Lets say the Watergate burglary was exactly that, or perhaps was done by people who were really loyal to the Nixon campaign, but not connected to the campaign in any way and never had been connected to the campaign in any way, this would’ve been nothing more than a Washington police story reported by the Washington local media. But the thing is Watergate became a wall holding back a river of water and when the Watergate scandal broke everything that the Nixon White House was covering up also broke. Watergate was the key to opening up every illegal operation that the Nixon White House was involved in.
As bad as covering up the Watergate scandal that the White House was involved in, it was single A minor league baseball compared to what the White House was doing. The illegal break ins, planting false information on their political opponents, which is what they did to George McGovern presidential campaign, as well as the George Wallace presidential campaign. The plumbers unit itself, the White House intelligence unit that pulled off a lot of the break ins was illegal because it hadn’t been sanctioned by law.
Were there past presidents that had been involved in illegal activities and using their agencies to interfere and abuse their political opponents, I’m sure there were. But those presidents didn’t have a Watergate and had the judgement to not let scandals get out of hand and not cover them up. They didn’t have a Watergate and they didn’t cover up a Watergate. Without Watergate, we may still not know today about the illegal activities that the Nixon White House was involved in. Third-rate burglary, sure but still one of the most important stories and scandals in American history.