37th President of the United States
Years Served: 1969-1974
Ages in Office: 56-61
PROS: “Tricky Dick” — Helen Gahagan Douglas gave Nixon this nickname during a highly contentious Senate race in 1950 chock full of personal attacks from both sides. Nixon accused Douglas of being soft on communists and said that she was “pink right down to her underwear.” His campaign even printed fliers on pink paper, in case people missed the message.
|Fortunately for Nixon, this was before "tl;dr" was a thing.|
|Point of advice: Don’t give your group a name that would almost give it the acronym “CREEP.” Especially if that group is taking part in shady dealings.|
He would have done anything to ensure victory in ‘72 and he would have done anything to cover that up (except for not taping every conversation implicating him in the scandal). This kind of dirty fighting will most likely help Nixon out in the arena.
“Richard Nixon Back Again” — Nixon had a meteoric rise in politics. He was elected to Congress in 1946 and in 1952, he was Dwight D. Eisenhower’s running mate. Congressman to vice president in six year. Not shabby.
After losing a close presidential race to John F. Kennedy in 1960 and the California gubernatorial election in 1962, decided to retire from politics. In his “final press conference,” he famously told everyone “you won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore...”
|"For serious, guys. I'm out."|
Also, let’s not forget that in Futurama lore, his head becomes president over a thousand years after he dies. So even when you think he’s down, Nixon’s not finished.
CONS: Not a fighter — Nixon isn’t very physically imposing. He did enlist in the navy during World War II, even though he was eligible for an exemption. While he was decorated, he didn’t actually see any combat.
Not that I’m discounting his service to the nation. It’s just that he really hasn’t had any experience taking anyone down — physically.
Peacemongerer — For all of the anti-Commie rhetoric that put him on the political map in the ‘40s and ‘50s, he did a lot to ease Cold War tensions. He opened diplomatic relations with China, instead of pretending they didn’t exist for 23 years.
|Of course, the Vulcans had long known that only he could go there.|
|"You pricks wanted peace earlier? Too damn bad."|
Age: Freeman was 60 when the movie was filmed
PROS: Calm — To survive in the arena, you need a cool head (actually, in some of our other matches, it's helped to be a raging volcano of testosterone, but that's not important right now). And there's none cooler than Tom Beck. Over the course of Deep Impact, Beck has to address the planet multiple times, with increasingly shitty news. First, it's to say that, hey, there's this comet coming, but we're hoping we can kick its ass. Then, it's to say that we failed to kick its ass. Then, it's basically to sign off on behalf of the Eastern Seaboard (if not the planet at large). But does he break down? Not once. Do we catch him raging against the machinations of fate? Not at all. Does he abandon his responsibilities in the face of insurmountable chaos? Not for a second.
Determined — There's a certain theme throughout each of Beck's addresses. Well, besides general bad news, we mean. It's that life... will go on. Big-ass comet coming to wreck our shit in a few months? Life will go on. Declaring martial law? Life will go on. Explaining a national lottery to determine who will survive the comet's impact? Life will GO ON, GODDAMMIT.
|Not for everyone, but you know, life in general.|
CONS: Tries to give the game away — So, say you're the Beck administration. You know there's a killer comet on the way. You've been preparing a mission to try and stop this thing ever since you found out about it. The most important part of it all was to keep everything secret, at least until the budget figures get out, at which point it'd be time to tell everyone what was up.
Up until about two weeks prior to the secret's expiration date, we'd say the Beck administration was doing a good-to-great job at keeping this thing secret, but then he went and spilled the beans about the whole deal to his Treasury Secretary. Who soon retired, citing his wife's "illness." His staffers knew different, and they soon leaked the truth to an intrepid young reporter at MSNBC: he'd been having an affair with a woman named Ellie. But who was Ellie? She asked the former-secretary himself, who said nothing, except for the fact that this reporter was sitting on the biggest story in human history.
|"What in the hell is he talking about?"|
Doug: Wait, so Beck almost got boffed over by the Internet? Not just the Internet — the Internet circa 1998. Just as a frame of reference, you overhear someone talking about "E.L.E." today, but have no idea what it means, there are plenty of places where you can search for that. Go to Google, type in E.L.E. and the first thing that pops up is a link to the Wikipedia article on extinction events. Today, we take Google and Wikipedia for granted. For example, if you wanted to find out when either of these sites were founded, you would probably go to one of those sites. You'd also find out that Google was founded four months after Deep Impact was released and Wikipedia, nearly three years later.
What did we do before Google and Wikipedia? No, I'm serious. I can't remember and I want to have an answer ready for when my unborn children ask me. I digress.
|It's hard to remember now, but the internet used to just suck.|
Doug: They were discarded because Google is awesome. And I'm not just saying this because they're the benevolent people who have given us Blogger, which makes this blog possible. No really, they're honestly not giving me money for saying that. Believe me, if they were, the quality of this blog would plummet in order to line my wallets with that sweet, sweet Google cash.
|This... this is what it's like, right?|
Doug: Then there's the fact that Beck asks the reporter with biggest story ever to sit on it for 48 hours, and she actually does. That's nice, I mean good for Tea Leoni.
Imagine Beck asking Richard Nixon for a fraction of that favor. Yeah, that wouldn't go very well for Beck, would it? In Washington vs. Brady, I argued that Washington shouldn't resort to a dirty fight, even though there are no real rules against doing so. I haven't a doubt that not only would Nixon fight dirty, he probably wouldn't even go there as a last resort. No, I'd imagine he'd go straight for it.
|You can just smell the whiskey fumes.|
Doug: True, he did a lot of things wrong during the 1960 election. He didn't get dolled up for TV. He wasted time flying to Alaska and Hawaii just so that he could claim that he was the first presidential candidate to campaign in all 50 states. He lost that race and everyone thought he was done with politics. Then two years later, he ran for governor. He lost that and everyone thought he was done with politics because this time, he SAID he was done.
But then he came back and won the presidential election in '68 and again in '72. (Speaking of Alaska and Hawaii, 1972 marked first time, of two, that Hawaii went Republican.) He just can't stay down.
Beck will think Nixon is finished. Everyone will. But he won't be. Beck will be celebrating his win, whooping it up for the crowd, completely unaware that Nixon is sneaking up behind him about to deliver another barrage of hurt.
Beck will be a loser, baby.
Tony: Sounds like a certain someone can't make up his mind. That's not a problem for Beck. He doesn't waver. He doesn't equivocate. Once he has his plan, he sticks to it, no matter how difficult, drawn-out, or otherwise arduous it is. Therefore, Beck is not going to leave his job of killing Nixon half-done. He's going to keep going until that Guero is dead.
The Chief: Nixon or Beck. It's up to you, the voters, to decide. While you're nursing your post-Cinco de Mayo hangovers Friday morning, the HttCttD Staffers will be diligently closing the polls at 9am, calculating the votes and judging the comments.