Moreover, Kissinger was not a latecomer to the Nixon Administration; from the beginning, as National Security Advisor, he exercised great influence on American foreign policy.
It is the argument of this discussion that the choice of Henry Kissinger as Nixon's chief foreign-policy advisor was uniquely sound one from a man who frequently showed poor judgment in his choice of the men he placed around him, and that it was Kissinger's own perspective and abilities that accounted in large measure for the generally successful performance of the Nixon administration in foreign affairs.
For the Nixon record is remarkably bifurcated. At home, the dominant fact of his presidency was the manner in which he left it. The deep atmosphere of suspicion in American public life did not begin with Watergate. It was already developing during the escalation of the Vietnam War, and in some ways it goes back to the early days of the Cold War. But it was greatly exacerbated under Nixon; it is not for nothing that "-gate" has become a conventional suffix for public scandals or even minor imbroglios. (Thus, a flap over the White House travel office in Clinton's first year was sometimes called "travelgate.") Nor does Watergate somehow stand apart from the rest of Nixon's domestic performance; indeed, as we shall see, it was in a sense the culmination of his entire domestic political career.