White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman was an “early adopter” of consumer technology and started tape-recording his diary in November 1970. The entry for 15 December 1970 deals with political matters—replacing a Republican senator who was incapacitated by illness, the selection of a chairman for the Republican National Committee (Sen. Robert J. Dole of Kansas wanted it, but Nixon preferred Donald Rumsfeld, then director of the Office of Economic Opportunity), and National Security Adviser Henry A. Kissinger’s warning of the electoral consequences of withdrawing from Vietnam in 1971.
[Henry A.] Kissinger came in and the discussion covered some of the general thinking re: Vietnam and the President’s big peace plan for next year, which Kissinger later told me he does not favor. [Pause.] He thinks that any pullout next year would be a serious mistake, because the adverse reaction to it could set in well before the ’72 elections. He favors, instead, a continued winding-down and then a pullout right at the fall of ’72, so that if any bad results follow, they’ll be too late to affect the election. Seems to make sense.
“H. R. ‘Bob’ Haldeman on 15 December 1970,” H. R. Haldeman’s Diary, 15 December 1970, Presidential Recordings Digital Edition [Fatal Politics, ed. Ken Hughes] (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2014–). URL: http://prde.upress.virginia.edu/conversations/4006726