Tag Archives: Richard Nixon

It’s Time to Bring Political Debates into the 21st Century

In 1960, telephones were tethered to cords and only were used for conversation. The news came to us just a few times a day — when the paper landed on our doorstep and when networks aired their news broadcasts. And when John Kennedy and Richard Nixon took part in the nation’s first live televised presidential debate, they stood before cameras and answered questions.

Today we get our news 24/7 on phones and computers. Smartphones allow us to text and to email, to surf the web and to capture and share pictures and videos. Advances in technology have radically changed the way news and information is gathered and disseminated, but as Mitt Romney and Barack Obama campaign this fall, the format we employ for presidential debates is essentially the same as what it was more than 50 years ago.

Continue reading

Advertisements

We Learned the Wrong Lesson from the JFK-Nixon Debates

With summer officially behind us, the fall campaign season is shifting into high gear. Over the next few weeks, in addition to the usual flurry of political ads, rallies and newspaper stories, we also will have an opportunity to see candidates square off against their opponents in campaign debates.

But how much do debates really tell us about how well a candidate will perform in office? Continue reading