only Nixon could go to China

only Nixon could go to China

A phrase used to highlight a political leader's unique ability to accomplish something particularly daunting or taboo. It refers to US President Richard Nixon's landmark 1972 visit to Communist China, which established diplomatic relations between the two nations. With all of your connections, I think you'll be the first mayor to get a train station built in our town—only Nixon could go to China, right?
See also: china, could, go
References in periodicals archive ?
The phrase "only Nixon could go to China" has become a byword for an uncharacteristic action by a politician overturning their hostility with dramatic results.
Moderated by Research Director Inc.'s President, Charlie Sislen, Find out why "only Nixon could go to China," as the NJBA hosts this unprecedented forum that brings Pandora's VP of Audio Sales, Doug Sterne; Spotify's Zach Rosenow; Triton Digital's SVP of Digital Sales, Mike Reznick, face to face with RAB President and CEO Erica Farber; Connoisseur's Founder/CEO, Jeff Warshaw; CBS Radio's, Scott Herman; and Radha Subramanyam, Clear Channel, EVP, Insights, Research and Analytics; to answer the questions: "What are RealRadio, Audio Ratings, and the industry trends affecting our business?" This powerful, insightful and productive forum will explore the positive and negative impact digital audio is having on the advertising medium, but no one is talking about.
For those inclined to creativity, however, here's a novel bit of taxonomy: The "Only Nixon could go to China" bishop, meaning a prelate able to say or do paradigm-changing things because nobody can question his credentials as a loyal man of the church.
Nonetheless, O'Brien hinted that the next time one of those "Only Nixon could go to China" moments rolls around, he's not planning to duck.
If only Nixon could go to China, perhaps only a pope known as a tough-minded traditionalist can finally tackle celibacy.