A Creepy Story
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 96 02:47:23 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: A Creepy Story
[I couldn't make this up... -psl]
Forwarded-by: Dan Tenenbaum <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: Davis Oldham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Forwarded-by: Steven Mentor <email@example.com>
<<Forwards calling the plumbers>>
A CREEPY STORY
[w/o permission from the Washington Times, 6 March 1996]
Ever wonder who takes the rap for CREEP, the ill-chosen acronym for Richard
Nixon's 1972 Committee to Re-elect the President?
William Safire of the New York Time, honored last week by the National Press
Club Foundation, spilled the beans over dinner with a story from a previous
Mr. Safire, a Nixon speechwriter, was sitting around with aides one day
trying to figure out what to call Mr. Nixon's 1972 re-election campaign.
Besides Mr. Safire, the brain trust for this delicate task included a junior
White House speechwriter, an old Nixon aide named Bryce Harlow, and a young
assistant to Mr. Harlow. ------ The challenge was to coin a catchy name
that made no mention of Vice President Spiro Agnew, since President Nixon
was thinking of cutting him loose. They needed something direct, yet
Mr. Safire suggested, "Committee to Re-elect the President."
They liked it.
"Let's check the acronym," Mr. Harlow said, wanting nothing that could be
condensed into easy ridicule.
It boiled down to CREP, they discovered, which everyone in the room
pronounced as "crepe".
"A pancake," Mr. Safire said.
Who could assail a pancake? They went with it.
The next day, with "Committee..." all over the newspapers, a young senator
-- a "wiseguy." Mr. Safire recalled -- dropped by to say, "I see you've
named the reelection committee CREEP."
It was then that Mr. Safire realized he had just coined the most laughable
acronym in modern political history.
But he wasn't alone. The other speechwriter in the room that fateful day,
it turns out, was Pat Buchanan.
The young assistant to Bryce Harlow was Lamar Alexander.
And the "wise guy" senator who spoiled it for everybody? Bob Dole.
© 1996 Peter Langston