Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Kenneth L. Khachigian Papers, White House Special Files, 1970-1973
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
Ken Khachigian worked for Herbert G. Klein and then Charles W. Colson. His responsibilities mainly concerned public relations and writing speeches or other documents. He spent much of his time working on the 1972 re-election campaign, and the files reflect this.
Kenneth L. Khachigian joined the Nixon administration as Staff Assistant to Herbert Klein, Director of Communications, in August 1970. He described his work, done primarily for Klein and Jeb Stuart Magruder, as "generating ideas as how best to communicate President Nixon's goals and policies." He became involved in the 1970 congressional midterm elections, writing speeches and preparing political analyses. In the early months of 1971, his assignment was to generate support for specific administration proposals. Although in the spring of 1971 he was transferred with most of Klein's staff to Charles Colson, his duties remained unchanged. In May 1971, Patrick J. Buchanan asked Khachigian to help him work on the 1972 Presidential campaign. In a memorandum of May 27, 1971, Buchanan described to H. R. Haldeman the duties which he proposed to delegate to Khachigian: "... to keep tabs on candidates, to keep the 'relevant' research on hand, to write materials needed to get into hands [sic] of various speakers, to communicate with party leaders and the like in states where opposition candidates appear." These were Khachigian's main responsibilities through election day. By late spring of 1972, he was regarded as the White House's major research source on the McGovern campaign and as a minor expert on State Presidential primary laws. In the early stages of the campaign, he coordinated his work with the Republican National Committee and the Committee for the Re-election of the President, but as White House participation in the campaign intensified this coordination ended. All during this period Khachigian assumed the duties of "an ad hoc unofficial writer." Besides his more official responsibilities, he wrote for anyone who needed a speech, article, or position statement. "... What I was considered," he explained in his interview, "was a broad generalist on the White House staff who could write...." Sometime in early 1973, Khachigian transferred to the President's speechwriting staff, working under David Gergen and with the title Deputy Special Assistant to the President. At first his subject areas of expertise were agriculture, natural resources and the environment, and political and legal matters. Beginning in June 1973, however, Khachigian took on the tasks of researcher and writer on issues and problems evolving from the Watergate break-in. Khachigian left the White House Staff in the fall of 1974.
12 linear feet, 3 linear inches; 28 boxes
Most government records are in the public domain; however, this series includes commercial materials, such as newspaper clippings, that may be subject to copyright restrictions. Researchers should contact the copyright holder for information.
Collection is open for research. Some materials may be unavailable based upon categories of materials exempt from public release established in the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974.