Eight Lessons for the Presidential Debates
What are the key dos and don'ts the candidates should remember when campaigning for the White House?
- By Kenneth C. Davis
- Smithsonian.com, October 03, 2012
The Kennedy-Nixon debates transformed America’s presidential politics more than a half-century ago. Televised nationally to huge audiences, the series of four debates in 1960 cemented the critical role of the “boob tube” in selecting America’s Chief Executive.
Eight years later, as Nixon returned to run successfully against Hubert Humphrey, there were no debates. But television –and more importantly advertising—had changed everything. As a young Nixon campaign media advisor said, “This is the beginning of a whole new concept. This is the way they’ll be elected forevermore. The next guys will have to be performers.”
He was Roger Ailes, who launched the Fox News Network in 1996.
Kenneth C. Davis, author of Don’t Know Much About® History, has just published Don’t Know Much About® the American Presidents. He blogs regularly at www.dontknowmuch.com
© 2012 Kenneth C. Davis