AKA Patrick Joseph Buchanan
Birthplace: Washington, DC
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Columnist, Pundit, Government
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Crossfire
Patrick Buchanan worked in the White House as speechwriter and political advisor for Richard Nixon, and later as communications director for Ronald Reagan. He ran for President himself in 1992, 1996, and 2000, winning a total of one Republican primary in those campaigns, and in 2000 he bolted from the Republican Party and ran on the Reform Party ticket. Between Presidential runs, he wrote a syndicated column, argued conservative positions on CNN's Crossfire, The Capitol Gang, and public television's The McLaughlin Group, and founded The American Conservative magazine, where he regularly writes.
He is vehemently opposed to gay rights, abortion, equal rights for women, and affirmative action, and on most issues Buchanan is clearly to the right of most of the right. Still, he cannot be easily pigeonholed. Unlike most conservatives, Buchanan opposed both invasions of Iraq, has opposed "free trade" policies that allow imported products and materials easy access to American markets, and he is an outspoken critic of corporate "outsourcing" of American jobs to low-paid overseas workers. He has what seems a genuine concern about working peoples' issues, including declining wages and lost jobs among blue-collar workers. Wildly at odds with most conservatives, Buchanan supports the legalization of medical marijuana, and he won a 2005 award from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for "progressive thinking", for twice putting articles exposing animal cruelty on The American Conservative's cover.
Buchanan's father was an accountant who was fiercely anti-communist and admired Joseph McCarthy, and as a young man Buchanan was often itching for a fight. In college he was suspended for a year after punching a policeman in an argument over a traffic ticket. He received his draft notice in 1960, but was excused from military service because he had Reiter's syndrome, a form of reactive arthritis usually triggered by venereal diseases. In 1962, fresh from college with a degree in journalism, he was hired as a reporter at the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, and two years later he became the paper's assistant editorial page editor.
He was hired as Nixon's executive assistant in 1966, to help the candidate prepare for his 1968 run for the Presidency. Many of Nixon's better speeches were written by Buchanan, and he married Nixon's secretary, Shelley Ann Scarney, whose tenure with Nixon stretched back to his first Presidential run in 1960. Buchanan was involved with Nixon's famous "dirty tricks" -- it was he who suggested using IRS audits as a weapon against peace activists, left-leaning organizations, and other Nixon "enemies". As Watergate progressed Buchanan frantically urged Nixon to burn the secret White House tapes, which were later found to include an odd 18-minute gap.
When Buchanan testified before the Senate Watergate committee in 1973, he was asked whether he was aware of Republican plans to covertly spy on and disrupt the 1972 Democratic Convention in Miami Beach. Buchanan replied, "Was I aware of any? No, I was not aware of any. I would trust we had some intelligence people down at Miami Beach to see how they handled their convention... but this was not my function." In historical hindsight, Buchanan's testimony contradicts his own written record: In a 1972 memo to Attorney General John Mitchell and White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman, Buchanan spelled out in detail how these covert operations should be conducted.
Buchanan has always been outspoken with his beliefs, whether it is popular, imprudent, or politically incorrect, and when cornered or criticized he does not tone down his opinions -- if anything he reiterates his opinions even more forcefully. He continued working for Nixon until the day the President resigned, and since then he has often argued that Nixon's biggest mistake was just getting caught. In his own 1996 campaign for President, Buchanan stubbornly refused to fire a campaign aide after the media reported that the aide had long-established ties to white supremacist groups.
A common criticism of Buchanan is that he is a bigot. In assorted Nixon-era White House memos, he referred to a Soviet poet "a house-nigger for the Politburo", described a George McGovern supporter as "a screaming fairy", and said that feminists are members of the "Butch brigade". In Buchanan's book State of Emergency, he called for a deportation program booting out all illegal aliens convicted of felonies, and a ten-year moratorium on even legal immigration to the US. The alternative, he argues, is that "Americans of European descent will be a minority in the nation their ancestors created and built". In a 2010 column, he cited statistics compiled by the White supremacist group VDARE to explain racial differences in tests of reading, math and science skills.
During the Gerald Ford administration, he was nominated to become Ambassador to apartheid-plagued South Africa, but the nomination was withdrawn when the appointment seemed somehow controversial. Buchanan can quickly name two Mississippi ancestors who fought for the South in the Civil War, one who was killed in the battle at Vicksburg, and another captured by Union General William T. Sherman as Atlanta fell in 1864. He is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the group awarded Buchanan two of his proudest possessions -- a Military Order of the Stars and Bars, and a Confederate flag that flew in battle during the Civil War.
Buchanan's stint in the Reagan White House came to an end after he urged Reagan to pay his respects at a German military cemetery where Nazi soldiers were buried. In his book A Republic, Not an Empire, Buchanan argued that the US should not have interfered as Hitler's army advanced across eastern Europe, because Nazi Germany had posed no threat to America. In a 1991 column, Buchanan disputed the historical record that thousands of Jews were gassed at Treblinka by diesel exhaust, writing that "diesel engines do not emit enough carbon monoxide to kill anybody" -- a notion which sounds bizarre, but is a common tenet among holocaust deniers.
His sister, Bay Buchanan, was US Treasurer under Reagan; her signature appears on US currency printed from 1981-83. She later managed all of Buchanan's Presidential campaigns, and is now an anti-immigration activist and conservative political commentator. Buchanan's other sister, Kathleen Buchanan Connolly, was the longtime personal secretary of conservative columnist and CIA-agent-outer Robert Novak. Their brother, Harry Buchanan, is an accountant who was, according to a CBS News report, involved in laundering illegal contributions for Nixon's 1972 re-election campaign.
Father: William Baldwin Buchanan (co-owner of an accounting firm, b. 15-Aug-1905, d. Jan-1988)
Mother: Catherine Elizabeth Crum (nurse, b. 23-Dec-1911, m. 29-Dec-1934, d. 18-Sep-1985)
Brother: William Baldwin Buchanan, Jr. (b. 1936, d. 1986)
Brother: Henry M. Buchanan (accountant, laundered campaign contributions for Nixon's 1972 campaign)
Brother: James Buchanan
Sister: Kathleen B. Buchanan Connolly (columnist Robert Novak's secretary)
Brother: John E. Buchanan
Sister: Bay Buchanan (US Treasurer under Ronald Reagan)
Brother: Brian D. Buchanan
Brother: Thomas M. Buchanan (attorney)
Wife: Shelley Ann Scarney (Richard M. Nixon's secretary, m. 1971)
High School: Gonzaga College High School, Washington DC (1956)
University: BA English and Philosophy, Georgetown University (1961)
University: MS Journalism, Columbia University (1962)
The American Conservative Co-Founder
Human Events Contributor
The St. Louis Globe-Democrat Editorial Writer (1962-66)
The New York Times Commentator, etc. (1975-78)
White House Speechwriter
Friends of George Allen
Knights of Malta
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Walter Jones Committee
Draft Deferment: Korea 4-F
Funeral: Richard Nixon (1994)
Global Warming Skeptics
Risk Factors: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Scarborough Country Guest Host
The McLaughlin Group
The Capital Gang
MSNBC Political Analyst (2002-12)
Crossfire Co-Host (1993-95)
Crossfire Co-Host (1987-91)
Crossfire Co-Host (1982-85)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Reagan (23-Jan-2011) · Himself
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (20-Jan-2008) · Himself
Lake of Fire (9-Sep-2006) · Himself
An Unreasonable Man (23-Jan-2006) · Himself
Author of books:
The New Majority: President Nixon at Mid-Passage (1973, politics)
Conservative Votes, Liberal Victories: Why the Right Has Failed (1975, politics)
Right from the Beginning (1988, memoir)
The Great Betrayal: How American Sovereignty and Social Justice Are Being Sacrificed to the Gods of the Global Economy (1998, politics)
A Republic, Not An Empire: Reclaiming America's Destiny (1999, politics)
The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization (2001, politics)
Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency (2004, politics)
State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America (2006, politics)
Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology, and Greed Are Tearing America Apart (2007, politics)
Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World (2008, history)
Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? (2011, politics)
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