One of the handlers, Henry Hyde, presumably felt that I was a threat to the Nixon camp. He called Pageant [magazine] to check me out. This was after he got into my room somehow -- while I was away, eating breakfast -- and read my typewritten notes.
The Nixon people, who wore baggy, dark-colored suits and plenty of greasy kid stuff (they looked like models at an Elks Club style show), seemed to feel I was disrespectful because I was dressed like a ski bum.
Pageant reassured Mr. Hyde as to the purity of my mission and intentions in spite of my appearance.
My request to sit in on the tape session was flatly denied. "This is a commercial taping," said Henry Hyde. "Would Procter & Gamble let you into their studios? Or Ford?"
Hyde was a gear and sprocket salesman in Chicago before he became Nixon's press aide, so I wasn't surprised at his weird analogy.
After several days of watching his performance in New Hampshire I suspected that he'd taken a hint from Ronald Reagan and hired a public relations firm to give him a new image. Henry Hyde denied this emphatically.
"That's not his style," he said. "Mr. Nixon runs his own campaigns. You'd find that out pretty quick if you worked for him."
That's a good idea," I said. "How about it?"
"What?" he asked humorlessly.
"A job. I could write him a speech that would change his image in twenty-four hours."
Henry didn't think much of the idea. Humor is scarce in the Nixon camp.