Nixon Enemies List entry for
Bella Abzug:

List and position:First, #11
Name as originally listed:Bella Abzug
Vitals:7/24/1920 - 3/31/1998
Lists with duplicates of this person:2
Category given:Members of the House

- held political office for only 6 years, serving 1971-77 in the U.S. House from Manhattan's West Side

- Her subsequent losing campaigns kept her in the news with her "belligerent, exuberant politics," as described by her NY Times obituary.

- besides having a prominent spot on the First List, she is also the first name on the Second List. Vengefulness trumps quality control.

- widely remembered as an outspoken liberal activist, mainly for women's rights and against the Vietnam War

- one of the first people in Congress to call for the impeachment of President Nixon

- admitted to the New York Bar in 1947, making her a pioneer in the "Women's Liberation" movement, as it was called early on

- Her big hats started with her law career in 1947. She was often mistaken for a secretary. Professional women (like professional men) wore hats then. And, back then, secretaries were not considered professionals; they were largely the not-yet-invented photocopier. Yes, they tediously retyped stuff to include as ENCLs with letters. A lot of the Watergate testimony 25 years later is stuff retyped by secretaries. Our society was so shallow in 1947 that hats solved her perception problem. And her hat solution combined with her subtlety problem became a marketing strength. Who knew?

- In her published journal, titled "Bella," she wrote, "They call me Battling Bella."

- She accepted an invitation to a reception to the White House, then announced to Nixon in the receiving line that her constituents demanded a withdrawal from Vietnam.

- Hey, maybe Bella prompted the Opponents List portion of the Enemies List, based on what Haldeman said on page 3155 of the Watergate Testimony. He explained to Senator Montoya that there were "people who, after receiving an invitation to the White House and being at the White House used that as a platform for getting extraordinary publicity for their expression of opposition, that as a result of these complaints there was a program of drawing up a list of those who, in prominent public positions, were believed to be expressing opposition to administration policies, and who, therefore, should not be receiving these courtesies."


Please feel free to add a comment with missing details or interesting stories. Do you have a connection to this person?

There are no comments yet

Your comment: (comments may be edited for relevance and civility, but not likely)

Your name: (required)

Email: (will not be published, but will let the webkeeper contact you)

Your comment: