10 Facts about Nixon the Presidential Candidate
1. In 1960, Richard Nixon and John Fitzgerald Kennedy were the first U.S presidential candidates to take part in televised debates. The debate series was divided into four parts, each dealing with substantive issues of the time. For those who listened to the debate on the radio most believed Nixon had won the debate on the issues. Unfortunately, Nixon was handicapped by an illness during the first debate where he appeared sweaty and pale in comparison to Kennedy, who was polished and healthy; the difference in appearance would leave a lasting impression and on the electorate.
2. Richard Nixon was arguably one of the most qualified and experienced presidential candidates in United States history. Nixon had served two terms in the House of Representatives and one term in the Senate, had served two terms as Vice-President under the Eisenhower administration, and had visited almost all the major communist hotspots in South East Asia as Vice-President. In addition, Vice-President Nixon had held his own in a televised debate with Soviet Premier Khrushchev, showing his strength and ability in confronting the Soviet Union.
3. In 1972, President Richard Nixon was able to create a new majority by winning 49 out of 50 states to beat Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern. This was the largest electoral victory for a Republican candidate up until that point.
4. In the 1968 Democratic New Hampshire Primary, Richard Nixon’s vote total of 80,667 was the largest write in name for any candidate in a New Hampshire primary; the amount of write-in votes was larger than the totals of Romney, Rockefeller, President Johnson, McCarthy, and Kennedy combined.
5. In 1968, Richard Nixon was a candidate without a home state to base a political headquarters. After his loss to Pat Brown in the 1962 California Governor’s race, Nixon left for New York in order resume his legal career, and Nelson Rockefeller, the party leader in New York and political rival to Nixon, shunned the presidential hopeful from participating in any political activities.
6. On September 16, 1968, presidential hopeful Richard Nixon famously appeared on the television program, “Laugh In.” Nixon appeared on air for five seconds in order to say, “Sock it to Me”, a catch phrase for the show.
7. Richard Nixon became the last successful presidential candidate to win a general election (1968) after previously losing a presidential election (1960).
8. When President Nixon assumed office, he became the first president since President Zachary Taylor to have both houses of Congress controlled by the opposite party.
9. In 1968, Presidential candidate Richard Nixon was in the three-man contest for the U.S Presidency. Nixon’s opponents were Democratic candidate and residing Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, and Independent Party candidate George Wallace, a segregationist who was popular in the southern states.
10. During the 1968 presidential campaign, Republican Richard Nixon ran on a platform to end the war in Vietnam in a way that achieved “Peace with Honor”, a phrase that had become popular in the American mainstream. While many Americans wanted to end U.S involvement in Vietnam, the majority believed that the country should honor its commitment to the South Vietnamese and not abandon them in the face of their communist aggressors in the north.