The First Televised Presidential Debate

Friday, October 01, 2010


Last week was the 50th anniversary of the televised debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. The debates, in which the telegenic Kennedy beat a nervous-looking Nixon, have become a fable in American politics for the importance of appearances. Ted Sorensen, Kennedy’s aide and speechwriter, looks back.

Comments [1]

Just a Thought

Along with the obligatory and cliched praising of Kennedy and sneering at Nixon, we must remember it was not the celebrated "out in the open" televised debate but suspected voter fraud in the furtive shadows of the 1960 election that really made the difference to history. Considering Detente, the opening of China and the ending of the Vietnam War in the early 1970's we can only speculate if President Nixon in 1961 could have avoided the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War aided by the forgiving press that Kennedy enjoyed. The ultimate case of "style" over substance.

Oct. 02 2010 08:39 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.