Nixon had influence because, like Romney, he was viewed as the next US President.
Seems probable he could have had plenty of influence at the time:
He was [had been] the running mate of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Republican Party presidential nominee in the 1952 election. Nixon served for eight years as vice president. He waged an unsuccessful presidential campaign in 1960, narrowly losing to John F. Kennedy, and lost a race for Governor of California in 1962. In 1968, he ran again for the presidency and was elected.
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