In Obama's Dover Trip, Echoes of Nixon

War kept both awake; Nixon's 4am walkabout more 'heartrending'
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2009 9:00 PM CDT
President Richard Nixon is seen in a 1973 photo.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – President Obama’s predawn trip to welcome home fallen Americans today has echoes of Richard Nixon’s 4am stroll to the Lincoln Memorial in 1970, hours before a huge anti-war protest. “What both Obama and Nixon had in common was that a war kept them awake,” Amy Davidson writes, noting, “There’s something unsettling about presidents wandering around in the night.”

“Obama’s trip to Dover lacked the spontaneity that made Nixon’s walk so strange and compelling and also a little heartrending,” she blogs for the New Yorker. “Obama was surrounded by the dead, and Nixon by the living. … A few hours later, the students joined a hundred thousand others in a march about Vietnam in which they shouted that he was a murderer. Obama is not there yet.”