“Lies, Liars and Us”
Ron Ziegler was a friend of mine. Met him when he was at the University of Southern California (USC) and I was attending San Diego State. Young Republicans both, we were both working in the 1962 campaign by Richard Nixon for California governor. He worked for campaign Press Secretary Herb Klein after Ziegler graduated from USC in 1961. Nixon had just lost the Presidency to John F. Kennedy in 1960.
Nixon lost to Pat Brown Senior then announced that the press wouldn’t have Dick Nixon to kick around “anymore.”
Ron joined a national ad agency working for Bob Haldeman in the Los Angeles office. I returned to fulltime studies at San Diego State.
1968: Nixon runs for President again, this time to win. Ron Ziegler becomes Nixon’s Press Secretary at the tender age of 29; I was the 27-year-old public relations director for northern Mexico’s largest business with offices in San Diego. I also carried suitcases full of cash from rich San Diego donors to the Nixon campaign.
Ziegler had no journalistic experience when he became Press Secretary. Experience was provided by former San Diego Union editor, Herb Klein who became Nixon’s Communications Director.
Whenever word reached my employer (future convicted federal tax evader) that one Nixon appointee or another asked if they could talk to me, my employer would intervene and write a check to Nixon’s 1972 reelection campaign and give me a raise. So, I never left for a Washington office; I was making too much money and I calculated that I would join up after the 1972 reelection anyway as a resume-builder.
Ron Ziegler’s lack of experience and 1000-percent loyalty to Richard Nixon caught up with him when the U.S.S. Nixon hit the Watergate shoals that caused the otherwise accomplished Nixon Presidency to be swamped. Ron will always be remembered for labeling the Watergate burglary that eventually scuttled Nixon as a “third rate burglary.”
It goes without saying that Ziegler was the least honest, least experienced press secretary in history who was overwhelmed by Nixon’s political suicide of committing illegal acts upon illegal acts.
My old friend Ron Ziegler, with whom I chased girls through Hotel Del Coronado hallways during Young Republican and California GOP state meetings, was a terrible Press Secretary, perhaps the worst ever, until now.
Ron lied so often hardly anything he said in defense of Nixon and the Administration was greeted without derision. Add laughter.
Fast forward to 2017. President Donald Trump had to fire his first Press Secretary Sean Spicer, second worst in history, who irritated everyone, including Trump, by his specious over-aggressive presentation and outright lying. Enter Sarah Huckabee Sanders, only daughter of former Arkansas Governor and failed Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Elevated from her assistant press secretary job to replace Sean Spicer in the $176,461 salaried job as Press Secretary, she took over from Spicer and immediately commenced lying to the press and the public.
Her biggest lie: asserting that President Trump did not write or dictate a release about Donald Trump Junior’s conspiratorial meeting with Russian intelligence-connected people in Trump Tower in June 2016. When she made that assertion, she also added that Trump did “weigh in” on the release’s preparation like any father should.
Unbeknown to her, apparently, and to the rest of us, two over-paid Washington D.C. lawyers and their staffs concocted a letter to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller dated January 2018 in which they clearly stated that the President did, in fact, dictate the release in question about Junior’s meeting with Russian operatives.
When questioned on June 4, 2018 about which version is true, hers from last year or that of the lawyer’s letter in January, she said that she wouldn’t comment on a letter prepared by outside lawyers.
Huckabee-Sanders lied about that Trump Junior event to protect her boss, President Trump. The lawyers’ letter proves beyond doubt she lied.
She constantly lies, and everyone can see through her lies, especially when her version of events and statements are contravened by the President or his lawyers. Never mind that the President has lied, exaggerated, hyped or shaded truth at every opportunity, Sarah Huckabee Sanders also lies, punts and otherwise disgraces herself and degrades her honesty every time she addresses the press and us.
I never thought I would say this – but Ron Ziegler is no longer the worst Presidential Secretary. He barely makes third position now, after 500 days of Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
She is the last person I would hire for any job that deals with news and events.