At the outset, Nixon was considered to have the upper hand due to his knowledge of foreign policy and proficiency in radio debates. But in its aftermath, Kennedy opened a 48 to 43 percent lead, according to JFKâs internal pollster Lou Harris, âthe first time that either candidate had been able to show the other one open water.â. Control of the presidential debates has been a ground of struggle for more than two decades. âNo matter what they say about it,â a nearly tearful Nixon had declared, âweâre gonna keep it.â The speech was a sensation. But in the final analysis, he still desperately needed voters to see him on an equal level with the sitting vice president. Access hundreds of hours of historical video, commercial free, with HISTORY Vault. Three more debates were subsequently held between the candidates: On October 7 at the WRC-TV NBC studio in Washington, D.C., narrated by Frank McGee with a panel of four newsmen Paul Niven, CBS; Edward P. Morgan, ABC; Alvin Spivak, UPI; Harold R. Levy, Newsday; October 13, with Nixon at the ABC studio in Los Angeles and Kennedy at the ABC studio in New York, narrated by Bill Shadel with a panel of four newsmen; and October 21 at the ABC studio in New York, narrated by Quincy Howe with a panel of four including Frank Singiser, John Edwards, Walter Cronkite, and John Chancellor.
The Kennedy-Nixon debates not only had a … Kennedy’s motorcade was turning past the Texas School Book Depository at Dealey Plaza with crowds lining the streets—when shots rang out. Questions were posed by a panel of journalists, their backs to the cameras. On the domestic front, the struggle for civil rights and desegregation had deeply divided the nation, raising crucial questions about the state of democracy in the United States.At a time when the need for strong leadership was all too obvious, two vastly different candidates vied for the presidency: John F. Kennedy, a young but dynamic Massachusetts senator from a powerful New England family, and Richard Nixon, a seasoned lawmaker who was currently serving as vice president. Three debates between President Jimmy Carter, former California Governor Ronald Reagan and Illinois Congressman John B. Anderson were scheduled; along with a vice presidential debate between Vice President Walter Mondale, former CIA Director George H. W. Bush, and former Wisconsin Governor Patrick Joseph Lucey.
It didn’t help that Nixon had chosen a light gray suit for the occasion, which faded into the backdrop of the set and seemed to match his ashen skin tone. Douglas was later re-elected to the Senate by the Illinois legislature.
Six months pregnant with the couple’s second child, Jacqueline Kennedy hosted debate-watching parties at the family’s summer home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.  In 1948, presidential candidate debates became a reality when a radio debate was held in Oregon between Republicans Thomas E. Dewey and Harold Stassen during the party's presidential primary. As predicted, it was a close election, with Kennedy winning the popular vote 49.7 percent to 49.5 percent.  The Democrats followed suit in 1956 with a televised presidential primary debate between Adlai Stevenson and Estes Kefauver, and in 1960 by one between John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey.
Read: Crop Tops Or 'republican' Dress? Newspapers fawned over every last detail, from Jackie’s fashionable maternity wear and distinguished guest list to her living room furnishings and choice of refreshments. The next presidential candidates debates occurred during the 1976 campaign, when President Gerald Ford, who had entered office two years earlier after President Nixon resigned, agreed to three debates with his Democratic challenger, Jimmy Carter. (Test your knowledge with U.S. presidential trivia.). Perhaps not coincidentally, the more Nixonâs TV performances improved, the closer he pulled to JFK. I knew Jack Kennedy.
What accounted for this discrepancy? And, yes, he stood there in a gray suit, eyes shifting right and left, breaking the cardinal rules of television. Vice Presidential debates have been largely uneventful and have historically had little impact on the election. Before and after the debate, the Gallup Poll had the presidential race a virtual tie. More than 60 million viewers tuned in for the second debate, which originated from the studios of WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. âThe Kennedy people came in before the second debate and saw that the room was freezing, like a meat locker,â says Matthews, whose news-talk series Hardball originated from the same studios for more than 20 years. The debate was watched by over 70 million Americans and totally altered how Presidential campaigns were conducted, as per history.com. Kennedy was Kennedy nailed it during the Great Debates, staring directly into the camera as he answered each question.
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