On Sept. 26, 1960, the first televised debate between presidential candidates took place in Chicago as Republican Richard M. Nixon and Democrat John F. Kennedy squared off. [Read the NYT's article published the morning after.]This morning no one actually knows whether Grandpa McChange will actually show up for tonight’s scheduled debate—the first in the Marathon Race of ’08—except The Maverick himself…maybe…possibly…without a doubt!
As the whole world knows by now, McBush has suspended his Election Campaign, dissed David Letterman, and finally went to Washington, D.C. to save the world.
Before he arrived negotiators said they were near a deal. Once McSame entered the scene everything fell apart.
That said, it’s always nice to take a look back to see what history might teach us.
The election of 1960 was a watershed in history. It was the first with televised debates and the first in which the nascent medium of television took a deciding role.
Sitting Vice President Richard Nixon famously squared off with Senator John F. Kennedy. It's now conventional wisdom that those who listened to the debate on radio thought Nixon had won. Those who watched the debate on The Boob Tube thought Kennedy won. Why the disparity?
Nixon, who had actually been ill and hospitalized a few weeks before the debate, eschewed the television make up offered before the debate. As such his 5 o'clock shadow was rather pronounced. As well, he had lost weight but wore a shirt that was loose at the neck, making him look even more unkempt, if that's the right word.
And, let's face it, even had Nixon had a healthy-looking tan like Kennedy, there was no way he could compete in the looks department. The cameras loved Kennedy. Nixon? Not so much.
Here's the opening statement of Senator Kennedy:
And here's Nixon's opening statement:
However, my favourite Nixon moment is from 1962:
Let's hope we won't have John McSame to kick around anymore. Will he debate tonight? Only time will tell.
With all my love,