I ran the White House side.  The mob
	contact was Johnny Roselli.
		(then)
	One of the CIA guys was that jackass,
	Howard Hunt.

		HALDEMAN
	Jesus!

		NIXON
	And not just Hunt.  Frank Sturgis, all
	those Cubans.  All of them in the
	Watergate.  They were involved in
	Track 2 in Cuba.
		(then)
	Hunt reported to my military aide.
	But I met with him several times as
	Vice President.  That's what worries
	the shit out of me.  I don't know how
	much Hunt knows.  Or the Cubans.

		HALDEMAN
	So?  You wanted Castro dead.
	Everybody wanted Castro dead.  If Hunt
	and the others are CIA, why don't we
	just throw this back in the CIA's lap?
	Let Richard Helms take the fall?

		NIXON
		(pause)
	Because ... because Dick Helms knows
	too much ... If anyone in this country
	knows more than I do, it's Hoover and
	Helms!  You don't fuck with Dick
	Helms!  Period.

Pause.

		HALDEMAN
	Alright.  But why, if Kennedy is so
	clean in all this, didn't he cancel
	Track 2?

		NIXON
	Because he didn't even know about it.
	The CIA never told him, they just kept
	it going.  It was like ... it had a
	life of its own.  Like ... a kind of
	"beast" that doesn't even know it
	exists.  It just eats people when it
	doesn't need 'em anymore.
		(drops back in his chair)
	Two days after the Bay of Pigs,
	Kennedy called me in.  He reamed my
	ass ...

DOCUMENTARY INTERCUT: Brief, moving, live-action image of
JOHN KENNEDY.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	... he'd just found out about Track 2.

		HALDEMAN
	You never told him?

		NIXON
		(softly)
	I didn't want him to get the credit.
	He said I'd stabbed him in the back.
	Called me a two-bit grocery clerk from
	Whittier.

Nixon's face expresses the deep hurt of that insult.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	That was the last time I ever saw him.

IMAGE - the "Beast" - an image of Kennedy perverted, his
head blown off ...

		HALDEMAN
	If they didn't tell Kennedy about
	Track 2, how did Hoover find out?

		NIXON
	They had us bugged.  Christ, he had
	everybody bugged.  Yeah, he was gonna
	support me in '68, but he was also
	threatening me.
		(then)
	That was Hoover: he'd give you the
	carrot, but he'd make damn sure the
	stick went right up your ass.

INT. AMBASSADOR HOTEL - PANTRY - 1968

DOCUMENTARY FOOTAGE of chaos in the pantry.  The camera is
jostled.  Women screaming.  A man is being wrestled to the
floor.

ROBERT KENNEDY lies there, mortally wounded.

		NIXON (V.O.)
	When I saw Bobby lying there on the
	floor, his arm outstretched like that
	...

INT. EXEC OFFICE BLDG - NIXON OFFICE - NIGHT (1973)

RESUME SCENE - NIXON and HALDEMAN

		NIXON
	... his eyes staring ...
		(then)
	I knew I'd be president.
		(beat)
	Death paved the way, didn't it?
	Vietnam.  The Kennedys.
	It cleared a path through the
	wilderness for me.  Over the bodies
	... Four bodies.

Haldeman corrects him.

		HALDEMAN
	You mean two ... two bodies?

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - LINCOLN SITTING ROOM - NIGHT (1973)

		HALDEMAN (ON TAPE)
	You mean two ... two bodies?

RESUME SCENE - NIXON takes a slug of Scotch, then he rubs
the bridge of his nose, looks up at the portrait of
Lincoln.  A pause.

		NIXON
		(slurs, softly to Lincoln)
	How many did you have?  Hundreds of
	thousands ... Where would we be
	without death, huh, Abe?

Nixon stands, steadies himself.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
		(softly)
	Who's helping us?  Is it God?  Or is
	it ... Death?

					  CUT BACK TO:

EXT. SANITARIUM CABIN - PORCH - ARIZONA - DAY (1933)

A lunar landscape -- barren, scorched, silent.  Suddenly,
violent, desperate coughing.

HAROLD NIXON (23) is doubled over the railing, a long
string of bloody mucus hanging from his lips.  He is
shockingly emaciated -- the last stages of tuberculosis.
HANNAH NIXON, in background attending TWO OTHER PATIENTS,
looks on at Harold.

RICHARD (19) hurries out of the cabin with a cotton cloth.
He holds Harold until he stops heaving.  Then, he wipes his
mouth.

		HAROLD
		(gasps)
	... that was a whopper.

Richard carefully folds the cloth, drops it into a metal
container that is already full of them.  He stands there,
helpless, a solemn boy.

		HAROLD (CONT'D)
		(panting)
	Hey ... you'll be able to do it now.

		RICHARD
	What ... ?

		HAROLD
	Go to law school.  Mom and Dad'll be
	able to afford it now ...

Richard looks at him in horror.

		HAROLD (CONT'D)
	Mom expects great things from you ...

		RICHARD
	Harold ... can I get you anything?

Harold throws a loving arm around Richard, who tenses.  We
sense that Harold in some way could have helped Richard,
taught him to laugh a bit.

		HAROLD
		(a gentle smile)
	Relax, Dick, it's just me ... The
	desert's so beautiful, isn't it?
		(then)
	I want to go home, Dick.  Time to go
	home.

		RICHARD
		(stiffly)
	You're not gonna quit on me, are you,
	Harold?

Harold looks out over the landscape.  Silence.

INT. NIXON HOUSE - PARLOR - NIGHT (1933)

RICHARD sits staring into the fire.  He still wears his
black suit from Harold's funeral.  HANNAH enters quietly.

		HANNAH
	Richard?

He looks up at her.

		RICHARD
	I can't ...

		HANNAH
	Thou must.

She moves closer, casting a shadow over his face.

		HANNAH (CONT'D)
	It's a gift, Richard.  This law school
	is a gift from your brother.

		RICHARD
		(bitter)
	Did he have to die for me to get it?!

		HANNAH
	It's meant to make us stronger.
		(kneels)
	Thou art stronger than Harold ...
	stronger than Arthur.  God has chosen
	thee to survive ...

		RICHARD
	What about happiness, Mother?

		HANNAH
	Thou must find thy peace at the
	center, Richard.  Strength in this
	life.  Happiness in the next.

					  DISSOLVE TO:

INT. REPUBLICAN CONVENTION - NIGHT (1968)

ON RICHARD NIXON (55) in his prime.  A profile of his face,
as the vast crowd goes berserk.  Nixon absorbs the
adoration: at last, he has arrived.  He looks down at
someone in the audience.  Points, smiles, waves.

Then he steps forward, thrusts his arms in the air -- the
twin-V salute.  The cheers rattle the hall as PAT and their
DAUGHTERS join him, followed by Vice President SPIRO AGNEW
and his FAMILY.  Nixon puts his arm around Pat.  She waves.
The crowd is on its feet.

		NIXON
		(privately, to Pat)
	Now tell me you didn't want this,
	Buddy.

Pat smiles back at him, caught up in it.  Then she kisses
him on the cheek.

					  TIME CUT TO:

NIXON addresses the DELEGATES (a composite of Nixon
speeches).

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	It's time for some honest talk about
	the problem of law and order in the
	United States.  I pledge to you that
	the current wave of violence will not
	be the wave of the future!

Vast APPLAUSE.

INTERCUT WITH:

DOCUMENTARY FOOTAGE - 1. Civil war.  Tanks in the streets
of DETROIT.  2. A BLACK PANTHER safe-house in flames
surrounded by FBI AGENTS.

		NIXON (V.O.) (CONT'D)
	... The long dark night for America is
	about to end ... Let us begin by
	committing ourselves to the truth --
	to find the truth, to speak the truth.
	And to live the truth ... A new voice
	is being heard across America today:
	it is not the voice of the protestors
	or the shouters, it is the voice of a
	majority of Americans who have been
	quiet Americans over the past few
	years ... a silent majority.

DOCUMENTARY FOOTAGE - 3. GEORGE WALLACE whips a DIXIE CROWD
into a frenzy.  4. The WOUNDED KNEE SIEGE is underway - FBI
AGENTS and LOCAL MILITANTS pour fire in on the INDIAN
MILITANTS.  5.  The YIPPIE DEMONSTRATORS outside the
CHICAGO DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION.  Chicago POLICE wade in with
nightsticks, tear gas.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
		(at the podium)
	Who are they?  Let me tell you who
	they are -- they're in this audience
	by the thousands, they're the workers
	of America, they're white Americans
	and black Americans ...

We cut among the DELEGATES, seeking to show the face of the
populace that is torn by civil war.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	... they are the Mexican Americans and
	the Italian Americans, they're the
	great silent majority, and they have
	become angry, finally; angry not with
	hate but angry, my friends, because
	they love America and they don't like
	what's happened to America these last
	four years!  We will regain respect
	for America in the world.  A burned
	American library, a desecrated flag
	... Let us understand: North Vietnam
	cannot defeat or humiliate the United
	States.  Only Americans can do that!

This brings the house down!  As we:

					  CROSSCUT TO:

DOCUMENTARY FOOTAGE - 6. CHICAGO is now a full-scale POLICE
RIOT.  The COPS have lost all control, swinging nightsticks
wildly, breaking heads, dozens of arrests.

Closing on NIXON at the podium.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	Let's face it.  Most Americans today,
	in a crisis of spirit, are simply fed
	up with government at all levels.  All
	the Great Society activists are lying
	out there in wait, poised to get you
	if you try to come after them: the
	professional welfareists, the urban
	planners, the day-carers, the public
	housers.  The costly current welfare
	system is a mess, and we are on the
	brink of a revolt of the lower middle
	class.  The bottom line is -- no work,
	no welfare.  Our opponents have
	exaggerated and over-emphasized
	society as the cause of crimes.  The
	war on poverty is not a war on crime,
	and it is no substitute for a war on
	crime.
		(pause)
	I say to you tonight we must have a
	new feeling of responsibility, of self
	discipline.  We must look to renew
	state and local government!  We must
	have a complete reform of a big,
	bloated federal government.  The
	average American is just like the
	child in the family.  You give him
	some responsibility and he is going to
	amount to something.  If you make him
	completely dependent and pamper him,
	you are going to make him soft, and a
	very weak individual.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	I begin with the proposition that
	freedom of choice in housing,
	education and jobs is the right of
	every American.  On the other hand, I
	am convinced that while legal
	segregation is totally wrong, forced
	integration of housing or education is
	just as wrong!  We simply have to face
	the hard fact that the law cannot go
	beyond what people are willing to
	support.  This was true as far as
	Prohibition was concerned.  It is far
	more true with regard to education and
	housing ... Yet those of us in public
	service know -- we can have full
	prosperity in peace time ...
	Yes, we can cut the defense budget.
	We can reduce conventional forces in
	Europe.  We can restore the national
	environment.  We can improve health
	care and make it available more fairly
	to all people.  And yes, we can have a
	complete reform of this government.
	We can have a new American Revolution.

					  CROSSCUT TO:

DOCUMENTARY FOOTAGE - 7. The young CHICAGO DEMONSTRATORS
are chanting rebelliously at POLICE.

		DEMONSTRATORS
	The whole world is watching!  The
	whole world is watching!

DOCUMENTARY FOOTAGE - 8. A B-52 unloads BOMBS and NAPALM
over jungle.

SUBTITLE READS: "LAOS - SECRET BOMBING CAMPAIGN, 1969-70;
242,000 MISSIONS."

					 CUT TO:

OMIT SCENE #58

EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT

The lights are blazing late with war talk.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - SIDE OFFICE - NIGHT

In a small paneled room, the talk is angry: BILL ROGERS,
Secretary of State, MEL LAIRD, Defense Secretary, to one
side; KISSINGER with HAIG, seen earlier, but now
Kissinger's assistant, to the other side of the desk, as
NIXON listens; HALDEMAN takes notes.  ZIEGLER looks on.
Though a stand-up chart displays a large map of Cambodia's
border with South Vietnam, we may note there are no
military personnel in the room.

		ROGERS
	... It'd be a disaster for us, Mr.
	President.  There's a lot of sympathy
	out there for Cambodia, a tiny,
	neutral Buddhist nation.  There'd be
	protests in the streets, right out on
	your front lawn ...

		LAIRD
	... Building this Cambodian army up
	will be harder even than the
	Vietnamese army.  They have no
	tradition of ... The government there
	would collapse if we ...

Nixon's eyes narrow, furious.

		NIXON
	So you're saying, "Do nothing" --
	that's what you're saying.  The same
	old shit.  Well, that's not good
	enough.  I'm sick of being pushed
	around by the Vietnamese like some
	pitiful giant.  They're using our POWs
	to humiliate us.  What we need now is
	a bold move to Cambodia; go right
	after the VC base camps, make 'em
	scream.  That's what I think.  You,
	Henry?

A pivotal moment for Henry.  Nixon is clearly scrutinizing
Kissinger, who glances at his rivals.

		KISSINGER
	Well, as you know, most of my staff
	have weighed in against this
	"incursion."  They believe it will
	fail to achieve anything fundamental
	militarily, and will result in
	crushing criticism domestically ...

		NIXON
		(interrupts)
	I didn't ask what your staff thinks,
	Henry.  What do you think?

		KISSINGER
		(pause)
	What I think is ... they're cowards.
	Their opposition represents the
	cowardice of the Eastern
	Establishment.  They don't realize as
	you do, Mr. President, that the
	Communists only respect strength, and
	they will only negotiate in good faith
	if they fear the "madman," Richard
	Nixon.

Nixon lets a dark smile curl one side of his mouth.

		NIXON
	Exactly!  We've got to take the war to
	them.  Hit 'em where it hurts -- right
	in the nuts.  More assassinations,
	more killings.  Right, Al?

		HAIG
	That's what they're doing.

		NIXON
	These State Department jerks, Bill,
	don't understand;
	you got to electrify people with bold
	moves.  Bold moves make history, like
	Teddy Roosevelt -- "T.R." -- rushing
	up San Juan Hill.  Small event but
	dramatic.  People took notice.

		ROGERS
	They'll take notice all right.

		NIXON
	The fact is if we sneak out of this
	war, there'll be another one a mile
	down the road.
		(pause)
	We bite the bullet here.  In Cambodia.
	We blow the hell out of these people!

		ZIEGLER
	What should we tell the press?

DOCUMENTARY

FOOTAGE - 9. Bombs dropping over Cambodia.

DOCUMENTARY FOOTAGE - 10. Combined U.S. and SOUTH
VIETNAMESE TROOPS invade CAMBODIA.

SUBTITLE READS: "APRIL 1970"

		NIXON
	Tonight, American and South Vietnamese
	units will attack the headquarters for
	the entire Communist military
	operation in South Vietnam.  This is
	not an invasion of Cambodia.  We take
	this action not for the purpose of
	expanding the war into Cambodia, but
	for the purpose of ending the war in
	Vietnam ...

					  CROSSCUT TO:

DOCUMENTARY FOOTAGE - 11. The Administration Building at
BERKELEY is burning.  POLICE in riot gear move in.  A
BATTLE between STUDENTS and POLICE is taking place.

		REPORTER (V.O.)
	Across the country, several hundred
	universities are in turmoil as
	students battle police in protest
	against the invasion of Cambodia ...

					 CUT TO:

DOCUMENTARY FOOTAGE - 11. KENT STATE UNIVERSITY - (1970) -
A phalanx of NATIONAL GUARDSMEN advances.  They look very
young and scared.  A CROWD of STUDENTS taunts them.

		NIXON (V.O.)
		(a speech)
	When I think of those kids out there,
	kids who are just doing their duty ...

					  CROSSCUT TO:

IN. THE WHITE HOUSE - EAST ROOM - DAY

The end of a ceremony for a released VIETNAM POW.  NIXON,
with JULIE, stands before emotional WIVES, DEFENSE
DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES, and UNIFORMED OFFICERS.  The POW sits
in a wheelchair at NIXON'S elbow, emaciated, the blue
ribbon of the Congressional Medal of Honor around his neck.
PAT is also there.

		NIXON
		(continues)
	I'm sure they're scared.  I was when I
	was there.  But when it really comes
	down to it ...
		(turns to the POW)
	... you have to look up to these men.
	They're the greatest!

Applause.  The POW manages a smile.

DOCUMENTARY FOOTAGE - An ugly stand-off.  The STUDENTS
confront the GUARDSMEN, jeering.  The GUARDSMEN lower their
bayonets.

		STUDENTS
		(chanting)
	One-two-three-four.  We don't want
	your fucking war.

Someone throws a rock.

BACK TO SCENE:

		NIXON
		(continues)
	You see these bums, you know, blowing
	up the campuses, burning books and so
	forth.  They call themselves "flower
	children."  Well, I call them spoiled
	rotten.  And I tell you what would
	cure them -- a good old-fashioned trip
	to my Ohio father's woodshed.  That's
	what these bums need!

DOCUMENTARY FOOTAGE - More STUDENTS are throwing rocks.
The GUARDSMEN are momentarily panicked, confused.

Then, suddenly: they open fire.  A melee.  Screaming.
STUDENTS running.

Then: half a dozen BODIES lie on the ground.  A young WOMAN
crouches over a BODY, crying.

		REPORTER 1 (V.O.)
	Today, less than twenty-four hours
	after President Nixon called them
	"bums," four students were shot dead
	at Kent State University in Ohio.

EXT. POTOMAC RIVER - YACHT SEQUOIA - NIGHT

NIXON sits at the head of an outdoor dinner table with
HALDEMAN, EHRLICHMAN, ZIEGLER, KISSINGER.  They are being
served steaks by MANOLO, Nixon's Cuban valet.

		REPORTER 1 (V.O.)
	Enraged student groups across the
	country are calling for a general
	strike tomorrow to shut down the
	entire university system until the
	Vietnam War is ended.

MITCHELL joins them.

		NIXON
		(grim)
	How many?

		MITCHELL
	Four.  Two boys.  Two girls.  And
	eight wounded.

		NIXON
	Jesus Christ!

		MITCHELL
	One of the fathers was on the TV
	saying, "My child was not a bum."  And
	it's playing like gangbusters.  Hell,
	Hoover told me one of the girls was a
	nymph.

		NIXON
	Shit, the press doesn't care about the
	facts.  Cronkite's sticking it to me.
	It's their first big hit on Richard
	Nixon.

		ZIEGLER
	The governor says they were rioting.

		EHRLICHMAN
	The governor's full of shit.  Most of
	them were changing classes.

		NIXON
	Oh, I suppose you would've just let
	them take over.  These aren't
	fraternity pranks, John.  It's
	anarchy.  A revolution!

		EHRLICHMAN
	I don't know if I'd go that far, sir.

		NIXON
	Why not?

		EHRLICHMAN
	Is the war worth it?  Is it worth a
	one-term presidency?  Because I think
	right now that's what we're looking
	at.

		NIXON
	I will not go down as the first
	American president to lose a war!
	Going into Cambodia, bombing Hanoi,
	bombing Laos -- it buys us time so we
	can get out and give the South
	Vietnamese a fighting chance.

		KISSINGER
	Exactly, sir.  That is your historical
	contribution: to lead boldly in an era
	of limits.

		NIXON
		(drinks)
	No one understands! -- even my own
	men.  What do you think the Communists
	respond to?  Honesty, liberal guilt,
	soul-wringing crap, fathers on TV
	crying?  Hell no!  I understand the
	Communist mind, I've studied it for
	thirty years.  They grasp
	"realpolitik" better than any of us,
	right, Henry?

Henry nods.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	We gotta make 'em think we're just as
	tough as they are -- that Nixon's a
	mad bomber, he might do anything!  I
	played a lot of poker in World War II
	(Haldeman and Ehrlichman know the
	story), and I won big, and let me tell
	you this -- unpredictability is our
	best asset.  That redneck Johnson left
	me with a shitty hand and I'm
	bluffing.  I've got to play the hawk
	in Vietnam and the dove in China.
	And if we keep our heads, we can win
	this thing.

		ZIEGLER
	What?  Win Vietnam, sir?

		ALL
	No ...

		NIXON
	No!  But what we can do with Vietnam,
	Ron, is drive a stake through the
	heart of the Communist alliance!
	Henry's already getting strong signals
	from the Chinese.  They hate the Viets
	more than the Russians, and they're
	worried about a unified Vietnam.  The
	Russians hate the Chinese and are
	supporting the Viets, you understand?
	If we stick it out in Vietnam ...
	we'll end up negotiating separately
	with both the Chinese and the Soviets.
	And we'll get better deals than we
	ever dreamed of from both ...

Kissinger nods.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	That's triangular diplomacy,
	gentlemen.

		KISSINGER
	Exactly, yes, Mr. President.  That is
	my contention.

		NIXON
	That's what geopolitics is about --
	the whole world linked by self
	interest ... You tell me, Ron, how the
	hell I can explain that on television
	to a bunch of simple-minded reporters
	and weeping fucking mothers!

		ZIEGLER
	But what am I telling the press about
	Kent State?

		NIXON
	Tell 'em what you like; they'll never
	understand it anyway.

		EHRLICHMAN
	Excuse me ... Are you talking about
	recognizing China, Mr. President?
	That would cost us our strongest
	support.

		NIXON
	No ... I can do this because I've
	spent my whole career building anti
	Communist credentials.

		HALDEMAN
	If Johnson or Kennedy tried it, they'd
	have crucified them, and rightfully
	so!

		MITCHELL
	It's damned risky, Mr. President.  Why
	don't we wait till the second term?

		NIXON
		(repeats)
	This will get me a second term.  Damn
	it, without risk, there's no heroism.
	There's no history.  I, Nixon, was
	born to do this.

		KISSINGER
	Mr. President, this cannot be
	breathed!  Especially to our secretary
	of state -- that cretin Rogers ... The
	Chinese would never trust us again.
	The only way, I emphasize only way, to
	pull this off is in secret.

		NIXON
		(cackles)
	This is a major coup, gentlemen -- our
	own State Department doesn't even
	know.  And if it leaks out of here
	tonight ...

A pause.  He eyes them.  Discomfort.

		HALDEMAN
	Well, one way or the other, Kent State
	is not good.  We have to get out in
	front of this thing.  The PR is going
	to murder us.

		NIXON
	Money.  Follow the money.

		HALDEMAN
	Sir?

		NIXON
	These kids are being manipulated by
	the Communists.  Like Chambers and
	Hiss.

		MITCHELL
		(smoking his pipe)
	This isn't '48, Dick.  They'll never
	buy it.

		NIXON
		(angry)
	How do you know that, John?  Did we
	try?  Are we just giving up like the
	rest of 'em?  What's Hoover found, for
	God's sake?

		HALDEMAN
	Well, he called the other day, sir.
	He asked for President Harding.

Laughter around the table.

		KISSINGER
	He's an idiot ...

		HALDEMAN
	Seriously, sir, he's gotta go ...

		NIXON
	We can't touch Hoover --

		EHRLICHMAN
	I thought the gloves were off.

		NIXON
	-- as long as he's got secret files on
	everybody.  I don't want 'em used
	against us.
		(frustrated)
	What about the CIA?  Helms's done
	nothing for us.  I want to see him.

		HALDEMAN
	Done.

		MITCHELL
	With Hiss, Mr. President, you had the
	microfilm, you had the lie.  With the
	students, we got no proof.

		NIXON
	The soldiers were provoked.  The
	students started it, for Christ's
	sake!

		EHRLICHMAN
	Sir, there's dead American kids here.
	Let's say we don't apologize for Kent
	State, but maybe we could have a
	national prayer day ...

		HALDEMAN
	... never complain, never explain,
	John ...

		NIXON
		(yells)
	I tell you, the soldiers were
	provoked.  Now stop this pussyfooting
	around.
		(irritated)
	Dead kids!  How the hell did we ever
	give the Democrats a weapon like this?
		(then)
	I mean, if Cambodia doesn't work,
	we'll bomb Hanoi if we have to.

They all look at him.  He is resolute.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	That's right!  And if necessary, I'll
	drop the big one.

		KISSINGER
	We have to entertain the possibility
	...

Nixon looks down at his steak.  It is oozing blood.  Too
much blood -- something is very wrong.  He shoots back,
momentarily terrified.

		NIXON
	Goddamn it!  Who the hell cooked this
	steak?
		(yells)
	Manolo, there's blood all over my
	plate.

NIXON throws down his knife and fork and walks off.

EXT. POTOMAC RIVER - YACHT SEQUOIA - NIGHT (LATER)

NIXON is on the bow, alone, watching the city slip by.
MITCHELL slides up beside him, offering him a freshened
drink.

		MITCHELL
	You all right?

		NIXON
	My brother Harold was about the same
	age as those kids, John.  Tuberculosis
	got him.

		MITCHELL
	It wasn't your fault.  The soldiers
	were just kids, too.  They panicked.

		NIXON
	They were throwing rocks, John, just
	rocks.  They don't think I feel ...
	but I feel too much sometimes.  I just
	can't let a whole policy get dominated
	by our sentimentality.

		MITCHELL
	You're doing the right thing, Dick ...
	don't let 'em shake you.

		NIXON
	It broke my heart when Harold died.

		MITCHELL
	That was a long time ago.

Nixon looks out at the water.

		NIXON
	I think that's when it starts.  When
	you're a kid.  The laughs and snubs
	and slights you get because you're
	poor or Irish or Jewish or just ugly.
	But if you're intelligent, and your
	anger is deep enough and strong
	enough, you learn you can change these
	attitudes by excellence, gut
	performance, while those who have
	everything are sitting on their fat
	butts ...
		(then)
	But then when you get to the top, you
	find you can't stop playing the game
	the way you've always played it
	because it's a part of you like an arm
	or a leg.  So you're lean and mean and
	you continue to walk the edge of the
	precipice, because over the years
	you've become fascinated by how close
	you can get without falling ... I
	wonder, John, I wonder ...

Mitchell puts his hand on Dick's shoulder.

		MITCHELL
	Get off that.  That leads nowhere.
	You should offer condolences to the
	families of those kids.

		NIXON
	Sure, I'd like to offer condolences.

He shrugs off Mitchell's hand and walks down the deck into
the shadows.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	But Nixon can't.

INT. LIMOUSINE - THE WHITE HOUSE - DAY

Leaving the WHITE HOUSE, NIXON looks out at ANGRY
DEMONSTRATORS giving him the finger, shaking placards --
"IMPEACH NIXON" (spelled with a swastika), "PEACE NOW."
With him are HALDEMAN and EHRLICHMAN.

		HALDEMAN
		(with clipboard)
	... and we've got the economic guys at
	five.  The Dow lost another 16 points.
	They're going to want a decision on
	the budget.  Sir?  ... Are we holding
	the line on a balanced budget?

		NIXON
	No ... a little deficit won't hurt.
	Jesus, they're serious.  Why're we
	stopping?

		HALDEMAN
		(to the driver)
	Run 'em over.

The presidential limousine has a difficult time negotiating
its way through the BLOCKADING BUSES.  A MAN with a NIXON
mask runs up to the window and peers in, before being
peeled off by SECRET SERVICE.  It is an ugly, violent
scene, but Nixon seems to delight in the threat of action.
He's in an upbeat mood.

		NIXON
	Get that little fucker!  Great tackle!
	Reminds me of my days at Whittier.
	Most of these kids are useless.

		HALDEMAN
	Probably flunking, nothing to do
	except come down here and meet girls.
	Henry's out there with them.

		NIXON
	There's a poison in the upper classes,
	Bob.  They've had it too soft.  Too
	many cars, too many color TVs ...

		HALDEMAN
	Don't forget the South, sir, the West.
	Filled with the good football
	colleges, straight kids.  There's more
	of 'em with you than against you.  Not
	like these mudmutts.

		NIXON
	It's the parents' fault really.

		EHRLICHMAN
	Let's not forget they're just kids,
	they don't vote.

		HALDEMAN
	It's the fall of the Roman Empire, are
	you blind?  And we're putting fig
	leaves on the statues ...

		PROTESTOR
	Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh is going to win!

		HALDEMAN
	Get that fucker!

A glum moment.  Haldeman stares at him.  A PROTESTOR waves
a Vietcong flag in Nixon's face.  He gets pulled off the
limo.

		NIXON
		(exhilarated)
	But, hell, this is nothing compared to
	Venezuela.  When I was Vice President,
	Ike sent me down there like a blocking
	back.  They threw rocks, broke out our
	windows, almost overturned the car.
	Read Six Crises, Bob.  Boy, Pat was
	brave!

		HALDEMAN
	Yeah, we've got to get our vice
	president off the golf course and back
	there on the college circuit.  That's
	top priority.

		EHRLICHMAN
	He's in the dumps, sir.  Agnew.  Every
	time you have him attack the press,
	they give it back to him in spades.
	He's become the most hated man in
	America.

		NIXON
		(chuckles)
	Yeah, good old Spiro.  Well, better
	him than me.  What the hell is he but
	an insurance policy?

		HALDEMAN
	We gotta keep reminding the media
	pricks, if Nixon goes they end up with
	Agnew.

They all laugh.

		EHRLICHMAN
	He's begging for a meeting, chief.  He
	wants to go overseas for awhile.

		NIXON
	Well, no place where they speak
	English.  That way he can always say
	he was misquoted.

Nixon emits a high, manic laugh.

The PROTESTORS are frustrated as the limousine breaks
through.

INT. CIA HEADQUARTERS - LOBBY - DAY (1970)

The SEAL of the CIA: "You shall know the truth and the
truth shall make you free."  We CRANE BACK, revealing that
the seal is on the floor of the LOBBY as NIXON strides in
with his ENTOURAGE.

LT. GENERAL ROBERT CUSHMAN hurries out, ruffled, to meet
NIXON.

		CUSHMAN
	Mr. President, I don't know what to
	say.  As soon as we learned from the
	Secret Service you were en route, the
	Director was notified.  He should be
	here any minute.

		NIXON
	Where the hell is he?

		CUSHMAN
	Uh, he's rushing back from his tennis
	game, sir ...

		NIXON
		(impatient)
	So ... let's go ...

		CUSHMAN
		(walking with Nixon)
	He told me to take you to his
	conference room.

		NIXON
	No.  His office.
		(aside)
	I want a very private conversation.  I
	don't want to be bugged.

		CUSHMAN
	Then his office will be fine.

INT. OPERATIONS CENTER & HELM'S OFFICE - DAY

They walk past ANALYSTS laboring in isolation behind
Plexiglass walls; the hum of computers, a dark austerity to
the place.  They all glance up as NIXON strides past.

		NIXON
	How's the job coming, Bob?

		CUSHMAN
	Frankly, sir, it stinks.  I have no
	access.  I'm lucky Helms lets me have
	a staff.

		NIXON
		(ominous)
	We'll see about that ...

		CUSHMAN
		(sensing change)
	He's nervous, sir.  He's heard you're
	looking for a new director.

		NIXON
	Well, he certainly isn't acting like
	it.

		CUSHMAN
	That's Helms.  He's "sang froid," a
	world-class poker player.

		NIXON
		(under his breath)
	Yeah?  Well, I own the fucking casino.

INT. HELMS OFFICE - DAY

A DUTY OFFICER opens the door of the director's office with
a flourish.  NIXON catches RICHARD HELMS throwing his
trench coat and tennis racket on a chair, obviously
hurrying in from a secret door.  Helms spots Nixon, extends
his hand with a reptilian smile.

		HELMS
	I'm honored, Dick, that you've come
	all this way out here to Virginia to
	visit us at last.

		NIXON
	My friends call me "Mister President."

		HELMS
	And so shall I.
		(to Cushman)
	Arrange some coffee, would you General
	Cushman?

Cushman stares back a beat, bitterly.  Nixon signals to
Haldeman and Ehrlichman that he, too, wants to be alone.
The door closes.

		NIXON
	Robert Cushman is a lieutenant general
	in the Marine Corps, the Deputy
	Director of the CIA ... and this is
	what you use him for?

		HELMS
	I didn't choose him as my deputy, Mr.
	President.  You did.

Nixon paces the office, which is festooned with photos,
awards and an abundance of flowers, particularly orchids.
A collector.

		NIXON
	You live pretty well out here.  Now I
	understand why you want to keep your
	budget classified.

Helms sits on a settee, a hard-to-read man.

		HELMS
	I suppose, "Mister President," you're
	unhappy that we have not implemented
	your Domestic Intelligence plan, but
	...

		NIXON
	You're correct.  I'm concerned these
	students are being funded by foreign
	interests, whether they know it or
	not.  The FBI is worthless in this
	area.  I want your full concentration
	on this matter ...

		HELMS
	Of course we've tried, but so far
	we've come up with nothing that ...

		NIXON
		(stern)
	Then find something.  And I want these
	leaks stopped.  Jack fucking Anderson,
	the New York Times, the State
	Department -- I want to know who's
	talking to them.

		HELMS
	I'm sure you realize this is a very
	tricky area, Mr. President, given our
	charter and the congressional
	oversight committees ...

		NIXON
	Screw congressional oversight.  I know
	damn well, going back to the '50's,
	this agency reports what it wants, and
	buries what it doesn't want Congress
	to know.  Pay close attention to this.

Nixon fixes him with his stare.  Helms clears his throat.

		HELMS
	Is there something else that's
	bothering you, Mr. President?

		NIXON
	Yes ... It involves some old and
	forgotten papers.  Things I signed as
	Vice President.  I want the originals
	in my office and I don't want copies
	anywhere else.

Now knowing Nixon's cards, Helms relaxes -- about an inch.

		HELMS
	You're referring, of course, to
	chairing the Special Operations Group
	as Vice President.

		NIXON
	Yes ...

Helms wanders over to his prize orchids, fingers them.

		HELMS
	As you know ... that was unique.  Not
	an operation as much as ... an organic
	phenomenon.  It grew, it changed
	shape, it developed ... insatiable,
	devouring appetites.
		(then)
	It's not uncommon in such cases that
	things are not committed to paper.
	That could be very ... embarrassing.

Nixon is embarrassed, and does not like it.  Suddenly, the
Beast is in the room.

		HELMS (CONT'D)
		(reminding him)
	I, for one, saw to it that my name was
	never connected to any of those
	operations.

On Nixon, waiting.

		HELMS (CONT'D)
		(fishing)
	Diem?  Trujillo?  Lumumba?  Guatemala?
	Cuba? ... It's a shame you didn't take
	similar precautions, Dick.

		NIXON
		(very uncomfortable)
	I'm interested in the documents that
	put your people together with ... the
	others.  All of them ...

A beat.  This is the fastball.  Helms pours himself a
coffee.

		HELMS
	President Kennedy threatened to smash
	the CIA into a thousand pieces.  You
	could do the same ...

		NIXON
	I'm not Jack Kennedy.  Your agency is
	secure.

		HELMS
		(stirs the coffee)
	Not if I give you all the cards ...

		NIXON
	I promised the American people peace
	with honor in Southeast Asia.  That
	could take time -- two, maybe three
	years ... In the meantime, your agency
	will continue at current levels of
	funding.

		HELMS
		(sips his coffee)
	Current levels may not be sufficient.

		NIXON
	The President would support a
	reasonable request for an increase.

Helms smiles.

		HELMS
	And me? ...

		NIXON
	Firing you, Mr. Helms, wouldn't do any
	good.  Of course you'll continue as
	DCI.  You're doing a magnificent job.

		HELMS
	And of course I accept.  I'm
	flattered.  And I want you to know, I
	work for only one president at a time.

		NIXON
	Yes.  And you will give General
	Cushman full access.

		HELMS
		(grudgingly accepts that)
	It will take a little time, but I'll
	order a search for your papers.
	Though it does raise a disturbing
	issue.

		NIXON
	What?

		HELMS
	Mr. Castro.

		NIXON
		(tense)
	Yes.

		HELMS
	We have recent intelligence that a
	Soviet nuclear submarine has docked at
	Cienfuegos.

		NIXON
	Well, we'll lodge a formal protest.

		HELMS
	I don't think we can treat this as a
	formality.  Mr. Kennedy made a verbal
	promise to the Russians not to invade
	Cuba.  But you authorized Dr.
	Kissinger to put this in writing.

Nixon is taken aback by Helms's inside knowledge.

		NIXON
	Are you tapping Kissinger?

		HELMS
	My job, unpleasant sometimes, is to
	know what others don't want me to
	know.

		NIXON
		(cold)
	Not if you have spies in the White
	House, it isn't your job.

		HELMS
	It is not my practice to spy on the
	president.  Doctor Kissinger manages
	to convey his innermost secrets to the
	world at large on his own.

		NIXON
		(absorbs this)
	Mr. Helms, we've lived with Communism
	in Cuba for ten years ...

		HELMS
	... But it has never been the policy
	of this government to accept that.
	And it is certainly not CIA policy.

		NIXON
	CIA policy?  The CIA has no policy,
	Mr. Helms.  Except what I dictate to
	you ...
		(beat, they stare at each
		 other)
	I try to adjust to the world as it is
	today, not as you or I wanted it to be
	ten years ago.

		HELMS
	Is that why you and Kissinger are
	negotiating with the Chinese?

A beat.  Nixon stares.

		HELMS (CONT'D)
	This is an extremely dangerous
	direction, Mr. President.  Terrible
	consequences can result from such
	enormous errors in judgement.

		NIXON
	But ... if we were able to separate
	China from Russia once and for all, we
	can -- we could create a balance of
	power that would secure the peace into
	the next century.

		HELMS
	By offering Cuba to the Russians as a
	consolation prize?

		NIXON
	Cuba would be a small price to pay.

		HELMS
	So President Kennedy thought.

A disturbing image suddenly appears in Nixon's mind --
KENNEDY with his head blown off in Dallas.  Followed by an
IMAGE of his own death.  In a coffin.

The smell of the orchids in the room is overwhelming.
Nixon feels himself dizzy.

		NIXON
	I never thought Jack was ready for the
	presidency.  But I would never, never
	consider ...
		(then)
	His death was awful, an awful thing
	for this country.
		(then)
	Do you ever think of death, Mr. Helms?

		HELMS
	Flowers are continual reminders of our
	mortality.  Do you appreciate flowers?

		NIXON
	No.  They make me sick.  They smell
	like death ... I had two brothers die
	young.  But let me tell you, there are
	worse things than death.  There is
	such a thing as evil.

		HELMS
	You must be familiar with my favorite
	poem by Yeats?  "The Second Coming"?

		NIXON
	No.

		HELMS
	Black Irishman.  Very moving.
	"Turning and turning in the widening
	gyre / The falcon cannot hear the
	falconer / Things fall apart, the
	center cannot hold / Mere anarchy is
	loosed upon the world / And everywhere
	the ceremony of innocence is drowned /
	The best lack all conviction, while
	the worst are full of passionate
	intensity" ... But it ends so
	beautifully ominous -- "What rough
	beast, its hours come round at last /
	Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"
	... Yes, this country stands at such a
	juncture.

On Nixon, we:

					 CUT TO:

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIXON BEDROOM - NIGHT

NIXON has just returned from a dinner party, this tuxedo
coming off, on the phone, a Scotch in hand, in high
spirits.  A series of JUMP CUTS of his phone self as
follows:

		NIXON (ON PHONE)
	It was sudden death, Trini, but I
	think I kicked Helms's ass.
		(laughs)
	Yeah, and Kissinger's running around
	like a scared chicken right now; he
	doesn't know who's gonna grab his
	power.  Yeah ... you should see him.
	I call Haig, Kissinger shits!

More laughter.

					  JUMP CUT TO:

		NIXON (ON PHONE) (CONT'D)
	Did you see the look on Hoover's face?
	He was redder than a beet.  That
	little closet fairy's got no choice.
	He hates McGovern and Kennedy so much,
	he's got to love me.  And Lyndon?

PAT enters, in a nightdress, smoking.

		PAT
	He looked old, didn't he?

		NIXON
		(hardly noticing)
	I asked him, "Lyndon, what would you
	do, on a scale of one to ten?"  And he
	said, "Bomb the shit out of Hanoi,
	boy!  Bomb them where they live." ...
	John, do you think I was too soft on
	TV?

					  JUMP CUT TO:

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	Bob, I want to get on this energy
	thing tomorrow -- we really have to
	rethink our needs to the end of the
	century.  Let's do it at 1:00.  And
	don't forget the budget boys.  I'm
	gonna carve the shit out of 'em.
		(beat)
	Well, no, clear the afternoon and tell
	Trini I'll be in Key Biscayne by 4:00
	... No, alone ... Pat's staying here
	with the girls.

Pat approaches him, nuzzles him.  She seems a little
strange, tipsy ... but sexy in her nightdress.

		PAT
	I'd like to go with you.

		HALDEMAN (O.S.)
	Hello?

		NIXON
		(to Pat)
	Uh, you should check with Bob ...
		(to Bob)
	Listen, Bob, I'll call you in the
	morning.

He hangs up, awkward.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	Hi, Buddy.  What are you doing in
	here?

		PAT
	I've missed you.

		NIXON
		(suspecting drink on her
		 breath)
	Are you okay?

		PAT
	Why don't we go down to Key Biscayne
	together?  Just the two of us.

		NIXON
	Because ... I have to relax.

		PAT
	I was thinking tonight -- do you
	remember, Dick?  Do you remember when
	you used to drive me on dates with the
	other boys?  You didn't want to let me
	out of your sight.

		NIXON
	Yeah, sure, a long time ago.

		PAT
	Yes, it's been a long time ...

A signal has been given.  Nixon recoils, embarrassed.  A
slight sweat.

		NIXON
	I don't need that, Buddy.  I'm not
	Jack Kennedy.

		PAT
		(rebuffed, distant)
	No, you're not.  So stop comparing
	yourself to him.  You have no reason
	to ...
	You have everything you ever wanted.
	You've earned it.  Why can't you just
	enjoy it?

		NIXON
	I do.  I do.  In my own way.

		PAT
	Then what are you scared of, honey?

		NIXON
	I'm not scared, Buddy.
		(a pause)
	You don't understand.  They're playing
	for keeps, Buddy.  The press, the
	kids, the liberals -- they're out
	there, trying to figure out how to
	tear me down.

		PAT
	They're all your enemies?

		NIXON
	Yes!

		PAT
	You personally?

		NIXON
	Yes!  This is about me.  Why can't you
	understand that, you of all people?
	It's not the war -- it's Nixon!  They
	want to destroy Nixon!  And if I
	expose myself even the slightest bit
	they'll tear my insides out.  Do you
	want that?  Do you want to see that,
	Buddy?  It's not pretty.

		PAT
	Sometimes I think that's what you
	want.

		NIXON
	You've been drinking.  What the hell
	are you saying?  Jesus, you sound like
	them now! ...
		(a beat, quietly)
	I've gotta keep fighting, Buddy, for
	the country.  These people running
	things, the elite ... they're soft,
	chickenshit faggots!  They don't have
	the long-term vision anymore.  They
	just want to cover their asses or meet
	girls or tear each other down.  Oh,
	God, this country's in deep trouble,
	Buddy ... and I have to see this
	through.  Mother would've wanted no
	less of me ... I'm sorry, Buddy.

Pat stands, about to leave.

		PAT
	I just wish ... you knew how much I
	love you, that's all.  It took me a
	long time to fall in love with you,
	Dick.  But I did it.  And it doesn't
	make you happy.  You want them to love
	you ...

Pat waves outward, indicating the world, the public.

		NIXON
		(interjects)
	No, I don't.  I'm not Jack ...

		PAT
	But they never will, Dick.  No matter
	how many elections you win, they never
	will.

She leaves.  He is left in the middle of the room.  He
shuffles to the phone, picks it up.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT

		NIXON (V.O.)
	Manolo!  Where the hell are you?

The lights come on, revealing MANOLO SANCHEZ, the valet, in
the doorway, wearing a bathrobe and slippers.

		MANOLO
	I was asleep, Mr. President.  What can
	I get you?

		NIXON
	Just ... uh ... you know.

		MANOLO
	Of course.

Manolo moves to a cabinet on the far side of the pantry.
Takes out a bottle of Chivas, puts ice into a tumbler.

		NIXON
	Do you miss Cuba, Manolo?

		MANOLO
	Yes, Mr. President.

		NIXON
	We let you down, didn't we.  Your
	people.

		MANOLO
	That was Mr. Kennedy.

		NIXON
	You don't think he was a hero?

Manolo pours Nixon a drink.

		MANOLO
		(shrugs)
	He was a politician.

		NIXON
		(swallows the drink)
	Did you cry when he died?

		MANOLO
	Yes.

		NIXON
	Why?

		MANOLO
	I don't know.
		(then)
	He made me see the stars ...

		NIXON
		(looks outside, to himself)
	How did he do that?
		(then)
	All those kids ... Why do they hate me
	so much?

EXT. LINCOLN MEMORIAL - PRE-DAWN

NIXON gets out of the front of the presidential LIMOUSINE.
MANOLO follows.

Nixon looks up: a surreal scene.  The Lincoln Memorial has
been turned into a pagan temple.  FIRES burn on the broad
marble steps, half-naked KIDS sleep on filthy blankets
below the immense columns.  Hendrix plays faintly on a
portable radio.  Nixon starts up the steps, picking his way
among the sleeping forms.

He passes a GIRL, tripping, eyes closed, twirling a long
scarf over her head.  He stares at her, steps on a sleeping
bag.

		STUDENT 1
	Fuck, man.  That's my fuckin' leg --

The BOY's jaw drops.  Nixon towers over him.  An
apparition.

		NIXON
	You just go back to sleep now, young
	fella.

		STUDENT 1
		(rubs his eyes)
	Whoa, this is some nasty shit ...

Nixon reaches the top of the monument.  Taped to one of the
pillars is a poster.  Nixon scowling, and the motto "Would
You Buy A Used Car From This Man?"

Nixon peers at it, moves inside.  He looks up at LINCOLN in
the eerie firelight.  Banners with peace signs have been
draped over his shoulders, bunches of flowers between his
fingers.

HALF A DOZEN STUDENTS are talking among themselves.  They
see Nixon, stop.  Stunned.  Nixon strides toward them.

		NIXON
	Hi, I'm Dick Nixon.

		STUDENT 2
	You're shittin' me.

		NIXON
	Where you from?

		STUDENT 2
	Syracuse.

		NIXON
	The Orangemen!  Now there's a football
	program.  Jim Brown.  And that other
	tailback ... The one with the blood
	disease ...

		STUDENT 2
	Ernie Davis.

		NIXON
	Right, right.  I used to play a little
	ball myself at Whittier.
		(laughs nervously)
	Of course, they used me as a tackling
	dummy.

A self-possessed YOUNG WOMAN abruptly interrupts.

		YOUNG WOMAN
	We didn't come here to talk about
	football.  We came here to end the
	war.

		NIXON
		(chastened)
	Yes, I understand that.

Pause.  Nobody responds.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	Probably most of you think I'm a real
	SOB.  I know that.  But I understand
	how you feel, I really do.  I want
	peace, too, but peace with honor.

		STUDENT 3
	What does that mean?

		NIXON
	You can't have peace without a price.
	Sometimes you have to be willing to
	fight for peace.  And sometimes to
	die.

		STUDENT 3
	Tell that to the GIs who are going to
	die tomorrow in Vietnam.

		STUDENT 2
	What you have to understand, Mr.
	Nixon, is that we are willing to die
	for what we believe in.

		NIXON
		(looking up at Lincoln)
	That man up there lived in similar
	times.  He had chaos and civil war and
	hatred between the races ... Sometimes
	I go to the Lincoln Room at the White
	House and just pray.  You know, the
	liberals act like idealism belongs to
	them, but it's not true.  My family
	went Republican because Lincoln freed
	the slaves.  My grandmother was an
	abolitionist.  It was Quakers who
	founded Whittier, my hometown, to
	abolish slavery.  They were
	conservative Bible folk, but they had
	a powerful sense of right and wrong
	... Forty years ago I was looking, as
	you are now, for answers.
		(then)
	But you know, ending the war and
	cleaning up the air and the cities,
	feeding the poor -- my mother used to
	feed hobos stopping over at our house
	- none of it is going to satisfy the
	spiritual hunger we all have, finding
	a meaning to this life ...

HALDEMAN arrives with SEVERAL SECRET SERVICE AGENTS,
looking very worried.  The crowd around Nixon has grown
much larger.

		HALDEMAN
	Mr. President!

		NIXON
	It's okay, Bob, we're just rapping, my
	friends and I.  We actually agree on a
	lot of things ...

		YOUNG WOMAN
	No, we don't!  You're full of shit!
	You say you want to end the war, so
	why don't you?  My brother died over
	there last November.  Why?  What good
	was his death?

		NIXON
	I know.  I know.  I've seen a lot of
	kids die, too, in World War II.

		STUDENT 2
	Come on, man -- Vietnam ain't Germany.
	It doesn't threaten us.  It's a civil
	war between the Vietnamese.

		NIXON
	But change always comes slowly.  I've
	withdrawn more than half the troops.
	I'm trying to cut the military budget
	for the first time in thirty years.  I
	want an all-volunteer army.  But it's
	also a question of American
	credibility, our position in the world
	...

		YOUNG WOMAN
	You don't want the war.  We don't want
	the war.  The Vietnamese don't want
	the war.  So why does it go on?

Nixon hesitates, out of answers.

		YOUNG WOMAN (CONT'D)
	Someone wants it ...
		(a realization)
	You can't stop it, can you?  Even if
	you wanted to.  Because it's not you.
	It's the system.  And the system won't
	let you stop it ...

		NIXON
	There's a lot more at stake here than
	what you want.  Or even what I want
	...

		YOUNG WOMAN
	Then what's the point?  What's the
	point of being president?  You're
	powerless.

The girl transfixes him with her eyes.  Nixon feels it.
The nausea of the Beast makes him reel.  The students press
in on him from all sides.

		NIXON
		(stumbling)
	No, no.  I'm not powerless.  Because
	... because I understand the system.
	I believe I can control it.  Maybe not
	control it totally.  But ... tame it
	enough to make it do some good.

		YOUNG WOMAN
	It sounds like you're talking about a
	wild animal.

		NIXON
	Maybe I am.

A silence.  Nixon looks at her.

Haldeman and the SECRET SERVICE MEN fill the succeeding
beat of silence by moving Nixon off.  He allows himself to
be herded, waving absently to the protestors.

		HALDEMAN
	We really must go, Mr. President.

		NIXON
		(to all)
	Don't forget, the most important thing
	in your life is your relationship with
	your Maker ...
		(over his shoulder to all)
	Don't forget to be on God's side.

This doesn't go down well with the protestors.
("Bullshit!")

As Nixon is led down the steps to the limousine:

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	She got it, Bob.  A nineteen-year-old
	college kid ...

		HALDEMAN
	What?

		NIXON
	She understood something it's taken me
	twenty-five fucking years in politics
	to understand.  The CIA, the Mafia,
	the Wall Street bastards ...

		HALDEMAN
	Sir?

		NIXON
		(climbing into the limo,
		 mutters)
	... "The Beast."  A nineteen-year-old
	kid.  She understands the nature of
	"the Beast."  She called it a wild
	animal.

The door closes.  The LIMOUSINE is whisked away under
searchlights and heavy security.

SUBTITLE READS: "JUNE 1971 - A YEAR LATER"

DOCUMENTARY FOOTAGE - The White House is still ringed.
ARMED TROOPS patrol Pennsylvania Avenue.  The BUSES are
drawn up.  SMOKE is in the air.  The SOUNDS of cherry bombs
going off.  Signs that read: "End the war!  Throw the
fascists out!  Dick Nixon before he dicks you!"

EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - ROSE GARDEN - DAY

Inside the barricades, a fairyland.  A white lattice gazebo
draped with flowers.  TRICIA's wedding is in preparation.
GROUNDSKEEPERS and various PERSONNEL lay out the carpet to
the alter.

INT. EXEC OFFICE BLDG - NIXON OFFICE - DAY

J. EDGAR HOOVER joins NIXON, pulling on his wedding tuxedo,
at a window, looking out at the PROTESTORS.
Intermittently, Hoover helps him with his clothes.

		NIXON
		(musing)
	There must be a quarter-million out
	there, Edgar.  They've been at it now
	for a year.  Young kids just like
	Tricia.  I don't know.  Do you think
	they have a point, Edgar?  Maybe this
	whole damned system of government is
	...

		HOOVER
		(suspecting softness)
	Remember what Lenin said in 1917, Mr.
	President: "The power was lying in the
	streets just waiting for someone to
	pick it up."  The Communists have
	never been closer.  Now is the time to
	go back to the old themes, the ones
	that made you president.  Let the
	Communists know you're onto them.

		NIXON
		(laughs)
	The little bastards think they can
	ruin Tricia's wedding day by dancing
	naked in the Reflecting Pond.

		HOOVER
	Don't listen to 'em, don't quit.
	Remember - Kennedy, Bobby, and King
	were against the war.  Where are they
	now?  Don't give 'em a goddamn inch on
	the war.  President Johnson bombed
	Laos for years and nobody knew or said
	a thing.  How the hell the Times ever
	got ahold of this Ellsberg stuff is a
	disgrace!

		NIXON
	We can't keep a goddamn secret in this
	government, Edgar.  They're stealing
	papers right out of his office.

		HOOVER
	Johnson had the same damned problem
	till he bugged his own office.

		NIXON
		(nods)
	We took his system out.

		HOOVER
	That was a mistake.  The White House
	was full of Kennedy people then.  It
	still is.

		NIXON
	Who do you think is behind it?

		HOOVER
	Well, you have CIA people all over the
	place.  Helms has seen to that.
		(beat, Nixon remains poker
		 faced)
	Then there's Kissinger's staff.
	Kissinger himself, I believe, maybe
	the leaker.

		NIXON
		(stunned)
	Kissinger?

		HOOVER
	He's obsessed with his own image.  He
	wants his Nobel Peace Prize a little
	too much.  As the late "Doctor" King
	proved -- even an ape can win a prize
	with good press.

		NIXON
	Jesus, I'd like to book him into a
	psychiatrist's office.  He comes in
	here ranting and raving, dumping his
	crap all over the place ... Could you
	prove it, Edgar?

		HOOVER
	I always get my man.

		NIXON
	Yeah, you do.
		(then)
	I'd be bugging myself, Edgar ... Who'd
	get the tapes?

		HOOVER
	No one.  Your property.  It would
	prove your case.  Why do you think
	Kissinger's taping your calls?  For
	history.  His word against yours --
	and right now he's got the records.

Nixon is stung by the comparison, fussing with his bow tie.
Hoover helps him.

		NIXON
	This damned tie ... Will you help me,
	Edgar?
		(then)
	Churchill used to say to me, "If you
	want your own history written
	properly, you must write it yourself."
		(starts out)
	All right, Edgar, but just don't let
	it come back to haunt me.

		HOOVER
		(a reminder)
	It won't.  As long as I'm here.

Nixon absentmindedly shows Hoover through a small door into
his BATHROOM ... There is an awkward pause, as both men are
too proud to pretend they are cramped in this place
together.  Hoover clears his throat and exits the regular
door.  As we hear the Love Theme from "Doctor Zhivago":

					 CUT TO:

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - EAST ROOM - DAY

The White House GUARDS wear German comic opera uniforms
including tall cylindrical hats with beaks.  We see
champagne, white lace, the MUSICIANS wearing morning coats.
HOOVER and TOLSON are together, very happy.  To the sound
of the wedding MUSIC, NIXON takes a turn with his daughter,
TRICIA, in gown.  He has never seemed happier.

		NIXON
	I am very proud of you today,
	princess.  Very.

When one of the GROOMSMEN cuts in, Nixon asks several
OTHERS to dance.  He retreats to JULIE's side.  Julie says
something sweet but unheard to him.

PAT is at a window, upset, looking out at the PROTESTORS as
Julie comes over to get her.

		JULIE
	Come on, Mother, join the ...
		(sees her look)
	What's the matter?

		PAT
	We're just not going to buckle to
	these people.

Pat puts on her party face and rejoins the crowd.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - CABINET ROOM - DAY (1971) - RAIN

CABINET MEMBERS chat, lean back in their chairs, smoking,
as NIXON suddenly erupts into the room, a focused fury on
his face.  He sits, slams the New York Times down.  CLOSE -
we can make out the words "Pentagon Papers."

		NIXON
	Gentlemen, we've had our last damn
	leak!  This is no way to run a goddamn
	government.  We're going to prosecute
	the hell out of Ellsberg and anyone
	else who wants to leak.  And that
	means any one of you who crosses the
	line, I'm personally going after ...

INTERCUTTING among the faces -- KISSINGER predominant.
Nixon glances in his direction, pause on him.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	The permissiveness of this era is
	over.  The belts are coming off and
	people are gonna be taken to the
	woodshed.  This government cannot
	survive with a counter-government
	inside it.  I know how traitors
	operate -- I've dealt with them all my
	life.  This bullshit to the effect --
	some stenographer did it, some
	stenographer -- that's never the case.
	It's never the little people -- little
	people do not leak.  It's always the
	sonofabitch like Ellsberg who leaks!
	The Harvard Hebrew boys with the
	private agendas who wanna be heroes.

Nixon grabs the paper, shakes it.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	Ellsberg did this "for the good of the
	country."  I suppose you've never
	heard that one before.  Alger Hiss and
	the Rosenbergs said the same damn
	crap, and you know what happened to
	them -- ol' Sparky got them.  They've
	always underestimated Nixon, the
	intellectuals.  Well, we're gonna let
	them know we can fight just as dirty.
	This is sudden death, gentlemen.
	We're gonna get 'em on the ground,
	stick in our spikes and twist, show
	'em no mercy!

Nixon looks around the room.  The Cabinet members are
stunned.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	This administration is a goddamn
	disaster.  We got bums out there at
	the gates.  We've got thirty-eight of
	forty pieces of our domestic
	legislation defeated in Congress.
	Unless we turn things around, we'll
	all be looking for jobs next year.
		(then)
	Starting today, nobody in this room
	talks to the press without clearing it
	first with Haldeman.  That means a
	complete freeze on the New York Times,
	CBS, Jack fucking Anderson, and the
	Washington Post!  From now on,
	Haldeman is the Lord High Executioner.
	So don't you come whining to me when
	he tells you to do something, 'cause
	that's me talking.  And if you come to
	me, I'll be tougher than he is.
	Anybody tries to screw us, his head
	comes off.  Do you understand?  Good
	day, gentlemen ...

He walks out, leaving them stunned and silent.

		HALDEMAN
	Well, I guess that's it for today's
	meeting ...

INT. POULTRY PROCESSING PLANT - MIAMI - NIGHT

A chicken's head flies off.  The CUBAN CROWD is going crazy
as a FIGHTING COCK is moving in for the kill.  The ring is
surrounded by impromptu bleachers, the walls lined with
metal cages filled with chickens.  The slaughterhouse is
adjacent.

HOWARD HUNT stands at the edge of the crowd, holding a
greasy wrapper of churos, as the fight ends.

Cheers and groans.  Fistfuls of money are exchanged.

FRANK STURGIS turns from the ring, makes his way to Hunt,
hands him a twenty.

		STURGIS
	How the fuck did you know?

		HUNT
	Injections.  Even this noble sport's
	been fixed.
		(pockets the twenty)
	Seen the guys?

		STURGIS
	They're around.

Sturgis snags a piece of churo, swallows it.

		STURGIS (CONT'D)
	Why, you got a customer?

		HUNT
	The White House.

		STURGIS
		(stops)
	You're fucking me.

		HUNT
	We're gonna be plumbers, Frank.  We're
	gonna plug a leak.

		STURGIS
	Who we working for?

		HUNT
	A guy named Gordon Liddy.  Thinks he's
	Martin Borman.  You wanna meet him?

He motions.

GORDON LIDDY comes out of the edges of the crowd, shakes
hands with Sturgis.

		HUNT (CONT'D)
	Gordon Liddy ... Frank Sturgis.

They turn the handshake into a parallel of the cock fight,
iron grips subtly crush each other's hand.

		LIDDY
		(after they break)
	Y'ever hold your hand over a fire?

Liddy pulls out a Zippo lighter.

		HUNT
	That's okay, Gordon

Hunt motions him off.  As Liddy drifts off:

		STURGIS
	Where'd you find him?

		HUNT
	Just don't tell him to do anything you
	don't really want him to do.

		STURGIS
	So, does Tricky Dick know about this?

		HUNT
	I won't tell him if you won't.

The HANDLERS throw TWO NEW FIGHTING COCKS into the ring.
They start to rip at each other.

		HUNT (CONT'D)
		(chewing on his churo)
	The claws are out, Frank.

INT. FIELDING PSYCHIATRIST OFFICE - NIGHT (1971)

As seen before: a GLASS shatters, a CROWBAR jacks open the
door marked: "Dr. Lewis J. Fielding, Psychiatrist."

		NIXON (V.O.)
	History will never be the same.

Cabinets full of pills are overturned.  The disguised HUNT
and LIDDY, with the three CUBANS, go to work.  A FILE
FOLDER is ripped from a cabinet.  In the flashlight beam
the file reads "Daniel Ellsberg."  A VOICE calls out:
"Howard, I got it!"

		NIXON (V.O.) (CONT'D)
	We've taken a step into the future.
	We've changed the world.

"America the Beautiful" MUSIC takes us into:

INT. MAO TSE-TUNG'S OFFICE - BEIJING - DAY (1972)

SUBTITLE READS: "FEBRUARY 1972"

NIXON beams, standing under a huge red flag bearing the
hammer and sickle.  The "America" theme is being played on
a traditional Chinese instrument as CHINESE PHOTOGRAPHERS
are allowed to take stiff portraits.  The MEN chit-chat.

		NIXON
	I must say you look very good, Mr.
	Chairman.

		MAO
	Looks can be deceiving ...

		NIXON
	We know you've taken a great risk in
	inviting us here.

MAO stares at Nixon and replies in Chinese, which the
INTERPRETER repeats:

		MAO
		(half smiles)
	I took no risk.  I'm too old to be
	afraid of what anyone thinks.

Nixon forces a rigid smile as they move to the chairs.

					  TIME CUT TO:

MAO and NIXON are seated in armchairs opposite each other,
KISSINGER and CHOU EN-LAI to either side of Mao.  An
INTERPRETER between.  In media res:

		MAO (CONT'D)
	Don't ever trust them.  They never
	tell the truth or honor their
	commitments.  Vietnamese are like
	Russians.  Both are dogs.

		NIXON
	Mr. Chairman, there is an old saying:
	The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

		MAO
		(smiles)
	That has the added virtue of being
	true.

Mao doesn't seem to be taking any of this too seriously; in
fact, he seems a little medicated.

		KISSINGER
	You know, Mr. Chairman, at Harvard I
	used your writings in my class.

		MAO
	What a waste of time.  My writings
	mean absolutely nothing.

		KISSINGER
	But your writings have changed the
	world, Mr. Chairman.

		MAO
	Fung pi! (Bullshit!)  I've only
	managed to change a few things around
	the city of Beijing.
		(then: to Kissinger)
	I want to know your secret.

		KISSINGER
	Secret, Mr. Chairman?

		MAO
	How a fat man gets so many girls.

Mao howls at his own joke.

		KISSINGER
	Power, Mr. Chairman, is the ultimate
	aphrodisiac.

Laughter.

		MAO
		(turns to Nixon)
	You know, I voted for you in your last
	election.

		NIXON
		(self-effacing)
	I was the lesser of two evils.

A moment.  Mao levels a gaze at him, deadly serious.

		MAO
	You're too modest, Nixon.  You're as
	evil as I am.  We're both from poor
	families.  But others pay to feed the
	hunger in us.  In my case, millions of
	reactionaries.  In your case, millions
	of Vietnamese.

		NIXON
		(taken aback)
	Civil war is always the cruelest kind
	of war.

		MAO
	The real war is in us.
		(then)
	History is a symptom of our disease.

				   CUT FORWARD TO:

DOCUMENTARY

FOOTAGE - THE BOMBING OF HANOI ... SUBTITLE READS:
"CHRISTMAS 1972."  HUNDREDS OF B-52 STRIKES, BOMBS POURING
OVER THE CITY.

		BBC REPORTER (V.O.)
	In a surprise Christmas bombing of
	Hanoi, President Nixon delivered more
	tonnage than was used at Dresden in
	World War II ... It is, without a
	doubt, the most brutal bombing in
	American history.

CROSSCUT:

DOCUMENTARY FOOTAGE - 1. HANOI - the devastation of the
city.  It's on fire.  Bodies are being carried from a
collapsed HOSPITAL. 2. The USA - in contrast, shots in the
media of Christmas trees (Rockefeller Center, etc.);
families shopping; a children's choir singing "Gloria in
Excelsis Deo."

		REPORTERS (V.O.)
	... This Christmas bombing has shaken
	up the Paris peace talks and created a
	huge amount of criticism across the
	globe.  Newspapers are calling it a
	"Stone Age tactic," and Nixon a
	"maddened tyrant" ... Nixon's only
	response: "When the Vietnamese take
	the peace talks seriously, I'll stop."

STOCK FOOTAGE - moving through a bank of clouds toward the
sun.

INT. AIR FORCE ONE - MAIN CABIN - SUNSET (1972)

NIXON is looking out the window, PAT next to him.  HALDEMAN
and EHRLICHMAN are out of earshot.

		PAT
	Penny for your thoughts.

		NIXON
	Is that adjusted for inflation?
		(she laughs)
	Think of the life Mao's led.  In '52 I
	called him a monster.  Now he could be
	our most important ally.
		(then)
	Only Nixon could've done that.

		PAT
	You're a long way from Whittier.

A beat.  He shares her look.

		NIXON
	Yes ... yes, I am.

Pat puts her hand on his hand.

		PAT
	Congratulations, Dick.

		NIXON
		(smiles)
	How am I going to break this to Bob
	Hope?

KISSINGER walks into the cabin.

		KISSINGER
	We've got the Russians where we want
	them!  They're calling us.  We will
	have a SALT treaty with them this
	year.

		HALDEMAN
	In time for the election?  Brezhnev's
	tough.  He knows McGovern's right on
	our ass ...

		KISSINGER
	He doesn't have a choice!  He has to
	shift missiles from Europe to the
	Chinese border.  With one stroke, the
	balance of power moves completely in
	our favor.  This is a coup, Mr.
	President!

		EHRLICHMAN
	For you, Henry?  Nobel Peace Prize,
	maybe ...

Sees the look on Nixon's face.

		NIXON
	Not for the Pentagon it isn't.  I'm
	kissing Mao's ass.  And the press is
	gonna find some way to shaft Nixon on
	this one.

		PAT
	It's not the press that matters.
	Nixon's wife is proud of him.

He squeezes her hand.

		HALDEMAN
	And his staff.  Come on, the copy they
	were filing from China was great.

		NIXON
	Wait till the Mai-tais wear off.

		EHRLICHMAN
	The country's loving it.

		NIXON
	The hard-core four million "Nixon
	nuts" aren't gonna go for it ...
	They'll say I sold out to the
	Communists.

		KISSINGER
	You'll pick up the middle on this one
	- the Jews and Negros.

		NIXON
	Jews and Negros don't win elections,
	Henry.  Better to hang them around the
	Democrats' necks.

		HALDEMAN
	The Jews aren't the middle, Henry.
	They're the far left.

		NIXON
	You're talking too much about black
	Africa, Henry.  It's killing us with
	the rednecks.

		HALDEMAN
	The blacks are lost, the "schwartzes"
	are gone ...

		NIXON
	Don't let it lose us the right-wing
	vote ...

A silence as the sour notes depress everyone.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
		(feeling the deflation)
	Hey, I sound like my father now.
	Let's have a drink!

Pat smiles.  ZIEGLER pokes his head in.

		ZIEGLER
	Mr. President, the press guys asked if
	you could come back for a minute.

		NIXON
	The hell with 'em.

		KISSINGER
	I'll go back, Mr. President.

Everyone glares at Henry.

		ZIEGLER
	No, they want you, Mr. President.  I
	really think it would be a good move.

		NIXON
	Gentlemen, I go now to discover the
	exact length, width and depth of the
	shaft.

INT. AIR FORCE ONE - PRESS CABIN - SUNSET

NIXON closes the door behind him, turns.

DOZENS of REPORTERS stand, burst into applause.

He is momentarily stunned, then he moves down the aisle.
Shaking hands.  The reporters continue applauding.  Nixon,
for once, is deeply moved.  On the sound of applause, we:

					 CUT TO:

EXT. JONES RANCH - DAY (1972)

		REPORTER (V.O.)
	J. Edgar Hoover is dead at the age of
	seventy-seven.  The legendary crime
	buster served his country as Director
	of the FBI for almost half a century,
	from 1924 to 1972.

An enormous BRAHMA BULL, red-eyed, snorting, thrashes
viciously against the reinforced walls of its pen.  NIXON
and JACK JONES watch as SECRET SERVICE hover nearby.

		JONES (V.O.)
	There's two kinds of bulls, Dick.
	Your good bull and your bad bull.
	This here's a bad bull.  You piss him
	off, he'll kill everything in his
	path.  Only way to stop him is to
	shoot him.

A WRANGLER climbs carefully into the chute.  The Brahma
lunges for him.

		JONES (CONT'D)
	Eddie, you be damned careful with that
	beast.  His nuts are worth a helluva
	lot more'n yours.

He leads Nixon down the steps.

		JONES (CONT'D)
		(cagey)
	So, what's this about, Dick?

		NIXON
	It's me or Wallace, Jack.  Wallace's
	third party is only going to help
	McGovern.  I need your support.

		JONES
	Well, you sure been chock full of
	surprises so far, "Mister President."

INT. JONES RANCH - LIVING ROOM - DAY (1972)

NIXON and HALDEMAN are standing by the hearth.  The years
have gone by but, in different clothing and hairstyles, it
is much the same group of a DOZEN BUSINESSMEN gathered
around, drinking Jack Daniels and smoking cigars.  Among
them we recognize the CUBAN and MITCH.  It's heated.

		JONES
	It looks like to me we're gonna lose
	the war for the first goddamned time
	and, Dick, goddamn it, you're going
	along with it, buying into this
	Kissinger bullshit -- "detente" with
	the Communists.  "Detente" -- it
	sounds like two fags dancing.

		NIXON
	Jack, we're not living in the same
	country you and I knew in '46.  Our
	people are just not gonna sacrifice in
	major numbers for war.  We can't even
	get 'em to accept cuts in their gas
	tanks.  Hell, the Arabs and the
	Japanese are bleeding the shit out of
	our gold ..

		JONES
	And whose fault is that?  If we'd won
	in Vietnam ...

		NIXON
	It's nobody's fault, Jack.  It's
	change -- which is a fact of history.
	Even that old cocksucker Hoover's
	dead.  Things change.

An uncomfortable silence.  A servant brings coffee to
Nixon, but Haldeman cuts him off.  No one gets close to his
guy.

		MITCH
	So ... how's the food over there in
	China, Mr. Nixon?

		NIXON
	Free, if you're the president.

Nervous laughter.

		MITCH
	What are you going to do about this
	Allende fellow nationalizing our
	businesses in Chile?  You gonna send
	Kissinger down there?

		NIXON
	We're gonna get rid of him -- Allende,
	I mean -- just as fast as we can.
	He's on the top of the list.

		MITCH
	How about Kissinger along with him?

		NIXON
	Kissinger's misunderstood.  He
	pretends to be a liberal for his
	Establishment friends, but he's even
	tougher than I am ...

		CUBAN
	So Kissinger stays.  Just like Castro,
	Mr. Nixon?

		NIXON
	Yeah, he stays ...

An uncomfortable silence.  Jones walks closer to Nixon.

		JONES
	Desi's got a point.  What the hell are
	we gonna do about the Communists right
	here in our backyard?!

		NIXON
	What do you mean, Jack?

		JONES
	I mean I got federal price controls on
	my oil.  The ragheads are beating the
	shit out of me.  And I got your EPA
	environment agency with its thumb so
	far up my ass it's scratching my ear.

		HALDEMAN
	Gentlemen, I think it's about time for
	us to be getting to the airport.

		NIXON
	Let him finish, Bob.

		JONES
	... And now I have a federal judge
	ordering me to bus my kids halfway
	'cross town to go to school with some
	nigger kids.
	I think, Mr. President, you're
	forgetting who put you where you are.

		NIXON
	The American people put me where I am.

Jones smirks.  They all smirk.  A dreadful moment.

		JONES
	Really?  Well, that can be changed.

Dead silence.  Nixon moves closer to Jones.

		NIXON
	Jack, I've learned that politics is
	the art of compromise.  I learned it
	the hard way.  I don't know if you
	have.  But I tell you what, Jack ...
	If you don't like it, there's an
	election in November.  You can take
	your money out into the open, give it
	to Wallace ... How about it, Jack?
	Are you willing to do that?  Give this
	country over to some poet-pansy
	socialist like George McGovern?

Nixon is right in Jones's face now.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	Because if you're uncomfortable with
	the EPA up your ass, try the IRS ...

		JONES
	Well, goddamn.  Are you threatening
	me, Dick?

		NIXON
		(softly)
	Presidents don't threaten.  They don't
	have to.
		(then)
	Good day, gentlemen.

As he walks out with Haldeman, there is a stone silence.

EXT. TEXAS LANDSCAPE - DAY

As the PRESIDENTIAL CAR pulls away in a three-car
entourage, we hear:

		REPORTERS (V.O.)
	... With George Wallace out of the
	race, paralyzed by an assassin's
	bullet, Richard Nixon has crushed
	George McGovern in the 1972
	presidential election.  It is the
	second biggest landslide in American
	history, but ...

EXT. AIR FORCE ONE - DAY (STOCK FOOTAGE)

The plane flying through the clouds.  A royal feeling.

		REPORTERS (V.O.)
	... the Democrats have increased their
	majority in the House and the Senate.
	As the new term begins, there is
	mounting evidence of strong hostility
	to President Nixon's mandate for a
	"New American Revolution."  However,
	it does not seem that the Watergate
	investigations have, up to now,
	damaged Nixon politically in any
	significant way ...

INT. AIR FORCE ONE - PRESIDENT'S CABIN - NIGHT

NIXON looks out the window, turns to HALDEMAN next to him,
making notes on his ubiquitous clipboard.  ZIEGLER is
nearby.

		NIXON
	You know, they all miss the point.
	Probably our biggest achievement as an
	administration, when it's all said and
	done, isn't China or Russia.  It's
	pulling out of Vietnam without a right
	wing revolt.

		HALDEMAN
	I believe you're right, boss.

		NIXON
	... but even the presidency isn't
	enough anymore ...

		HALDEMAN
	Sir?

		NIXON
	The presidency won't protect us, Bob.
	We're beyond politics now ...

Haldeman is puzzled.  EHRLICHMAN enters the cabin, excited,
extending a cable.  He is followed by long-haired JOHN
DEAN.

		EHRLICHMAN
	Sir, just in from Paris -- the
	Vietnamese have accepted!  Henry's
	peace proposal.  The bombing worked!
	They're caving.

Nixon reads Kissinger's cable, but he doesn't express any
happiness.

		HALDEMAN
		(excited)
	Congratulations, boss.
		(handshake offered)
	A great victory!  The madman theory
	wasn't so crazy after all.

		NIXON
		(to himself)
	This could be it ... this could be it.
	Four long years ...

		EHRLICHMAN
	Henry's on his way back to meet us.
	He wants to make sure he gets in all
	the photographs.  Incidentally ...
	maybe this isn't the right time but
	... uh, you should know ... Bill
	Sullivan over at the FBI got back to
	us with his report on Kissinger.

Nixon looks up, interested.

		EHRLICHMAN (CONT'D)
		(nods)
	Yeah ... Sullivan thinks Henry's
	leaking.  He's the one ...

		HALDEMAN
	Yeah, I knew it.  I knew it from '69
	on, and I said it all along, didn't I
	...

Nixon's expression changes totally, narrowing, cold.

		NIXON
	No, you didn't, Bob.

		EHRLICHMAN
	Looks like he talked to Joe Kraft ...
	and to the Times.  Told them he was
	dead set against the bombing, that you
	were ... "unstable."  Claims he has to
	handle you "with kid gloves" ...

Waiting on Nixon, who goes into some inner state alone,
dark brows furrowing with built-up rage.

		HALDEMAN
		(his darker side emerging)
	So that explains his press notices.
	Working both sides of the fence:
	Jewboy Henry, always trying to get his
	Nobel Prize, get laid ...

		NIXON
		(in his own world)
	My God, my God!  He talked to the New
	York Times?

		HALDEMAN
	We ought to fire his whining ass.
	Right now when he's on top.  You know
	what -- it'll set the right example
	for the rest of this administration.

		EHRLICHMAN
	I would personally enjoy doing that,
	sir.

		NIXON
		(conflicted)
	No, no.  He's our only "star" right
	now.  He'd go crying straight to the
	press.  He'd crucify us -- the
	sonofabitch!
		(lethal)
	Get someone from our staff on his ass.
	Tap his phones.  I want to know
	everyone he talks to.

		HALDEMAN
	Then we'll see how long the Kissinger
	mystique lasts.

In a foul mood now, paranoia setting in like a storm cloud
on his face, Nixon shifts back to Dean, who is scared of
this Nixon and tries to pacify him.

		NIXON
	So, what about those Watergate clowns,
	John?  This fuck Sirica's crazy.
	Thirty-five-year sentences!  There
	were no weapons.  Right?  No injuries.
	There was no success!  It's just
	ridiculous.

		DEAN
	Sirica's just trying to force one of
	them to testify.  But they're solid.

		NIXON
	Then what about this Washington Post
	crap?  Woodwind and Fernstein?

		ZIEGLER
		(corrects him)
	Bernstein.

		NIXON
	Who the fuck are they?
		(to Haldeman)
	Bob, are you working on revoking the
	Posts's television license?
		(Haldeman nods)
	Good.

		DEAN
	Well, they're trying to connect Bob
	and John to a secret fund, but they
	don't have much.

		HALDEMAN
		(with a look to Ehrlichman)
	They don't have anything on us.

		DEAN
	The FBI's feeding me all their
	reports.  I didn't think you should
	lose any more sleep on it, sir.

		NIXON
		(mutters, relieved)
	Good man, John, good man.

They all fall silent, feeling that false sense of security
as the sound of the jet engines takes over.  Suddenly,
there is an air pocket and they rock back and forth.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - PRESS CONFERENCE - EAST ROOM - DAY

SUBTITLE READS: "JANUARY 1973"

NIXON is concluding his statement to the PRESS.  HALDEMAN
in the background with ZIEGLER.

		NIXON
	... I can therefore announce that our
	long and tragic involvement in Vietnam
	is at an end.  Our mission is
	accomplished, we have a cease-fire,
	our prisoners of war are coming back,
	and South Vietnam has the right to
	determine its own future.  We have
	peace with honor.

The REPORTERS are immediately on their feet.  A MONTAGE of
QUICK CUTS follows to give the impression of a hostile and
never-ending barrage of questions without satisfactory
answers.

		REPORTER 1 ("DAN RATHER"-TYPE)
	Sir, isn't it true little has been
	achieved in this peace agreement that
	the Communists have not been offering
	since 1969?
	That in fact your administration has
	needlessly prolonged the war and, at
	certain stages, has escalated it to
	new levels of violence?

					JUMP TO:

		REPORTER 2 ("LESLIE STAHL"-TYPE)
	Mr. President, what is your reaction
	to James McCord's statement that high
	White House officials were involved in
	the Watergate break-in?

					JUMP TO:

		REPORTER 3 ("SAM DONALDSON"-TYPE)
	Sir, the Washington Post is reporting
	that Mr. Haldeman and Mr. Ehrlichman
	have secretly disbursed up to $900,000
	in campaign funds.  Is there any truth
	to that?

		NIXON
		(snaps)
	I've said before and I'll say again: I
	will not respond to the charges of the
	Washington Post.  Nor will I comment
	on a matter that's currently before
	the courts.

		REPORTER 4
	Do you intend to cooperate with
	Senator Ervin's committee?

		REPORTER 5
	Will you agree to the appointment of a
	special prosecutor?

The questions flood in.  Nixon is overwhelmed.  He gathers
his papers and starts to move off.  A darkly funny thing
happens: ZIEGLER wanders into his path, almost colliding.
Nixon, pissed, grabs Ziegler by the shoulders, spins him
back towards the REPORTERS, and pushes him at them.
Ziegler stumbles, looks confused.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - OVAL OFFICE - DAY (1973)

NIXON storms into his office, picking up an ashtray and
hurling it across the room -- it shatters against the wall.
Everyone in the room with him -- KISSINGER, HALDEMAN,
EHRLICHMAN -- is stunned.

		NIXON
	I end the longest war in American
	history and they keep harping on this
	chickenshit!  You know who's behind
	this, don't you -- it's Teddy Kennedy!
	He drowns a broad in his car and he
	can't run for president.

		EHRLICHMAN
	He got pretty burned at
	Chappaquiddick.

		NIXON
	My point exactly!  Somebody had to die
	before his shit got in the paper!
	Fucking Kennedys get away with
	everything.  Do you see me screwing
	everything that moves?
		(then)
	For Christ's sake!  I did what the New
	York Times editorial page said we
	should do!  I ended the war, I got
	SALT I with the Russians, I opened
	China!  So why are these cocksuckers
	turning on me?  Because they don't
	like the way I look.  Where I went to
	school.

		HALDEMAN
	Because they're not Americans.

		NIXON
	Right.  They don't trust!  They don't
	trust America!

		HALDEMAN
		(venting with him)
	Why would they?!  Who the hell's
	Sulzberger anyway?  Their parents are
	gold traders from Eastern Europe.
	They buy things.  They come to Jew
	York City and they buy up things.  One
	of the things they buy is the New York
	Times.
		(glares at Kissinger)
	And you know what?  Be proud because
	they'll never trust you, sir, because
	we speak for the average American.

Ehrlichman shares a look with Kissinger as Nixon and
Haldeman feed into each other.

		NIXON
	You know why they're turning on me?
	They're not serious about power,
	that's why.  They're playing with
	power.  They're forgetting the
	national interest.  In the old days,
	people knew how to hold power, how to
	set limits.  They wouldn't have torn
	this country apart over a third-rate
	burglary.
	All they care about now are their
	egos, looking good at cocktail parties
	...

		HALDEMAN
	... beating out the other papers,
	chasing girls ...

		NIXON
	... worrying whether someone said
	something "nice" about them.  All
	short-term, frivolous bullshit; Ben
	Bradlee worrying about Teddy Kennedy
	liking him ...

Kissinger tries to get the focus back.

		KISSINGER
	Mr. President, I feel we're drifting
	toward oblivion here.  We're playing a
	totally reactive game; we've got to
	get ahead of the ball.
		(pause, in an embarrassed
		 voice)
	We all know you're clean ... Right?
	So let's do a housecleaning.  Take the
	gloves off.

Haldeman shares a look with Ehrlichman.  Is he referring to
them?  Nixon turns slowly on Kissinger, cryptic.

		NIXON
	Housecleaning?  It would be ugly,
	Henry, really ugly ...

		KISSINGER
	But it must be done; your government
	is paralyzed.

		NIXON
	All kinds of shit would come out.
	Like the Ellsberg thing.  You knew
	about that, Henry, didn't you?

		KISSINGER
		(vague)
	I ... I heard something ... It sounded
	idiotic.

		NIXON
	Idiotic?  Yes, I suppose it was.

		EHRLICHMAN
	But you're the one who said we should
	expose him as some kind of sex fiend.
	Someone took you literally.

		KISSINGER
		(stung, and suddenly
		 knowledgeable)
	I never suggested for some imbeciles
	to go break into a psychiatrist's
	office.  How stupid of ...

		NIXON
	That doesn't matter now, Henry.  The
	point is, you might lose some of your
	media-darling halo if the press starts
	sniffing around our dirty laundry.

		KISSINGER
		(indignant)
	I had nothing to do with that, sir,
	and I resent any implication ...

		NIXON
	Resent it all you want, Henry, but
	you're in it with the rest of us.
	Cambodia, Ellsberg, the wiretaps you
	put in.  The President wants you to
	know you can't just click your heels
	and head back to Harvard Yard.  It's
	your ass too, Henry, and it's in the
	wind twisting with everyone else's.

A stony silence.  The men, all clenched jaws, wait.
Kissinger, icily, clicks his heels and withdraws.

		KISSINGER
		(at the door)
	Mr. Nixon, it is possible for even a
	president to go too far.

		NIXON
	Yeah ...

Nixon laughs maniacally.  JOHN DEAN crosses in as Kissinger
exits.  Dean closes the door behind him.

		HALDEMAN
	You played it perfectly, sir --
	cocksucker!  He's going to think twice
	before he leaks again.

		NIXON
		(exultant)
	He'll be looking in his toilet bowl
	every time he pulls the chain.

They laugh madly, like hatters at a tea party.

		DEAN
		(worried)
	Mr. President, Hunt wants more money.
	Another hundred-and-thirty thousand.

		NIXON
	Son of a bitch.

		DEAN
	He says if he doesn't get it right
	away, he's going to blow us out of the
	water.  And he means it.  Ever since
	his wife died in the plane crash, he's
	been over the edge.

		NIXON
	Pay him.  Pay him what he wants.

		HALDEMAN
	We've got to turn the faucet off on
	this thing.  It's out of control ...
		(as he crosses to Dean, sotto
		 voce)
	You might burden just me with this in
	the future.

		NIXON
	It's Helms -- it's got to be.

		HALDEMAN
	We could leverage Helms.

		NIXON
	How?

		HALDEMAN
	When I met with him, he said ...

INT. CIA - HELMS'S OFFFICE - DAY (FLASHBACK)

HELMS, sitting across from HALDEMAN.

		HALDEMAN
	... this entire affair, the President
	wants you to know, is related to the
	Bay of Pigs, and if it opens up ...

Helms grips the arms of his chair, leans forward excitedly,
and yells at Haldeman.

		HELMS
	The Bay of Pigs had nothing to do with
	this!  I have no concern about the Bay
	of Pigs!!

Haldeman is shocked by Helms's violent reaction, but
remains very cool.

		HALDEMAN
	This is what the President told me to
	relay to you, Mr. Helms.

		HELMS
		(settling back)
	All right ...

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - OVAL OFFICE - DAY (1973)

RESUME SCENE - HALDEMAN, EHRLICHMAN, DEAN and NIXON.

		HALDEMAN
		(fishing)
	... I was wondering what's such
	dynamite in this Bay of Pigs story?
		(Nixon stares, nothing)
	... although it was clearly effective,
	because all of a sudden it was no
	problem for Helms to go to the FBI and
	try to put a lid on Watergate.

		NIXON
	What about the documents he promised?

		HALDEMAN
	He'll give us the documents.
		(then)
	But I think he should be offered the
	ambassadorship to Iran.  Then he'll go
	without a whimper.

Nixon stares at him, distracted.

		NIXON
	I promised Iran to Townsend.

		HALDEMAN
	Put Townsend in Belgium; it's
	available.

		NIXON
	Townsend gave us 300 grand.  Belgium's
	not worth more than 100, 150 ...

		EHRLICHMAN
	What about England?

		NIXON
	Forget it.  Ehrenberg's paid three
	times that much ...

		HALDEMAN
	Helms wants Iran or there might be
	problems.  All of his old CIA buddies
	are over there making a fortune off
	the Shah.

		NIXON
	For God's sake, when does this end?!

		DEAN
		(suddenly)
	Executive clemency ...

		NIXON
	What?

		DEAN
	Hunt has nothing to lose now.  Pardon
	all of them.  Nobody's going to
	investigate a crime for which the
	criminals have already been pardoned.

		NIXON
	I like that.  That's a solution.

		EHRLICHMAN
	It'll never wash.  Pardoning them
	means we're guilty.  The people, the
	press will go nuts.

		NIXON
	And what am I supposed to do?  Just
	sit here and watch them coming closer?
	Eating their way to the center?
		(paces)
	Lyndon bugged!  So did Kennedy!  FDR
	cut a deal with Lucky Luciano.
	Christ, even Ike had a mistress!
	What's so special about me?
		(then)
	What about Lyndon?  He could make a
	couple of calls to the Hill and shut
	this whole thing down.  Did anyone
	talk to him?

		HALDEMAN
		(hesitant)
	I did.  He hit the roof.  No dice.  He
	says if you come out with a story
	about how he bugged your plane, he's
	going to reveal ...

He looks at Ehrlichman and Dean, pauses.

We CUT ACROSS the room from Ehrlichman's point of view as
Haldeman whispers the rest of the message in Nixon's ear.

Nixon's face goes ashen.

		NIXON
		(low key)
	All right ... all right.

He walks to the window.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
		(to himself)
	I don't know, I don't know ... I just
	know we've made too many enemies.

		EHRLICHMAN
	Sir, Bob and I are gonna have to
	testify before Earvin's committee.

		NIXON
	No, you're not!  You're going to claim
	executive privilege and you're going
	to stonewall it all the way -- plead
	the Fifth Amendment.  I don't give a
	shit.  They can't force the
	President's people to testify.

		EHRLICHMAN
	Executive privilege will make it look
	like we're covering up.

		NIXON
	We are covering up!  For some petty,
	stupid shit.
		(then)
	There are things I can say -- when
	other people say them, they'd be lies.
	But when I say them nobody believes me
	anyway ...

Pause.  A look between Haldeman and Ehrlichman, puzzled.

		DEAN
	Then we're going to have to give them
	Mitchell.

Nixon turns, stunned.

		NIXON
	Mitchell?  Mitchell's ... family.

		DEAN
	Either it goes to Mitchell or it comes
	here.

Nixon looks like he's just been punched in the stomach.

		HALDEMAN
		(softly)
	John's right.  It's not personal,
	boss.  It's just the way the game is
	played.  Sometimes you have to punt.

Nixon looks out the window.  Suddenly, he looks very old
and very tired in the gray Washington light.

		NIXON
	Jesus, I'm so goddamn worn out with
	this ...

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - CORRIDOR - DAY

HALDEMAN and EHRLICHMAN leave the President's office.
They're pensive, on the move.  They come to a huddle next
to a window in an isolated alcove.

		EHRLICHMAN
	Who's gonna tell Mitchell?

		HALDEMAN
	You do it.

		EHRLICHMAN
	Why me?

		HALDEMAN
	'Cause he hates you.  It's worse when
	you get it from someone you trust.

		EHRLICHMAN
	He's wrong, you know -- about Kennedy,
	LBJ, Truman.

		HALDEMAN
	How so?

		EHRLICHMAN
	Sure, they did stuff, but nothing like
	this, Bob.  Forget Watergate, the
	break-ins, the Enemies list.  You got
	an attempted firebombing at the
	Brookings Institution, planting
	McGovern stuff on the guy that shot
	Wallace, trying to slip LSD to Jack
	Anderson.

		HALDEMAN
	The "Old Man" plays politics harder
	than anybody else.

		EHRLICHMAN
	You think this is just about politics?

They go inanimate as a White House STAFFER passes.

		EHRLICHMAN (CONT'D)
		(privately)
	You think LBJ would ever have asked
	Hunt to forge a cable implicating John
	Kennedy in the assassination of the
	President of Vietnam?
		(whispering fiercely)
	How long have you known him, Bob?
	Twenty years?
		(then)
	You ever shake hands with him?  You
	ever have a real conversation with
	him?  We don't have a clue what's
	going on inside that man.  And look
	what we're doing for him ...

Ehrlichman glances around to make sure no one is listening.
He leans close.

		EHRLICHMAN (CONT'D)
	This is about Richard Nixon.  You got
	people dying because he didn't make
	the varsity football team.  You got
	the Constitution hanging by a thread
	because the "Old Man" went to Whittier
	and not to Yale.
		(then)
	And what the hell is this "Bay of
	Pigs" thing?  He goes white every time
	it gets mentioned.

Haldeman, more bothered than he pretends, looks around.

		HALDEMAN
	It's a code or something.

		EHRLICHMAN
	I figured that out.

		HALDEMAN
		(low whisper)
	I think he means the Kennedy
	assassination.

		EHRLICHMAN
	Yeah?

		HALDEMAN
	They went after Castro.  In some crazy
	way it got turned on Kennedy.  I don't
	think the "P" knows what happened, but
	he's afraid to find out.  It's got him
	shitting peach pits.

		EHRLICHMAN
	Christ, we created Frankenstein with
	those fucking Cubans.

Haldeman sighs, lets his guard down.

		HALDEMAN
	Eight words back in '72 -- "I covered
	up.  I was wrong.  I'm sorry" -- and
	the American public would've forgiven
	him.  But we never opened our mouths,
	John.  We failed him.

		EHRLICHMAN
	Dick Nixon saying "I'm sorry"?
	That'll be the day.  The whole suit of
	armor'd fall off.

		HALDEMAN
	So you tell Mitchell ...

EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. BRIDGE - NIGHT

JOHN DEAN stands at the center of the bridge, looks down
the Potomac.

		REPORTER (V.O.)
	Lyndon Johnson passed away today at 74
	-- one of the most tragic of American
	presidents ...

		HUNT (O.S.)
	You're early, John.

Dean jumps.  Turns.  HOWARD HUNT is standing behind him.

		DEAN
	I was sorry to hear about your wife.

		HUNT
		(a look)
	Yes ... I got the money.

		DEAN
	The President would like to know if
	that was the last payment.

		HUNT
	I'll bet he would.

		DEAN
	Is it?

		HUNT
		(a beat)
	In Richard Nixon's long history of
	underhanded dealings, he has never
	gotten better value for his money.  If
	I were to open my mouth, all the
	dominoes would fall.

Hunt starts to walk away.

		DEAN
	Can I ask you a question?

Hunt turns.

		DEAN (CONT'D)
	How the hell do you have the temerity
	to blackmail the President of the
	United States?

		HUNT
	That's not the question, John.  The
	question is: Why is he paying?

		DEAN
	To protect his people.

		HUNT
	I'm one of his people.  The Cubans are
	his people.  And we're going to jail
	for him.

		DEAN
	Howard, you'll serve no more than two
	years, then he'll pardon you.

		HUNT
		(lights his pipe)
	John, sooner or later -- sooner, I
	think -- you are going to learn the
	lesson that has been learned by
	everyone who has ever gotten close to
	Richard Nixon.  That he's the darkness
	reaching out for the darkness.  And
	eventually, it's either you or him.
	Look at the landscape of his life and
	you'll see a boneyard.

Hunt throws a match into the river.

		HUNT (CONT'D)
	... And he's already digging your
	grave, John.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - CORRIDOR - DAY

JOHN DEAN, looking glum, walks down the corridors for his
meeting with the President.  Passing the SECRETARIES who
look at him -- that furtive look of people who sense
crisis.

		REPORTERS (V.O.)
	FBI Director-designate, L. Patrick
	Gray, shocked the Senate by revealing
	that John Dean has been secretly
	receiving FBI reports on Watergate ...
	Gray also said that Dean lied when he
	claimed Howard Hunt did not have an
	office in the White House ...

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - OVAL OFFICE - DAY

SUBTITLE READS: "MARCH 1973"

DEAN is explaining his new outlook to a quiet NIXON.

		DEAN
	... this is just the sort of thing
	Mafia people can do -- washing money,
	and things like that.  We just don't
	know about these things because we're
	not criminals.

On Nixon listening behind his desk, hands cupped over his
mouth, frown across his face -- the classic Nixon image of
a deep thinker.  The CAMERA drops across his desk.  And
moves towards a MIKE drilled in the edge of the desk.

					  INTERCUT TO:

INT. FILE ROOM - BASEMENT - DAY

A bank of TAPE RECORDERS labelled "Oval Office," "Lincoln
Room," "Phones 1-6," "EOB," is rolling.  BACK TO SCENE AT
OPTION:

		NIXON
	How much do you need?

		DEAN
	Uh, I would say these people are going
	to cost a million dollars over the
	next two years ...

		NIXON
	We could get that.

		DEAN
	Uh huh ...

		NIXON
	We could get a million dollars.  We
	could get it in cash.  I know where it
	could be gotten.

INTERCUT: the TAPE rolling.

		DEAN
		(pause)
	I'm still not confident we can ride
	through this.  Some people are going
	to have to go to jail.  Hunt's not the
	only problem.  Haldeman let me use the
	$350,000 cash fund in his safe to make
	the payments.  Ehrlichman had a role,
	a big role, in the Ellsberg break-in.
	And I'm ...
	uh, I think it's time we begin to
	think in terms of cutting our losses.

		NIXON
		(worried about Dean)
	You say, John, cut our losses and all
	the rest.  But suppose the thing blows
	and they indict Bob and the others.
	Jesus, you'd never recover from that,
	John.  It's better to fight it out
	instead, and not let people testify
	...

		DEAN
	Sir, I still don't think, uh, we can
	contain it anymore.  There's a cancer
	on the presidency.  And it's growing.
	With every day that ...

		NIXON
	Jesus, everything is a crisis among
	the upper intellectual types, the
	softheads.  The average people don't
	think it's much of a crisis.  For
	Christ's sake, it's not Vietnam ... no
	one's dying here.  Isn't it
	ridiculous?

		DEAN
	I agree it's ridiculous but --

		NIXON
	I mean, who the hell cares about this
	penny-ante shit.  Goldwater put it
	right.  He said: "Well for Christ's
	sake, everybody bugs everybody else;
	we know that." ... It's the cover-up,
	not the deed that's really bad here.
		(then)
	If only Mitchell could step up and
	take the brunt of it; give them the
	hors d'oeuvre and maybe they won't
	come back for the main course.  That's
	the tragedy of all this.  Mitchell's
	going to get it in the neck anyway.
	It's time he assumed some
	responsibility.

Dean has a nervous look in his eye.

		DEAN
	He won't.  He told Ehrlichman he
	won't.

A lightning-like IMAGE reveals MITCHELL, responding to
EHRLICHMAN.  This is Nixon's mind at work.

		MITCHELL
	You tell Brother Dick I got suckered
	into this thing by not paying
	attention to what these bastards were
	doing.  I don't have a guilty
	conscience ... And he shouldn't
	either.

Nixon glances towards the microphone as he moves around the
desk to get closer to Dean.

		NIXON
		(loud and clear)
	He's right.  Maybe it's time to go to
	the hang-out route, John.  A full and
	thorough investigation ... We've
	cooperated with the FBI, we'll
	cooperate with the Senate.  What do we
	have to hide?

		DEAN
		(prompted)
	No, we have nothing to hide.

		NIXON
		(repeating)
	We have nothing to hide.
		(then)
	But the only flaw in the plan is that
	they're not going to believe the
	truth.  That is the incredible thing!

Dean, who is worried about his own hide if the truth comes
out, sees the point of this.

		DEAN
	I agree.  It's tricky.  Everything
	seems to lead back here, and, uh ...
	people would never understand.

Nixon awkwardly puts his arm around Dean's shoulder.  Dean
begins to sense a betrayal in the offing.

		NIXON
	John, I want you to get away from this
	madhouse, these reporters, and go up
	to Camp David for the weekend.  And I
	want you to write up a report.  I want
	you to put everything you know about
	Watergate in there.  Say: Mr.
	President, here it all is.

Another lightning-like IMAGE is Nixon's worst fear -- JOHN
DEAN is at the table, plea-bargaining with TWO PROSECUTORS,
their backs to us.

		DEAN (V.O.)
	You want me to put it all in writing?
	Over my signature?

		NIXON (V.O.)
	Nobody knows more about this thing
	than you do, John.

A pause.

		DEAN
	I'm not going to be the scapegoat for
	this.  Haldeman and Ehrlichman are in
	just as deep as me.

		NIXON
	John, you don't want to start down
	that road.  I remember what Whittaker
	Chambers told me back in '48 -- and he
	was a man who suffered greatly -- he
	said, "On the road of the informer,
	it's always night."
		(then)
	This is beyond you or even me.  It's
	the country, John.  It's the
	presidency.

		DEAN
	I understand that, sir.

		NIXON
	Good.  You know how I feel about
	loyalty.  I'm not going to let any of
	my people go to jail.  That I promise
	you.
		(moves closer)
	The important thing is to keep this
	away from Haldeman and Ehrlichman.
	I'm trusting you to do that, John.  I
	have complete confidence in you.

Off Dean's face we:

					 CUT TO:

TELEVISION SCREEN - NIXON - NIGHT (1973)

NIXON on the TV screen, shaken, ashen-faced.

		NIXON (ON TV)
	I was determined that we should get to
	the bottom of Watergate, and the truth
	should be fully brought out no matter
	who was involved ...

INT. CIA - HELMS'S OFFICE - NIGHT (1973)

RICHARD HELMS, absently watching NIXON on TV, carries a
handful of documents to a CIA incinerator.  He drops them
in the fire, watches them burn.

		NIXON (ON TV)
		(struggles)
	Today, in one of the most difficult
	decisions of my presidency, I accepted
	the resignations of two of my closest
	associates -- Bob Haldeman and John
	Ehrlichman -- two of the finest public
	servants it has been my privilege to
	know ... The counsel to the President,
	John Dean, has also resigned.

CLOSE on Helms burning documents.

LIMBO - HALDEMAN watches TV, his WIFE and CHILDREN next to
him.  He thinks back to:

INT. EXEC OFFICE BLDG - NIXON OFFICE - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

Haldeman's mind -- the last one-to-one session.  HALDEMAN
leaves the office, looking back over his shoulder at NIXON
alone in the gathering shadows.

		HALDEMAN
	More light, chief?

		NIXON
		(distracted, waves)
	No ...

Haldeman exits.

BACK TO SCENE:

		NIXON (ON TV) (CONT'D)
	... There can be no whitewash at the
	White House ... two wrongs do not make
	a right.  I love America.  God bless
	America and God bless each and every
	one of you.

		HALDEMAN
		(to himself)
	Sir ... six bodies.

His wife puts her hand on his knee in support.  He squeezes
her hand.

LIMBO -

EHRLICHMAN also watches, with FAMILY.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT

NIXON sits at his desk, holding a rigid expression.

		FLOOR MANAGER (O.S.)
	And ... we're clear.

We stay on Nixon as the film lights go off, leaving him in
shadow.  He is devastated.

ALEXANDER HAIG, Nixon's new chief-of-staff, seen earlier,
watches Nixon for a moment, turns to a VIDEO CREW.

		HAIG
		(softly)
	Out.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - DINING ROOM - NIGHT (1973)

NIXON at one end of the lengthy table, PAT at the other,
eat in a dreadful silence, attended by MANOLO and SERVANTS
who move nervously, anxious to have the dinner over with.

		PAT
		(at last)
	I'm giving a tea for the wives of the
	POWs.

Nixon doesn't respond.

		PAT (CONT'D)
	Are you going to Key Biscayne?

Nixon doesn't look up.

		NIXON
	Yes.

		PAT
	When?

		NIXON
	Tomorrow.

		PAT
	Ron told me that Bob Haldeman's been
	calling.  But you won't talk to him
	... if he's convicted, will you pardon
	him?

		NIXON
	No.

She looks at him.

		PAT
	... Why are you cutting yourself off
	from the rest of us?
		(then)
	Can't we discuss this?

Nixon slowly sets his spoon down.  An icy stare.

		NIXON
	What exactly did you want to discuss,
	Pat?

		PAT
	You.  What' you're doing --

		NIXON
		(interrupts)
	And what am I doing?

		PAT
	I wish I knew.  You're hiding.

		NIXON
	Hiding what?

		PAT
	Whatever it is you've always been
	hiding.  You're letting it destroy
	you, Dick.  You won't even ask for
	help.  You're destroying yourself,
	Dick.

Nixon pauses, rings the dinner bell.  MANOLO reappears at
the door.

		NIXON
	Mrs. Nixon is finished.

Pat looks as if she's been slapped; slowly puts down her
silverware.  MANOLO clears away her plate.

		PAT
	I'm the only left, Dick.  If you don't
	talk to me, you ...

		NIXON
	Brezhnev's coming in three days.  I
	don't want to deal with them.  And
	him.  And you.

Pat sits rigid for a moment.

		PAT
	How much more?  How much more is it
	going to cost?  When do the rest of us
	stop paying off your debts?

Nixon puts down his fork, embarrassed.  Manolo has beaten a
hasty retreat.

		NIXON
	I'd like to finish my dinner in peace.
	It's not too much to ask.

Pat stands slowly.

		PAT
	No, it isn't.  I won't interfere with
	you anymore.  I'm finished trying.

		NIXON
	Thank you.

		PAT
		(incredulous)
	Thank you?
		(then)
	Dick, sometimes I understand why they
	hate you.

Nixon watches her walk out the door.  Then, he picks up his
fork and continues eating.

		SENATOR SAM ERVIN (V.O.)
		(drawls)
	The Senate Select Committee on
	Watergate will come to order ...

A gavel POUNDS O.S.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - HAIG'S OFFICE - DAY

NIXON STAFFERS are gathered around Haig's TV set at as we:

					  CROSSCUT TO:

INT. COMMITTEE CHAMBER - (SEEN ONLY ON TV) - DAY (1973)

JOHN DEAN reads his statement to the COMMITTEE.
Conservatively groomed, horn-rimmed glasses, shorter hair,
Dean speaks in a monotone.  A pretty blond woman, his WIFE,
sits noticeably behind him.

		DEAN (ON TV)
	... it was a tremendous disappointment
	to me because it was quite clear that
	the cover-up, as far as the White
	House was concerned, was going to
	continue ...

		STAFFERS
	Lying sack of shit!  Little mommy's
	boy -- go tell the teacher, will ya
	...

HAIG looks at Dean on TV, shakes his head, disgusted, and
goes out.

		HAIG
	The weasel's got no proof.  Just
	remember that it's still an informer's
	word against the President's.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - CORRIDOR - DAY

HAIG walks past STAFF into the Oval Office.

		DEAN (ON TV)
		(droning on)
	... it was apparent to me I had failed
	in turning the President around ... I
	reached the conclusion that Ehrlichman
	would never admit to his involvement
	in the cover-up ... I assumed that
	Haldeman would not, because he would
	believe it was a higher duty to
	protect the President ...

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - OVAL OFFICE - DAY (1973)

HAIG slides into the room where NIXON and LEONID BREZHNEV,
Premier of the USSR, are engaged in a friendly meeting
through an INTERPRETER.  ANDREI GROMYKO completes the glum
Soviet threesome.

		BREZHNEV
		(in Russian)
	... Mao told me in 1963: "If I have
	nuclear weapons, let 400 million
	Chinese die, 300 million will be
	left."
		(leans closer)
	Mao suffers from a mental disorder; we
	know this a long time in my country.
		(then)
	This is the man you want to be your
	ally?

		NIXON
	He was your ally for twenty years,
	Leonid.

		BREZHNEV
		(makes a funny gesture)
	Yes, yes, Dick.  Life is always the
	best teacher, you know this -- and you
	too will discover how treacherous he
	can be.  But it must not interfere
	with the building of a SALT II treaty
	between our great countries.  Peace in
	our era is possible ...

Nixon looks to Haig, who whispers something in his ear.

		NIXON
	Excuse me, Mr. Chairman.

Nixon and Haig move to a corner of the room, whisper.

		BREZHNEV
		(to Gromyko)
	If Haldeman and Ehrlichman are
	indicted, it will wound him, perhaps
	fatally.

		GROMYKO
	That depends on who they believe --
	Nixon or Dean.

Brezhnev looks at Nixon, who is visibly shaken.

		BREZHNEV
		(shakes his head)
	Incredible.  He looks like a man with
	little time left.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIXON BEDROOM - NIGHT (1973)

Nixon's daughter, JULIE, earnest, bright-eyed, looks at her
father.

		JULIE
		(hesitantly)
	Did you ... Daddy?  Did you cover it
	up?

NIXON looks at her steadily.

		NIXON
	Do you think I would do something like
	that, honey?

Julie shakes her head vigorously, then puts her hands to
her eyes.

		JULIE
	Then you can't resign!  You just
	can't.  You're one of the best
	presidents this country's ever had!
	You've done what Lincoln did.  You've
	brought this country back from civil
	war!  You can't let your enemies tear
	you down!
		(calmer)
	You've got to stay and fight.  I'll go
	out there and make speeches, Dad.  No
	one knows the real you.  How sweet you
	are, how nice you are to people.  I'll
	tell them.

She embraces him almost desperately, kissing him on the
forehead, crying.

		JULIE (CONT'D)
	Daddy, you are the most decent person
	I know.

		NIXON
		(over her shoulder)
	I hope I haven't let you down.

		JULIE
		(hugging him through her
		 tears)
	They just don't know; they don't know
	the real you.

On Nixon - CLOSE.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - PAT'S BEDROOM - DAY (1973)

PAT is still wearing her nightdress, coffee and cigarette
in hand, as her press secretary, HELEN SMITH, runs through
a sheaf of papers.  A TELEVISION drones in the background.

		SMITH
		(cheery)
	... and on Friday we have the high
	school students from Ohio, Saturday is
	the Women's National Republican Club
	...

		NEWSCASTER 1 (V.O.)
	In a development that could break
	Watergate wide open, Alexander
	Butterfield, testifying today before
	the Senate Select Committee, revealed
	the existence of a taping system that
	may have recorded conversations in the
	White House, the EOB, and the Camp
	David retreat ...

Pat glances up over the top of her glasses.

		SMITH
	And on Sunday you're saying hello to
	the VFW Poppy Girl ...

She realizes Pat is not listening.

		SMITH (CONT'D)
	Mrs. Nixon ... ?

Close: on Pat as she slowly raises a hand to her lips.

		NEWSCASTER 1 (V.O.)
	White House sources say that over the
	past three years, President Nixon has
	recorded virtually every conversation
	he has had, including those with his
	staff, and even members of his own
	family ...

Pat is horrified.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIXON'S BEDROOM - DAY

NIXON sits in his bed, alone, still in his pajamas.  It's
clear he hasn't slept.  He looks shell-shocked.

		NEWSCASTER 1 (V.O.)
	This is a stunning revelation.  If
	such tapes exist, they could tell us
	once and for all: What did the
	President know and when did he know it
	...

The CAMERA closing on NIXON.  His deepest secrets are now
being revealed.  He begins coughing violently.  He tries to
cover his mouth, but notices now that his hand and the
sheets around him are covered with blood.  He screams,
terrified.

		NIXON
	Oh God - Pat!

					  HARD CUT TO:

INT. BETHESDA NAVAL HOSPITAL - CORRIDOR - DAY (1973)

NIXON on a gurney, being wheeled down a hospital corridor.
PAT, wearing dark sunglasses, is with him, very concerned.
A plastic mask is over his face.

He struggles to get up, but a NURSE gently presses him back
down.  SECRET SERVICE AGENTS surround the gurney.  HAIG
clears the corridors nervously.

		HAIG
	Clear the path!  The President is
	coming through.  Clear a path.  I'm in
	charge here.

PAT gets the DOCTOR's attention on the move.

		PAT
		(privately)
	Is it TB?

		DOCTOR
	No.
	He's sure he has tuberculosis.

		DOCTOR
	No, it's an acute viral pneumonia.
		(lowers his voice)
	But that's not what we're worried
	about.  We found an inflammation in
	his left leg.  It's phlebitis ...

CLOSE on Nixon, eyes closed; the overhead lights reflect in
the mask.

		REPORTERS (V.O.)
	Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald
	Cox has broadened his investigation to
	include President's Nixon's business
	dealings and house payments.  Nixon
	apparently paid no income tax in the
	years 1970, '71 and '72 ... and may
	have illegally used government funds
	to improve his San Clemente Western
	White House.

HAIG holds open the doors as the ORDERLIES push Nixon into
the respiratory unit.

INT. BETHESDA NAVAL HOSPITAL - RESPIRATORY UNIT - DAY

A DOCTOR and NURSE remove the mask from NIXON'S face.

		REPORTERS (V.O.)
	Attorney General Elliot Richardson
	will present evidence to a grand jury
	that Vice President Agnew is guilty of
	bribery, extortion and tax evasion ...

Nixon immediately starts gasping.  He again tries to rise,
but hands push him back.  The doctor fits the mouthpiece of
the respirator into Nixon's mouth.  Images of the Beast
pervade the room.

Nixon begins breathing ... His eyes going past PAT to ...

IMAGES OF THE PAST - OF HIS PARENTS, FRANK, HANNAH, LITTLE
ARTHUR, HAROLD ... THE GROCERY STORE.

INTERCUT WITH:

EXT. STREET - DAY

MARTHA MITCHELL is acting strangely behind enormous
sunglasses -- at an impromptu interview on the STREET.

		MARTHA
	... Can you keep a secret, honey?
	Tween you, me and the gatepost, Tricky
	Dick always knew what was going on ...
	every last goddamn detail.  And my
	husband's not taking the rap this time
	... They know they can't shut me up,
	so they'll probably end up killing me,
	but I depend on you, the press, to
	protect me ... and my husband, because
	that's what it's going to come to ...

EXT. STREET - DAY

JOHN MITCHELL, angry, beleaguered, bypasses cameras outside
a COURTHOUSE.

		MITCHELL
	She doesn't know what she's talking
	about.  Stop bothering her.  She's not
	well.  Hell, she's nuts -- you
	bastards've seen to that.
		(brushing past another
		 question)
	You can stick it right up your
	keester, fella.  Our marriage is
	finished, thank you very much ...

He pushes on.

					BACK TO:

INT. BETHESDA NAVAL HOSPITAL - RESPIRATORY UNIT

NIXON in the hospital, breathing.

		REPORTER (V.O.)
	Archibald Cox declared war on
	President Nixon today by issuing a
	subpoena for nine of the President's
	tapes ...

		NIXON (V.O.)
		(yells)
	Never!  Over my dead body!

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - WEST WING CORRIDOR - DAY (1973)

NIXON, his leg swollen, limps down the corridor, furious.
HAIG walks with him, ZIEGLER and the lawyer, BUZHARDT,
bringing up the rear.  HAIG clears the corridor of
potential eavesdroppers.

		NIXON
	It's the President's personal
	property!  I will never give up my
	tapes to a bunch of Kennedy-loving
	Harvard Democrat cocksuckers!

		HAIG
	This could trigger the impeachment.
	They'll go to the Supreme Court next.

		NIXON
	Let 'em try!  I appointed three of
	those bastards!  I'm not giving 'em my
	tapes!

		HAIG
	Can the president afford to ignore a
	subpoena?

		NIXON
	Who the fuck does Cox think he is?
		(fumes)
	I never made a dime from public
	office!  I'm honest.  My dad died
	broke.  You know the sonofabitch went
	to law school with Jack Kennedy? ...
	The last gasp of the Establishment!
	They got the hell kicked out of 'em in
	the election, so now they gotta squeal
	about Watergate 'cause we were the
	first real threat to them in years.
	And by God, Al, we would have changed
	it, changed it so they couldn't have
	changed it back in a hundred years, if
	only ...

		HAIG
	Congress is considering four articles
	of impeachment, sir.

		NIXON
	For what?!

		BUZHARDT
	Sir, the charges are serious -- first,
	abuse of power; second, obstruction of
	justice; third, failure to cooperate
	with Congress; and last, bombing
	Cambodia ...

		NIXON
	They can't impeach me for bombing
	Cambodia.  The President can bomb
	anybody he wants.

		ZIEGLER
	That's true ...

		BUZHARDT
	Sir, we'll win that one, but the other
	three ...

		NIXON
	You know, Fred, they sell tickets.

		ZIEGLER
	Sir?

		NIXON
	They sell tickets to an impeachment.
	Like a fucking circus ... Okay, so
	they impeach me.  Then it's a question
	of mathematics.  How many votes do we
	have in the Senate?

A beat.  Then:

		HAIG
	About a dozen.

		NIXON
		(wounded)
	A dozen?  I got half of 'em elected.
	I still got the South and Goldwater
	and his boys.  I'll take my chances
	with the Senate.

		ZIEGLER
	We should ...

		HAIG
	Then we'll have to deal with the
	possibility of removal from office,
	loss of pension, possibly ... prison.

		NIXON
	Shit, plenty of people did their best
	writing in prison.  Gandhi, Lenin ...

		ZIEGLER
	That's right.

		NIXON
		(beat, glowers darkly)
	What I know about this country, I ...
	I could rip it apart.  If they want a
	public humiliation, that's what
	they'll get.  But I will never resign
	this office.  Where the fuck am I?

They look at him strangely.  They've stopped at the doors
of the East Room.  The SOUND of VOICES and VIOLIN playing
inside.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
		(to Ziegler)
	What's in there?

		ZIEGLER
	POWs.  And their families.

		NIXON
	So I'm supposed to be ...

		ZIEGLER
	Compassionate.  Grateful.

		NIXON
	Proud?

		ZIEGLER
		(confused)
	Sir?

		NIXON
	Of them.

		ZIEGLER
	Yes, yes.

		NIXON
		(back to Haig, bitterly)
	Fire him.

		HAIG
	Who?

		NIXON
	Cox!  Fire him.

		HAIG
	But he works for the Attorney General.
	Only Richardson can fire him.

		BUZHARDT
		(concerned)
	Sir, if I may ... echo my concern ...

		NIXON
		(ignoring Buzhardt, to Haig)
	Then tell Richardson to fire him.

		HAIG
	Richardson won't do that.  He'll
	resign.

		NIXON
	The hell he will!  Fire him, too.  If
	you have to go all the way down to the
	janitor at the Justice Department,
	fire the sonofabitch!  And ...

		ZIEGLER
	He asked for it.

		HAIG
	May I just say something, sir?  I
	think you should welcome the subpoena.
	The tapes can only prove that Dean is
	a liar.

		ZIEGLER
	That's right, sir.

A moment.

		NIXON
	There's more ... there's more than
	just me.  You can't break, my boy,
	even when there's nothing left.  You
	can't admit, even to yourself, that
	it's gone, Al.
		(pointing to the East Room)
	Do you think those POWs in there did?

		ZIEGLER
	No, sir ...

		NIXON
	Now some people, we both know them,
	Al, think you can go stand in the
	middle of the bullring and cry, "Mea
	culpa, mea culpa," while the crowd is
	hissing and booing and spitting on
	you.  But a man doesn't cry.
		(then)
	I don't cry.  You don't cry ... You
	fight!

INTERCUT soft IMAGES over NIXON being pounded at FOOTBALL.

Nixon straightens himself, puts on a smile, nods to
Ziegler.  Ziegler opens the door.  A ROAR of CHEERS and
MARTIAL MUSIC greets the President, as he disappears
inside.

TELEVISION SCREEN - NBC LOGO - LIMBO

		ANNOUNCER
	We interrupt this program for a
	special report from NBC News.

A REPORTER appears, stunned.

		REPORTER (ON TV)
	The country tonight is in the midst of
	what may be the most serious
	constitutional crisis in history.
	In the wake of Vice President Spiro
	Agnew's forced resignation on charges
	of corruption, President Nixon has
	fired Special Prosecutor Archibald
	Cox.

DOCUMENTARY IMAGES - ARCHIBALD COX walking in the street,
having heard the news, smiling.

		REPORTER (V.O.) (CONT'D)
	Attorney General Elliot Richards has
	resigned rather than comply with the
	President's order, and Deputy Attorney
	General William Ruckelshaus was fired
	when he refused to carry out the order
	...

DOCUMENTARY IMAGES - FBI AGENTS carrying boxes of files out
of the Special Prosecutor's office.  RUCKELSHAUS getting
into a car, refusing to comment.  ELLIOT RICHARDSON moving
down the gauntlet of REPORTERS.  We CUT BACK to the
REPORTER on camera, grim.

		REPORTER (ON TV) (CONT'D)
	Tonight, the country, without a Vice
	President, stands poised at a
	crossroads -- has a government of laws
	become a government of one man?

EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT (1973)

As before, the black iron bars.  The facade of the mansion.
The light in the second floor.  We move in slowly.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - LINCOLN SITTING ROOM - NIGHT (1973)

NIXON is really drunk now, listening to some GIBBERISH on
the tape.  We move in on his profile, framed by Lincoln in
the background.  We should not be able to make out the
voices -- occasional words like "Castro," "Kennedy."  But
that's about it ... nothing more.  And as we move closer on
Nixon, bleary-eyed, we should feel he has no idea, either,
of what he's listening to.  It's just ... noise.  PAT's
voice cuts in.  She's standing at the doorway.  She's been
drinking too, but is sharp.

		PAT
	They're like love letters.  You should
	burn them.

Nixon, startled, tries to shut off the tape, but he hits
the wrong button and we hear high-speed VOICES in reverse.

		PAT (CONT'D)
	Why didn't you?

		NIXON
		(slurs)
	You can't expect me to explain that to
	you.

		PAT
	What matters to me is whether you
	understand it.

A beat.  He finally gets the tape stopped.

		NIXON
	They're evidence.  You can't legally
	destroy evidence.

Pat stares at him.

		PAT
	You don't expect me to believe that
	for one minute, do you?
		(then)
	Does it matter what's on them?
	Really? ... Murder, Dick?  Sex?  Your
	secrets, your fantasies?  Or just me
	and you and ...

		NIXON
	Don't be ridiculous!

		PAT
	I remember Alger Hiss.  I know how
	ugly you can be -- you're capable of
	anything.  But you see, it doesn't
	really matter, at the end of the day,
	what's on them.  Because you have
	absolutely no remorse.  No concept of
	remorse.  You want the tapes to get
	out, you want them to see you at your
	worst ...

		NIXON
	You're drunk!

Pat laughs, "Yeah, I am."

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	No one will ever see those tapes.
	Including you!

A beat.

		PAT
	And what would I find out that I
	haven't known for years.
		(then)
	What makes it so damn sad is that you
	couldn't confide in any of us.
	You had to make a record ... for the
	whole world.

		NIXON
	They were for me.  They're mine.

		PAT
	No.  They're not yours.  They are you.
	You should burn them.

She turns and walks out.  Nixon is turbulent, upset.  He
turns and suddenly sees the ghost of his young mother,
HANNAH, sitting there in the shadows, staring at him.

He jumps.  Those eyes of hers.  Penetrating, gazing right
through him.

		HANNAH
	What has changed in thee, Richard ...
	When thou were a boy ...

		NIXON
		(blurts out)
	No!  Please!  Don't talk to me!
	Anything ... but don't talk to me.

A SHARP CUT snaps us from the reverie, and Nixon is alone
in his sitting room, the door closed, the VOICE on the tape
droning.  He downs pills with the Scotch.

		NIXON (ON TAPE) (CONT'D)
	... these guys went after Castro.
	Seven times, ten times ... What do you
	think -- people like that, they just
	give up?  They just walk away?
		(then)
	Whoever killed Kennedy came from this
	... this thing we created.  This Beast
	... That's why we can't let this thing
	go any farther.

He looks over at the recorder, slowly turning.  He pushes
"Stop" and then runs it back on "Rewind."  High-speed
voices.  He pushes "Stop" again.  A series of TIME CUTS
shows Nixon getting drunker, playing all sections of the
tape.  The camera closes on the tape machine.  It's all a
blur as we hear a HUM growing louder and louder, as we inch
in on an abstract CLOSE-UP of the TAPE moving across the
capstan.

		REPORTER (V.O.)
	In the latest bombshell, the
	President's lawyers revealed that
	there is an eighteen-and-a-half minute
	gap in a critical Watergate tape ...

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - WEST WING - DAY (1974)

A frenzy of paperwork as the PRESIDENT'S LAWYERS --
BUZHARDT and ST. CLAIR -- sit hunched around a table piled
with transcripts, helped by TWO YOUNG ASSISTANTS.

NIXON is aghast as he reads some of the highlighted
sections.  HAIG and ZIEGLER attend.

		REPORTER 1 (V.O.)
	... In an attempt to head off
	impeachment proceedings, the President
	has agreed to release transcripts of
	forty-six taped conversations ...

		REPORTER 2 (V.O.)
	... In a simple ceremony, Gerald Ford
	was sworn in as Vice President.  A
	longtime, popular member of Congress,
	Ford reinforces a sense of ...

		REPORTER 3 (V.O.)
	... citing White House wrong-doing,
	the judge has dismissed all charges
	against Daniel Ellsberg.

		REPORTER 4 (V.O.)
	... the grand jury has indicted former
	Nixon aides Bob Haldeman, John
	Ehrlichman and former Attorney General
	John Mitchell ...

Nixon shakes the paper in the faces of Buzhardt and St.
Clair.

		NIXON
	You're lawyers.  How can you let this
	shit go by!
		(points)
	Look!  This?  Nixon can't say this.

		BUZHARDT
	You did say it, sir.

		NIXON
	Never.  I never said that about Jews!

Buzhardt glances at St. Clair.

		BUZHARDT
	We could check the tape again, sir.

		NIXON
	You don't need to check the tape.  I
	know what I said.

He grabs the Magic Marker out of the lawyer's hand and
furiously blacks out an entire section.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	And this?!  Good Lord, have you lost
	your mind?  Nixon can't say this.
	"Niggers"!

		ZIEGLER
	Well, we could delete it.

		ST. CLAIR
	We're doing the best we can, sir.

		NIXON
	Well, it's not good enough ...

		ST. CLAIR
	We can black it out.

		ZIEGLER
	Or we could write "expletive deleted."

		NIXON
	... and get rid of all these
	"goddamns" and "Jesus Christs"!

		ST. CLAIR
	Sir, all these deletion marks in the
	transcripts will make it look you
	swear all the time.

Nixon grows cold, stares steadily at St. Clair.

		NIXON
	For Christ's sake, it soils my
	mother's memory.  Do you think I want
	the whole goddamn world to see my
	mother like this?  Raising a dirty
	mouth!

		BUZHARDT
	But sir, we'll have to start over from
	the beginning.  We don't have the
	staff to ...

Nixon loses it, sweeps the pile of transcripts off the
table.  They fly around the office.

		NIXON
		(screams)
	Then start over!  The world will see
	only what I show them.  From page one!

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT (1974)

NIXON sits at his desk, grimacing tightly into the TV
CAMERA.  Next to him is a stack of blue binders emblazoned
with the presidential seal.

		NIXON
	Good evening, my fellow Americans.
	Tonight I'm taking an action
	unprecedented in the history of this
	office ...

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - HAIG'S OFFICE - NIGHT (1974)

KISSINGER and HAIG watch NIXON on television.  They share a
drink.

		NIXON (ON TV)
	... an action that will at last, once
	and for all, show that what I knew and
	what I did with regard to the
	Watergate break-in and cover-up were
	just as I have described them to you
	from the very beginning ...

		HAIG
	He's completely lost touch with
	reality.

		NIXON (ON TV)
	I had no knowledge of the cover-up
	until John Dean told me about it on
	March twenty-first.  And I did not
	intend that payment to Hunt or anyone
	else be made ...

		KISSINGER
	Can you imagine what this man would
	have been had he ever been loved?

		NIXON (ON TV)
	... because people have got to know
	whether or not their President is a
	crook.  Well, I am not a crook.  I
	have never made a dime from public
	service ...

		KISSINGER
	Oh God, I'm going to throw up.

		HAIG
	They'll crucify him ...

Kissinger turns to Haig.

		KISSINGER
	Does anybody care anymore?
		(then)
	What happens after ... ?

They share a look.

					  INTERCUT TO:

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - PAT'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

PAT sits alone, drinking, as the television drones on with
the latest invasion of her privacy.  As we move in, we see
the spirit drawn out of her.  She seems numb.

EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - DOCUMENTARY IMAGE - NIGHT (1974)

		REPORTERS (V.O.)
	The Supreme Court ruled today eight-to
	zero that President Nixon's claims of
	"executive privilege" cannot be used
	in criminal cases, and that he must
	turn over all subpoenaed tapes ... a
	firestorm on Capitol Hill as ...

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - CORRIDORS & STAIRS - NIGHT (1974)

SUBTITLE READS: "JULY 1974," over EMPTY SHOTS of an EMPTY
HOUSE, filled with gloom and dread.  The FOOTSTEPS of two
silhouettes crack the silence as they make their way
towards the Lincoln Sitting Room.  It is an eerie echo of
the film's opening shots of the White House.  The
silhouettes now become apparent as GENERAL HAIG and HENRY
KISSINGER.

		REPORTERS (V.O.)
	... The House Judiciary Committee has
	voted twenty-seven-to-eleven to
	recommend impeachment to the full
	House.  The deliberations now go to
	the House floor ... In its report, the
	Committee offers evidence that Nixon
	obstructed justice on at least thirty
	six occasions, that he encouraged his
	aides to commit perjury, and that he
	abused the powers of his office ... In
	a separate report, the Senate Select
	Committee details the misuses of the
	IRS, the FBI, the CIA and the Justice
	Department.  It denounces the
	Plumbers, and it raises questions of
	whether the United States had a valid
	election in 1972.

HIGH ANGLE - Haig knocks and enters the Lincoln Sitting
Room.  A shaft of LIGHT from inside zigzags the darkness.
And we hear a snatch of LOUD MUSIC before the door is
closed.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - LINCOLN SITTING ROOM - NIGHT (1974)

NIXON sits in his chair in a suit and tie, listening to
"Victory at Sea" at top volume.  In front of him is a
picture album -- 1922 portraits of the NIXON FAMILY.
HAROLD holding ARTHUR.  RICHARD stares glumly at the camera
between HANNAH and FRANK.

GENERAL HAIG, with KISSINGER behind, approaches with some
papers held out in his hand.  Nixon sees them, turns down
the hi-fi.

		NIXON
	"Victory at Sea," Al ... Henry.  The
	Pacific Theatre.  Christ, you can
	almost feel the waves breaking over
	the decks.

		HAIG
	I'm afraid we have another problem,
	Mr. President.

He hands him a paper.  Nixon glances at it.

		HAIG (CONT'D)
	June twenty-third, '72, sir.  The part
	that's underlined.  Your instructions
	to Haldeman regarding the CIA and the
	FBI.

		NIXON
	So?

		HAIG
	Your lawyers feel it's the ...
	"smoking gun."

		NIXON
	It's totally out of context.  I was
	protecting the national security.  I
	never intended --

		HAIG
	Sir, the deadline is today.

		NIXON
	Can we get around this, Al?

		HAIG
	It's the Supreme Court, sir; you don't
	get around it.

Nixon, silenced, looks down at the paper in his hands and
sighs.

		HAIG (CONT'D)
	If you resign, you can keep your tapes
	as a private citizen ... You can fight
	them for years.

		NIXON
	And if I stay?

A long moment.

		HAIG
	You have the army.

Nixon looks up at him, then over at Henry.

		NIXON
	The army?

		HAIG
	Lincoln used it.

		NIXON
	That was civil war.

		HAIG
	How do you see this?

Nixon closes his eyes.  Haig takes the transcript back.

		HAIG (CONT'D)
	We can't survive this, sir.  They also
	have you instructing Dean to make the
	payoff to Hunt.

		NIXON
	There is nothing in that statement the
	President can't explain.

		HAIG
	Sir, you talked about opening up the
	whole "Bay of Pigs" thing again.

		NIXON
	That's right ...

		HAIG
	Three days before, on the June
	twentieth tape -- the one with the
	eighteen-minute gap --

		NIXON
		(interrupts)
	I don't know anything about that.

		HAIG
		(continues)
	...
	you mentioned the "Bay of Pigs"
	several times.  Sooner or later
	they're going to want to know what
	that means.  They're going to want to
	know what was on that gap ...

		NIXON
	It's gone.  No one will ever find out
	what's on it.

Haig moves closer and leans down, very low, whispers.

		HAIG
	They might ... if there were another
	... recording.

Nixon glances up at him.

		HAIG (CONT'D)
	We both know it's possible.
		(then)
	I know for a fact it's possible.

Nixon stares up at him.

		HAIG (CONT'D)
	I've spoken to Ford ... And there's a
	very strong chance he'll pardon you
	...

Haig hands him a letter of resignation.

INSERT: "I hereby resign the office of President of the
United States."

		HAIG (CONT'D)
	This is something you will have to do,
	Mr. President.  I thought you would
	rather do it now ... I'll wait
	outside.

Haig drifts out as Kissinger comes out of the shadows.
Nixon looks down blankly at the sheet of paper in front of
him.

		KISSINGER
	May I say, sir, if you stay now it
	will paralyze the nation and its
	foreign policy ...

Nixon looks up at Kissinger.  The Judas himself -- at least
one of them.  There is irony here that is apparent to Nixon
but not to Kissinger.

		NIXON
	Yes, you always had a good sense of
	timing, Henry.  When to give and when
	to take.
	How do you think Mao, Brezhnev will
	react?
		(sitting up, suddenly
		 intense)
	Do you think this is how they'll
	remember me, Henry, after all the
	great things you and I did together?
	As some kind of ... of ... crooks?

		KISSINGER
		(prepared response)
	They will understand, sir.  To be
	undone by a third-rate burglary is a
	fate of biblical proportions.  History
	will treat you far more kindly than
	your contemporaries.

		NIXON
	That depends who writes the history
	books.  I'm not a quitter ... but I'm
	not stupid either ... A trial would
	kill me -- that's what they want.
		(with some satisfaction)
	But they won't get it.

He signs the resignation paper.  A pause.  It lies there.

		KISSINGER
		(grandiosely)
	If they harass you, I, too, will
	resign.  And I will tell the world
	why.

		NIXON
	Don't be stupid.  The world needs you,
	Henry; you always saw the big picture.
	You were my equal in many ways.
		(then)
	You're the only friend I've got,
	Henry.

		KISSINGER
	You have many friends ... and admirers
	...

		NIXON
	Do you ever pray?  You know ...
	believe in a Supreme Being?

		KISSINGER
	Uh ... not really.  You mean on my
	knees?

		NIXON
	Yes.  My mother used to pray ... a
	lot.  It's been a long time since I
	really prayed.
		(a little lost)
	Let's pray, Henry; let's pray a
	little.

As Nixon gets down on his knees, Kissinger perspires
freely.  He clumsily follows the President down to the
floor.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	... Uh, I hope this doesn't embarrass
	you.

		KISSINGER
	Not at all.  This is not going to
	leak, is it?

		NIXON
		(looks at Henry)
	Don't be too proud; never be too proud
	to go on your knees before God.

He prays silently, then suddenly he sobs.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	Dear God!  Dear God, how can a country
	come apart like this!  What have I
	done wrong ... ?

Kissinger is experiencing pure dread, his shirt soaked with
sweat.  He opens his eyes and peeks at Nixon.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	... I opened China.  I made peace with
	Russia.  I ended the war.  I tried to
	do what's right!  Why ... why do they
	hate me so!

A silence.  Nixon wraps his arms across his chest and rocks
back and forth in an upright fetal position.  Kissinger,
looking very distressed, reaches over and touches the
President, trying awkwardly to console him.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
		(woozily at his hands)
	It's unbelievable, it's insane ...

On that note, we:

					 CUT TO:

EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - CORRIDORS & ENTRY - NIGHT (1974)

A solitary SENTINEL -- a Marine Guard -- stands at strict
attention, eyes forward, as we hear the VOICES of:

The THREE SILHOUETTES of NIXON, KISSINGER and HAIG walking
out.  HIGH ANGLES allow us to hear their VOICES echoing off
the empty rooms, and sometimes catch a glimpse of a passing
face.
From the voice we can tell that Nixon has resumed his
customary bluffness, a sense of bravado in the face of
defeat.

		NIXON (O.S.)
	... they smelled the blood on me this
	time, Al.  I got soft.  You know ...
	that rusty, metallic smell ...

		HAIG (O.S.)
	I know it well, sir.

		NIXON (O.S.)
	It came over from Vietnam, you know.

		HAIG (O.S.)
	Sir?

		NIXON (O.S.)
	That smell.  I mean, everybody
	suffered so much, their sons killed.
	They need to sacrifice something,
	y'know, appease the gods of war --
	Mars, Jupiter.  I am that blood,
	General.  I am that sacrifice, in the
	highest place of all ... All leaders
	must finally be sacrificed.

They turn a corner, come into more light.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	Things won't be the same after this.
	I played by the rules, but the rules
	changed right in the middle of the
	game ... There's no respect for
	American institutions anymore.  People
	are cynical, the press -- God, the
	press -- is out of control, people
	spit on soldiers, government secrets
	mean nothing ...

Nixon separates from Haig and Kissinger who bid him a last
"Mr. President."

		NIXON (CONT'D)
		(remote)
	I pity the next guy who sits here ...
	Goodnight, gentlemen ...

Haig and Kissinger depart.

Nixon shuffles back alone, coming to a stop in front of a
larger-than-life, full-length oil portrait of JOHN F.
KENNEDY.  Nixon studies the portrait, pads closer.  Looks
up.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	When they look at you, they see what
	they want to be.
		(then)
	When they look at me, they see what
	they are ...

PAT, overhearing, comes from the shadows in a nightgown.
She looks weary, crazed.

		PAT
	Dick, please don't ...

He half turns to her.  He is unshaven, eyes red-rimmed, a
wounded animal who can no longer defend himself.

		NIXON
	I can't ... I just don't have the
	strength anymore ...

His voice trails off.  For a moment, it looks like he's
going to collapse.  Pat moves toward him to support him.

		PAT
	It'll be over soon.

		NIXON
	No ... it's just going to start now
	...
		(looks into her eyes)
	If I could just ... If I could just
	... sleep.

		PAT
	There'll be time for that.

He's barely aware of her.

		NIXON
	Once ... when I was sick, as a boy ...
	my mother gave me this stuff ... made
	me swallow it ... it made me throw up.
	All over her ... I wish I could do
	that now ...

Pat puts her arm around him.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	I'm afraid, Buddy ... There's darkness
	out there.

Pat is crying now.  She tries to soothe him, strokes his
brow like a sick child.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	I could always see where I was going.
	But it's dark out there.
	God, I've always been afraid of the
	dark ... Buddy ...

Nixon breaks down.  She slowly leads him up the grand
staircase -- into the shadows of history.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - EAST ROOM - DAY

The EPILOGUE and END CREDITS run over NIXON as he addresses
the assembled WHITE HOUSE STAFF.  PAT and the FAMILY flank
him.

		NIXON
	... I remember my old man, I think
	they would've called him a little man,
	a common man.  He didn't consider
	himself that way.  He was a streetcar
	motorman first, and then he was a
	farmer, and then he had a lemon ranch.
	It was the poorest lemon ranch in
	California, I assure you.  He sold it
	before they found oil on it.

IMAGES of FRANK and HANNAH NIXON now arise in Nixon's
consciousness -- a past he would never really connect his
own life to.  As if it were a storybook, a fabled America
that never was.  The MUSIC should, in a sense, accentuate
this divorce of sentiment from reality.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	... and then he was a grocer.  But he
	was a great man because he did his
	job, and every job counts up to the
	hilt, regardless of what happens ...
	Nobody will ever write a book,
	probably, about my mother.  Well, I
	guess all of you would say this about
	your mother: my mother was a saint.
	And I think of her, two boys dying of
	tuberculosis and seeing each of them
	die, and when they died ... Yes, she
	will have no books written about her.
	But she was a saint ... But now,
	however, we look to the future.

Nixon is holding himself together by sheer force of will.
Many members of his STAFF are weeping.  He pulls an old
well-leafed book open, puts a set of eyeglasses on to read
from it, the first time he's ever worn them in public.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	... I remember something Theodore
	Roosevelt wrote when his first wife
	died.  He was still a young man, in
	his twenties, and this was in his
	diary -- "T.R." -- ... "She was
	beautiful in face and form and
	lovelier still in spirit ...
	When she had just become a mother,
	when her life seemed to be just begun,
	and when the years seemed so bright
	before her, then by a strange and
	terrible fate death came to her.  And
	when my heart's dearest died, the
	light went from my life forever ..."
	That was "T.R." in his twenties.  He
	thought the light had gone from his
	life forever.

He puts down the book, nearly cracking.

		NIXON (CONT'D)
	... But of course he went on to become
	President, sometimes right, sometimes
	wrong, always in the arena, always
	vital ... We sometimes think, when
	things happen that don't go the right
	way, we think that when someone dear
	to us dies, when we lose an election,
	when we suffer a defeat, that all is
	ended ... but that's not true.  It is
	only a beginning, always; because the
	greatness comes not when things always
	go good for you, but the greatness
	comes, and you're really tested, when
	you take some knocks, some
	disappointments, when sadness comes
	... Because only if you have been in
	the deepest valley can you ever know
	how magnificent it is to be on the
	highest mountain ... To have served in
	this office is to have felt a very
	personal sense of kinship with each
	and every American.  In leaving it, I
	do so with this prayer.  May God's
	grace be with you in all the days
	ahead.

EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - DAY

A MARINE CORPS HELICOPTER waits at the end of a red carpet.
NIXON and PAT make their way towards it, followed by
FAMILY.

		NIXON (V.O.)
	... Remember: always give your best,
	never get discouraged, never be petty.
	Always remember: Others may hate you,
	but those who hate you don't win
	unless you hate them ... and then you
	destroy yourself.

They climb the steps and Nixon turns on the top step and
smiles bravely.  Then he waves good-bye.

		NIXON (V.O.) (CONT'D)
	... Only then will you find what we
	Quakers call "peace at the center."
	Au revoir -- we'll see you again!

He raises his arms in his characteristic twin-V salute.
And we:

					     FADE OUT.

EPILOGUE runs over a DARK SCREEN

		EPILOGUE
	Nixon always maintained that if he had
	not been driven from office, the North
	Vietnamese would not have overwhelmed
	the South in 1975.  In a sideshow,
	Cambodian society was destroyed and
	mass genocide resulted.  In his
	absence, Russia and the United States
	returned to a decade of high-budget
	military expansion and near-war.
	Nixon, who was pardoned by President
	Ford, lived to write six books and
	travel the world as an elder
	statesman.  He was buried and honored
	by five Presidents on April 26, 1994,
	less than a year after Pat Nixon died.

We include a DOCUMENTARY CLIP of his FUNERAL, eulogized by
President CLINTON, the four other PRESIDENTS alongside him.
ROBERT DOLE eulogizes him as a "great American."

		EPILOGUE (CONT'D)
	For the remainder of his life, Nixon
	fought successfully to protect his
	tapes.  The National Archives spent
	fourteen years indexing and
	cataloguing them.  Out of four
	thousand hours, only sixty hours have
	been made public.

We end on an IMAGE OF YORBA LINDA, CALIFORNIA ... turn of
the twentieth century where it began.  We focus on the
faces of the early pioneers who settled the land -- we
drift over the faces of HANNAH and FRANK, in their stern
postures -- past the BROTHERS, including the two deceased
ones ... to little RICHARD, eyes all aglow with the hopes
of the new century.

		THE END

All movie scripts and screenplays on «Screenplays for You» site are intended for fair use only.