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Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady: Richard Nixon Vs. Helen Gahagan Douglas -- Sexual Politics and the Red Scare, 1950

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The dirtiest campaign Nixon ever ran — and one, notes historian Mitchell, that negatively affected future female candidates — was the 1950 California Senate race against Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas, a brilliant protégée of Eleanor Roosevelt and former Hollywood actress. In Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady: Richard Nixon Vs. Helen Gahagan Douglas — Sexual Politics and the Red Scare, 1950, Mitchell lucidly paints the commie-loathing, McCarthy-spooked climate that enabled Nixon to cleverly but unfairly red-bait his moderate Democratic opponent, while undermining her with subtle sexist and anti-Semitic slurs (Douglas’ husband was Jewish). Before her defeat, Douglas struck back by reviving the immortal Nixon nickname “Tricky Dick.” A history of politics most slimy that’s also a page-turner. A-