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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Bert Nettles, July 13, 1974. Interview A-0015. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Watergate and its influence on Alabama's political campaign

Nettles discusses how the Nixon impeachment vote could affect Jack Edwards and John Buchanan Jr., two Republicans sent from Alabama to the United States Congress.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Bert Nettles, July 13, 1974. Interview A-0015. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JACK BASS:
How much has Watergate done to retard the growth of the Republican party in the South and in Alabama?
BERT NETTLES:
Well, primarily it's going to be a pause . . . it's not a real major stumbling block because people don't relate Watergate to local Republicans. But it's cut us severely in loss of leadership and loss of attractive candidates. People who were about ready to make their jump and then pulled back. It's not an auspicious time to-
JACK BASS:
What would happen if a Republican Congressman voted for impeachment? In the South. Would it hurt him?
BERT NETTLES:
Yes.
JACK BASS:
In the long run?
BERT NETTLES:
Long run probably not. You've got some courageous southern Congressmen up there. You've got some good ones. Jack Edwards, I think, is quite good. How he's going to vote, I don't know. But the immediate, short range, Jack could be re-elected. One thing, he doesn't have any solid Democrat opposition. You take a fellow like John Buchanan. John's probably very worried about this. I mean . . . he's very worried not from the standpoint . . . . He's very concerned about what's been going on. Background as minister. And yet he's in an area where there are many hard core types, Nixon supporters. Nixon support. You've got a hard core there who would turn on him in a minute. And they've got a viable alternative who would be picking up a lot of solid Democrat votes anyway with this lady. It's a very uncomfortable position that they're thrust into. I'm sure this has probably led to Rhodes and some of the others calling on the president to resign. To get them off that box. Because, with Buchanan, he's probably a prime example of damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. And he's going to have to vote on it at a critical time. In August, early September.