On Oct. 13, 1960, Richard Nixon (Republican) and John F. Kennedy (Democrat) engaged in their third presidential debate. This contest was somewhat unique, as the candidates spoke from different locations as opposed to appearing together. Nixon was broadcast from Hollywood, while Kennedy appeared in New York.
The debates as a whole played a critical role in shaping the outcome of the 1960 election. Specifically, Kennedy came across as far more confident than Nixon in the first televised debate, handing him a victory that he would not relinquish on his route to winning the election.
- Why do you think that Kennedy’s smoother performance on TV in the first debate translated into an actual electoral victory?
- What do you make of the experimental technology for staging the debate? Should presidential elections be used to experiment with technology?
- How do you think modern media has impacted the way that Americans perceive Presidential elections?
- Should one’s media presence be a factor in voter’s minds?
26, Sept. 1960, Nixon Kennedy debate 1960 [Digital photograph]. Retrieved from <google.com>.