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The way we were

Extracts from memoirs and diaries

By Ian Irvine   October 2012

Richard Nixon reflects in his memoirs on the televised debates in 1960:

“An entirely new factor entered American political campaigning in 1960 with the first televised debates between the two presidential challengers. An incumbent seldom agrees willingly to debate his challenger, and I knew the debates would benefit Kennedy more than me by giving his views national exposure, which he needed more than I did… But there was no way I could refuse to debate without having Kennedy and the media turn my refusal into a central campaign issue…

Post-debate polls…

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