Today, January 9th, 2013, marks the 100th anniversary of Richard Nixon's birth. I've read Nixon's memoirs (a great read) and several other books about him and came away with the sense that he was a very intelligent man--most likely one of the smartest Presidents we've ever had, in fact. But he was also a deeply flawed person. Reading his own words, you can see the insecurities early on and sense how he always felt unappreciated and looked down on by his peers. After reading the first part of his memoirs, Nixon's actions during Watergate seem like an inevitable conclusion to his story.
There hasn't been as much hoopla around his birthday as there was around Reagan's 100th (for obvious reasons), but I would've missed it entirely if I hadn't seen this article on CNN about what Nixon can teach today's GOP. Of course, the article is full of the tedious "the GOP is too extreme" and "they have to compromise" jargon common to these types of articles.
ABC's post on Nixon's "5 Key Legacies" is a bit more thought-provoking, but predictable. It starts with Watergate and China, then goes on to his most liberal domestic programs.
I'm too young to have been alive during his presidency, so all my knowledge of him has come from books and conversations with those who remember those days. I don't think he's a villain we should continue to "sock it to", but I also don't think we need to follow his lead on certain policy areas (not to mention the personal failings). But should his legacy really be ignored?
What lessons can we learn from Nixon, both as a President and political candidate?
What is Nixon's legacy (Other than tacking "-gate" at the end of every scandal)?