President Richard Nixon resigns the presidency in August of 1974 because of Watergate and his involvement in covering up that scandal coming to light because of his tapes. The House Judiciary Committee votes to impeach President Nixon that month as well with House Democrats clearly having the votes to impeach President Nixon by the full house. The Senate Republican Leadership led by Minority Leader Hugh Scott, with other GOP Senators like Senator Barry Goldwater, goes to the White House to meet President Nixon and tell him that he’ll be impeached by the House and then convicted in the Senate. There were Senate GOP whip counts back then with only 20 votes or so in the Senate to vote for President Nixon’s acquittal. So this is a little background for why Governor Nelson Rockefeller from New York, was up for appointment by President Gerald Ford to be Vice President in the first place.
After the Congressional elections of 1974 where House Democrats add to the majority and pick up around 40 seats and Senate Democrats add 6 seats to their majority, President Gerald Ford appoints Governor Rockefeller to replace him as Vice President. If you’re familiar with this era or lived though it you know that Gerry Ford was President Nixon’s last Vice President and was appointed to that office in the fall of 1973. But Nelson Rockefeller wasn’t your ordinary Governor. He’s part of the Rockefeller family dynasty and was worth what would probably be in today’s dollars in the hundreds of millions of dollars. He had a lot of business interests and at least potential conflicts of interest. When a new Vice President is needed and appointed before a presidential election, that person has to be confirmed by the entire Congress, not just the Senate. Which means the House gets to vote on the Vice Presidential nominee as well.
So that is what this Face The Nation interview was about in 1974 and while they were interviewing Senator Howard Cannon who was Chairman of the Rules Committee with his committee having jurisdiction over the Vice Presidency and vice presidential appointment. And what the reporters on Face The Nation including a very young, beautiful, and adorable, Connie Chung from CBS News ( I must say ) interviewing Senator Cannon about Governor Rockefeller and his potential conflicts of interest because Rockefeller was such a wealthy man and had money and investments all over the country. They were asking Senator Cannon what he believed his committee would do as far as looking into those potential conflicts.