Michael Nelson

Michael Nelson is a professor of political science at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He recently edited The Elections of 2000, which will be published in March by Congressional Quarterly Press.

Recent Articles

The President as Potentate

President Nixon: Alone in the White House By Richard Reeves. Simon and Schuster, 672 pages, $28.00 No Peace, No Honor: Nixon, Kissinger, and Betrayal in Vietnam By Larry Berman. Free Press, 334 pages, $27.50 Liberals may wish it weren't so, but the last president not to give a let's-rein-in-big-government State of the Union address was Richard Nixon. Bill Clinton's most memorable line from a State of the Union was "the era of big government is over," and Jimmy Carter's was his charge that "the government has almost become like a foreign country, so strange and distant." All the other presidents since Nixon--Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and the two George Bushes--have been conservative Republicans who slam big government for sport. Nixon's 1971 address to Congress (and a prime-time national television audience) was different. He used it to outline the "great goals" of his "New American Revolution," which included welfare reform, "full prosperity in peacetime," restoring and enhancing...