Gore Vidal Behind the Orange Curtain: 5 Great Lines from Author's Nixon Library Visit (WTF?)


Perhaps one of Orange County's most incongruous moments happened the evening of Aug. 26, 2009, when George McGovern and the now-late Gore Vidal entertained a packed house at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda–yes, that Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda.

Vidal died of pneumonia Tuesday at his Hollywood Hills home. He was 86.
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Rather than wallow in despair over losing a celebrated and prolific author (and often ornery Son of a Biscuit), we've decided to recycle some classic Vidal from that magical night in Dick's place.

Gore Vidal, George McGovern and Spirit of Ted Kennedy Take Over the Nixon Library

  • “This is a Republican wheelchair. It's not
    moving” (when Vidal had trouble scooting forward to accept his ovation).

  • “As Truman Capote” (when Naftali asked how Vidal should be introduced).

  • Turning to McGovern: “George, how are we going to
    explain this to fans of 1972? Here we are in the Nixon Library. Mr. Reagan is down the road. It looks like old home week.”

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  • “How different this was from 1972, when all seemed possible:
    1972 convinced me that all things were not possible.”

  • As Vidal received his final standing O: “Know that socialism
    will never come to America!”

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OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.

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