Nixon Kennedy

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The Kennedy-Nixon debate changed how many people thought, and changed the future of politics in general. Richard Nixon was an older man who had a lot more experience than Kennedy. Richard Nixon was the Vice President at the time, and he also served more than one term in the U.S Senate. John Kennedy was a young, lively man who wasn’t as well known as Nixon. He was the senator of Massachusetts, and that's it. People thought right away Nixon would win, but that wasn’t the case.

The first Kennedy-Nixon debate was a game changer. Richard Nixon was let out of the hospital a few weeks before and looked frail, weak, and 20 pounds underweight. Kennedy was well rested and prepared for the debate. Nixon also declined to wear makeup, but with the help of his aides he put on powder, not the best choice. While under the bright lights Nixon started to sweat and the makeup started to melt off his face, not the prettiest sight to see on television. Kennedy had makeup that made his already tan skin glow. When it was time to go on camera two very different looking men stepped onto the stage.

Kennedy looked pleasing to the eye, while Nixon looked unappealing. Kennedy also knew how to act on camera right when he stepped on. Kennedy looked right at the camera and answered the questions well. On the other hand, Nixon looked off to the side to talk to the reporters and the people actually in the room. But, for the people watching at home he looked like he had the “shifty eye”, or like he was lying. Nixon’s image didn’t look as good as Kennedy’s, and people thought that's why he lost.

John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon participated in a series of four debates. All the debates were aired on CBS under the direction of Don Hewitt. Each debate lasted one ...

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...oked. Since Kennedy and Nixon looked like polar opposites, many people believe Kennedy won because he looked better. You'd think that many presidential candidates would jump on the fact that they could use the television as publicity, but that wasn't the case.

There wouldn’t be another televised presidential debate until 1976, which was 16 years later. The reason why the next televised presidential debate was so far away was because none of the next presidential candidates wanted to take on the media. In 1964 Lyndon B. Johnson was too scared of the media to take on Barry Goldwater. In 1968 and 1972 Nixon refused to debate knowing he had already been burned when he agreed to debate with Kennedy. But in 1976 televised debates made a comeback when Gerald Ford agreed to debate against Jimmy Carter. The United States had used televised presidential debates ever since.
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