Richard Nixon 1913-1994
For his satire of "Milhous I, Lord of San Clemente, Duke of Key Biscayne, Captain of Watergate," Sorel borrowed the oval surrounds, cartouches, and heraldic symbols of engraved portraits from the seventeenth century. Bewigged and imperious, his Nixon epitomized the petty tyrant whom the unfolding Watergate scandal was beginning to reveal. Nixon had authorized surveillance, bugging, and other "dirty tricks" to discredit those on his "enemies list," and although he distanced himself from the Watergate break-in before his landslide election in November 1972, the scandal soon erupted. Writing in Rolling Stone in March 1974, not long before Nixon's August resignation from office, Richard N. Goodwin discussed the crisis in terms of the extraordinary growth of presidential power over the previous decade.