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Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

Kennedy and Nixon Debate

John F. Kennedy, 1960

On October 7, 1960, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon faced off in their second debate, focusing on foreign policy and in particular the Cold War.

“Kennedy’s strategy was to paint the Republican administration in which Nixon served as timid, indecisive, and given to poor strategizing in terms of the Cold War. Nixon, on the other hand, wanted to portray Kennedy as naive and much too willing to compromise with the Soviets and communist Chinese. Whether the debates really changed any voters’ minds is uncertain. While many speech experts argue that Nixon really won the debates, media analysts claim that Kennedy’s telegenic presence swayed enough voters for him to win the extremely close 1960 election.” Read more. (History)

Richard Nixon, 1969