In 1989, East German troops begin dismantling the Berlin Wall.
In the United States, Democratic efforts to credit the fall of the Wall to what Senator Richard Gephardt calls 'the patient diplomacy of the cool-headed administrations of Presidents Ted Kennedy and Gary Hart' are greeted with furious Republican rebuttals.
Conservative pundit Patrick Buchanan noted acidly that 'patient diplomacy' did not bring down the Wall until a Republican once more occupied the Oval Office. 'It's more likely,' he suggests, 'that once a real leader, a real American, was in the White House again, the Soviets knew the jig was up, and lost their nerve.' Why that had not happened earlier, under President Ford or Buchanan's former employer Richard Nixon, he leaves unsaid.