Very Strange Bedfellows details the completely weird and often comical association of Nixon and his political footnote, Agnew. Witcover certainly has the writing chops to tackle this virgin territory. He was a political reporter during the Nixon debacle who has also written biographies about both men and now has access to more in-depth information (i.e. the Nixon tapes). All of this comes together in a chronicle of the rise and precipitous fall of both men, who were victims of their own and each other’s quirky personalities.
Ironically, the reason for Nixon choosing Agnew may actually be the reason that he kept him at double arm’s length during their collaboration. Nixon was notoriously socially inept, while Agnew was witty and urbane. As with most insecure people, Nixon could not stand being around someone who was everything he himself was not and so desperately wanted to be.
Agnew’s involvement in payoff politics negated the Nixon plan to topple him from his political perch. In a bit of karmic justice, Nixon himself was deposed by his own egomaniacal viewpoint that whatever the President does is legal. One cannot help but shudder at the contemplation of what a bigger mess these two could have made had not the hand of fate been dealt them.
Very Strange Bedfellows is imminently readable and will be loved by political historians, both amateur and professional.