Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed The Epoch Times senior contributor Roger Simon in studio to discuss his intentions to create a version of The Making of the President during his initial meetings with 2024 presidential candidates.
Leahy: We welcome to our studios, my former boss at PJ TV, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, novelist, mystery writer, senior contributor, contributing editor at The Epoch Times, and one of the most widely read writers at The Epoch Times, Mr. Roger Simon. Good morning, Roger.
Simon: Good morning. I got up early this morning, and I’m feeling good.
Leahy: Looking good, feeling good. I have an idea for you, Roger. You’re a writer. Let me tell you. There was a book that I read that was just spectacular, and I read it over and over and over again. Even as a young kid, it was a book by a journalist by the name of Theodore White.
Simon: I know him well.
Leahy: Did you know Theodore?
Simon: Knew of him. I’m old, but it’s a different generation.
Leahy: The book was called, The Making of the President 1960. It was published in 1961. It was about the presidential election of John F. Kennedy, which was a fascinating election.
Simon: Oh, indeed.
Leahy: A very close election.
Simon: Still unresolved.
Leahy: People criticize Richard Nixon for any number of things, but you know, he did a really good thing for the country.
Simon: Yes. He backed out of fighting over Illinois.
Leahy: And the Texas border. That election, if Nixon had won Texas and if he’d won Illinois, he would’ve won the electoral college.
Simon: Of course.
Leahy: And he would’ve been president. In Chicago, Illinois, they went by, you know, vote early and vote often.
Simon: Indeed. A machine.
Leahy: All sorts of lock boxes in, in, in the border of Texas that Lyndon Johnson, in essence, stole—the VP. However, at that time in history, during the Cold War, the kind of problems that would be associated with a disputed election, which we had, of course, in 2020, would’ve been devastating to the country.
Simon: That’s correct.
Leahy: And as the patriot Nixon said, I think you cheated to win. That’s what he felt in his heart. I think he had the goods, but he said, no, we can’t go through it.
Simon: Yes. That’s a very interesting thing because Nixon is really an interesting character, but we can’t get him to the whole thing today because it can take forever. But there are plus and minuses to Nixon that go on and on.
Leahy: On and on. Probably one of the most intelligent presidents ever in the United States.
Simon: Like Vivek.
Leahy: Very good. Vivek Ramaswamy, who announced his campaign last week. So I have an idea for you, Roger. When Theodore White wrote The Making of the President 1960, it was, it was sort of a first-person journalistic description of what that was like to cover it and get the inside scoop. I couldn’t put it down. I’ve probably read that 20 times. It was so interesting. Sometimes you have a big hit, but you can really do it once well.
Simon: That’s usually the case. It is interesting because most sequels just don’t live up to the original, except for Godfather 2. That definitely lived up.
Leahy: Yes. Well, the sequel of The Making of the President 1964, The Making of the President 1968, and The Making of the President 1972. I read them all. Each one was worse than the previous.
Simon: More power to you for reading them all.
Leahy: But there’s been no making of the president book in that way. I have an idea for you. Others have written, but they’ve mostly all of the stories about the presidential campaigns, they’re either written by some left-wing journalist, or there’s some, you know, political hack trying to push the agenda of one of the candidates.
Simon: You’re recommending that this one be written by a Hollywood weisenheimer? (Laughs)
Leahy: I have a Hollywood weisenheimer in mind, and I’m gonna suggest that this particular Hollywood weisenheimer, Roger Simon, should consider writing a book, The Making of the President 2024.
Simon: As it happens, The Epoch Times, I think, is gonna be sending me around the country to do my initial commentary on this election. I’ve had in mind that it would turn into a book. I’m taking your advice here under serious consideration.
Leahy: I would read this book. This would be a great book.
Simon: I’m definitely going to pick it up. What I’m a little afraid of in this competition is that we are going to have another rerun. And reruns don’t tend to be that interesting. But with Trump everything gets interesting.
Leahy: True. True point.
Simon: That’s one of his assets. He keeps us guessing.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.