PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Julie Nixon Eisenhower, daughter of President Richard Nixon, keynoted the 250th anniversary gala this week for the Fort Pitt Blockhouse.
KDKA’s Jon Delano had the chance to sit down with her before the event. She tells him that she’s no stranger to Pittsburgh.
“Living with someone who ran for president three times, I’ve been to Pittsburgh quite a bit,” she said. “It’s a great, great city.”
Julie, who married David Eisenhower – the grandson of President Dwight Eisenhower, credits Mamie Eisenhower with matchmaking when she discovered both young people were in nearby colleges.
“I was 18-years-old, so she started calling David at Amherst saying you have to look up Julie Nixon. She’s such a nice girl,” said Julie.
David ultimately took his grandmother’s advice, and the rest is history.
I asked Nixon’s younger daughter if history is treating her father better.
“The Watergate part will always get a lot of attention,” she says. “It’s a very important part of the story, but the historians are now looking at the rich record of accomplishments.”
Julie admits, like her mother, very mixed feelings about her dad’s resignation and subsequent pardon.
“I come from the Fighting Irish side of the family. She didn’t want my father to resign because she wanted him to fight the charges and vindicate himself,” says Julie. “So that’s kind of where, I think, President Ford was courageous and jeopardized his own reelection. He was a great man. He did the right thing because the country couldn’t go through any more.”
And here’s a surprise from the fervent Republican, she gave money to Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008.
“I did contribute to his historic campaigns during the primaries and when he was opposing Hillary Clinton,” she says.
As for a woman president, Julie says, “America is ready to elect a woman. It just has to be the right one, and that’s all I’ll say.”
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